THE PARALYMPIC GAMES

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 After Federica Pellegrini’s defeats and Alex Schwarzer doping scandal, finally somebody is going to save the good name of Italian sport.

Let’s say the truth: during their stay in London, the Azzurri didn’t cut a dashing figure. With the exception of some quite-unknown little heroes, they simply they fell short of expectations.

Just right now, thanks to incredible enterprises of our paralympic athletes, finally we can sigh with relief. Seven gold medals, five silver and nine bronze ones: here’s the Italian plunder.

It’s not enormous – that’s right – but what counts the most is not the quantity, but the quality of the wins: here’s the first lesson – maybe, the main commandment of the Paralympic Games. Let’s talk – for example – about Alex Zanardi: during the 90s, he was one of the best drivers in the whole world. In 2001 he had a terrible car accident and he lost his legs. Now, he’s a handbiker – and some days ago, right here, in London, he won the gold medal.

And what about Annalisa Minetti: she’s blind, she’s a singer and she’s an athlete. In 1998 she won Sanremo’s festival, the most important singing contest in Italy.

She competed in the 1500 metres track and she ended the racxe in third position. “Now – she said – I’ll will the 800 metres track!” And what about Assunta Legnante, the female shot putter, who raced in Beijing during the Olympic Games. Then, she got ill: she fell down and then came back to life.

Now, Assunta is the paralympic world champion and nobody is able to beat her. Is it a consolation prize? On the contrary: it’s more than a simple medal. It’s something like a romance: the romantic novel of a extraordinary life.

Unfortunately, in these weeks, the Italian newspapers seem to be to busy – talking again and again about Federica Pellegrini’s career and Alex Schwarzer’s “human drama” – in order to understand the poetic strength of Paralympic Games. It’s a pity – but not a problem. Alex, Assunta and Annalisa won their personal battle. Here’s their only strength – they don’t need publicity.


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