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  • Larry Dragani & Jack Kane

Italian Skiers: 2022 Beijing Olympics

By Jack Kane and Larry Dragani

Everyone, put on your comfy clothes and drink some hot cocoa, because the 2022 Winter Olympics are officially underway in Beijing! Although there are many sports to cover, this article will primarily focus on a current Italian skier, Elena Curtoni, and the history of Italy’s success in the sport of skiing. Skiing is like a religion to Italians in the north, especially in the regions of Trentino Alto-Adige, Lombardia, Piedmont, and Friuli-Venezia Giulia. Italy is known for having produced some of the world’s best skiers, like Alberto Tomba from the 1980’s and 90’s, who won three Olympic gold medals. Basically, if you enjoy skiing or snowboarding, northern Italy is the place for you!

Elena Curtoni, born in the Lombardia region, is making her first Olympic trial. However, she isn’t new to the game. In fact, Curtoni has competed in the World Cup for the past five years! She has won twice, once in downhill skiing (emphasizes the six components of technique, courage, speed, risk, physical condition and judgement) and Super-G (regarded as the “speed” event in alpine skiing). In past World Championships, Curtoni has placed remarkable times. Last season, she competed in the Alpine Combined Ladies tournament resulting with a time of two minutes and nine seconds- ranking fourth in the world. Now Curtoni is preparing for the Super-G race this Friday in Beijing.

In a recent interview with, Curtoni stated "I will try to concentrate exclusively on my skiing, without thinking about too many things that have happened to me in the last few days (due to a positive contact with Covid-19). It is certainly not the approaching preparation that I would have hoped for, but there is little to do and we need to adapt. I take the good part of the participation at these races and I concentrate on that. Looking at the men's race it looked like a nice supergiant (Super-G), a nice track." Curtoni seems ready mentally and physically for what’s ahead of her in the highly anticipated Super-G race.

Currently, Italy stands in 12th place in the all-time total medal count, dating back to the first Winter Olympics in Chamonix, France in 1924. The United States, on the other hand, is currently 2nd in the all-time medal tally, close behind Norway. At the Winter Olympics the Italians are known for their Alpine and Cross-Country Skiing. Northern Italy is known to produce top athletes in all aspects of the Winter Olympics, with many of these athletes growing up on the doorstep of the Italian Alps.

Stefania Belmondo and Arianna Fontana are the two most decorated Italians in their respective sports of cross-country skiing and short track speed skiing. Both currently hold a total of 10 medals and Ariana Fontana will be competing in her 5th consecutive winter Olympics in 2022. The Italians have hosted the competition a total of two times, 1956 in Cortina d’Ampezzo and in 2006 in Torino. Following the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics, Italy is set to host the 2026 Olympics in Milano.

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