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On the Olympus! Stories of local champions

“On the Olympus! Stories of local champions” is a travelling, open-air exhibition set in the historical centres of Cuneo, Alba and Mondovì and can be visited from April to October 2024, in conjunction with the XXXIII Summer Olympics in Paris.

The initiative, sponsored by Fondazione CRC and CONI Piemonte, was curated by Associazione Art.ur and stemmed from the research work of a Scientific Committee that includes Francesco Marangio, Claudia Martin and Lorenzo Tanaceto.

Fondazione CRC is one of the few banking foundations in Italy that has included sporting activities among its areas of intervention. Sports are a valuable opportunity to choose a healthy lifestyle, preventing health issues and stimulating an active participation in social life, especially for the younger generations and people with disabilities.

“On the Olympus!” celebrates the athletes and coaches from the province of Cuneo who have participated in the Olympic and Paralympic Games over the years, promoting the values of commitment and passion for sport, and playing a role in the promotion of the area.

The display itinerary allows visitors to get to know the champions, retracing their undertakings and victories through stories, information, photographs of the most exciting moments and an in-depth look at their lives, often told through their own words. By framing the QR codes on the panels, viewers can watch exclusive video interviews with the athletes and discover their untold stories.

A timeline guides the viewer along the route, offering an insight into the historical context that defined some pivotal editions of the Games.

A unique display that will accompany the province of Cuneo during the excitement of the Olympics, an event that has consistently brought people together around the athletes, in a shared and inclusive experience that only sport can provide.

History of the Olympics

The ancient Games, held in the sacred city of Olympia in Greece, were sporting and religious events that honoured the god Zeus. Their origin can be traced back to 776 B.C., but it might be even older. These competitions were so important that wars between poleis were interrupted to allow athletes and spectators from all over Greece to participate.

At the end of the 19th century, the French Baron Pierre de Coubertin undertook to revive the Olympic Games, aiming to promote the educational value of sport and, above all, peace and brotherhood between nations.

In 1894, De Coubertin organised a congress at the Sorbonne University in Paris to relaunch the Games and set up an International Olympic Committee (IOC), which has overseen the organisation of the event ever since. The first modern Games were held in Athens in 1896, with 14 participating countries.

Since then, the Summer Olympics have been held every four years, while the first Winter Olympics took place in 1924 in Chamonix, France. Until 1992, they were held in the same year as the Summer edition. Gradually, the Olympics gained growing fame and became one of the most watched sporting events in the world. With their social importance, their political prominence also increased, in fact they often became a platform for propaganda and protests.

De Coubertin also designed the Olympic flag that waved for the first time at the 1924 Paris Games. The well-known symbol featuring five intertwined rings still symbolises the union of the five continents and the coming together of athletes from across the globe.

The Olympic history of our province begins with Raffaele Nasi and Giulio Gerardi, the first people from Cuneo to participate in the Olympics.
Raffaele was born in 1910 in Vinadio, while Giulio, known as “Giulietto”, was born in 1912 in Pietraporzio. They were both cross-country skiers and qualified for the 1936 Winter Games in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany.
Raffaele took part in the 18 km, finishing 52nd, while Giulio reached 4th place with the “Azzurri” relay team.
Giulio was among the strongest Italian Nordic skiers of the 1930s and he would have certainly competed in the 1940 Olympics, were they not cancelled due to the war. He enlisted in the Military and joined the fast patrols in Cervinia and, after 8 September 1943, he joined the partisans in the Stura Valley. After the war, he emigrated to France for work. Returning to the Stura Valley after retirement, he helped design the cross-country ski tracks in Strepeis.

  • 1896


    The first Olympic Games of the modern era saw the participation of 14 countries, with 241 athletes, all men. Women were not allowed. Despite organisational difficulties, the first modern Olympic Games were the largest international sporting event ever organised at the time.

  • 1936

    The Games gained increasing popularity and political significance. In 1936, they were held in Berlin, in an atmosphere of escalating tension. Hitler’s National Socialist party was growing in strength and his antisemitic and repressive policies saw in the Games a stage to showcase the superiority of the Aryan race. However, the success of some African American athletes, particularly the athlete Jesse Owens, who won four gold medals, undermined the Nazi propaganda, and revived the spirit of freedom and equality of the Olympics.
  • 1960

    The 17th Summer Olympic Games took place in Rome from 25 August to 11 September 1960. One of the most eagerly awaited races was the marathon, won by the Ethiopian athlete Abebe Bikila, who ran barefoot. One week after the end of the Olympics, another international sporting event took place in the Italian capital: it was the first official edition of the Paralympic Games.
  • 1968

    As their international importance grew, the Olympics increasingly became a stage for social protest. The image of the African American athletes Tommie Smith and John Carlos with their fists raised in protest against racism in the United States was to become one of the most iconic moments of the 1968 Mexico City Games and in the history of the modern Olympics.
  • 1972

    Held in Munich, this edition was marked by a tragic and violent event. A Palestinian terrorist group broke into the Olympic village, killing 2 Israeli athletes and taking 9 hostages, who were also tragically killed when the terrorist felt trapped by the police.

SAINT MORITZ 1948 – 32nd

Eugenio Bonicco was born in 1919 and learned to ski as a child in the mountains surrounding his home village of Frabosa Soprana. There were no ski lifts at the time, but at the age of 11 Eugenio was already hiking up Monte Moro to enjoy the fresh snow. In the 1940s, he won two Italian Championships and in 1947 he won gold in the giant slalom. In 1948 he participated in the Olympic Games in Saint Moritz, Switzerland. Unfortunately, the icy course shattered his dreams, but on his return home Eugenio was nevertheless celebrated as a winner. Eugenio was part of the national team for some ten years and continued to live in Frabosa, where for many years he ran a sports equipment shop that still exists today and where he founded the local Ski Club. His experience allowed him to bring the innovations of modern skiing to Frabosa, training many young skiers with passion. His contribution to the construction of the Monte Moro chairlift in 1948, which was the longest in Europe at the time, stands as tangible evidence of his commitment to the local ski community.

Italian Championships: 3 golds
Olympics: 32nd


CORTINA 1956 – 30th (individual) and 8th (relay)

Originally from Limone Piemonte, she took part in the 1956 Olympics in Cortina, when she was only 18 years old. Margherita, known as “Rita”, together with her sister Franca and her friends Anna and Catterina Tosello, Elisabetta Bellone and Elisabetta Astegiano, achieved great results in cross-country skiing. The girls yearned to succeed and realised that skiing could open up an extraordinary future for them. Juggling housekeeping and work in the fields, Rita and her friends trained tirelessly, until they earned a place in the national team, where they had the opportunity to compete with the best athletes from all over Italy. Margherita and Anna were chosen for the Olympics, but a last-minute change deprived Anna of the opportunity to compete, much to the disappointment of both. Margherita placed 30th and reached the 8th position in the relay. For the “cross-country girls”, however, the road to success was full of obstacles. They received no compensation for their efforts and had no access to the benefits guaranteed to men, such as entry into military sport bodies. Because of this unequal treatment, many of them gave up their sporting careers, and continued skiing only as a passion.

Italian Championships: 1 gold, 2 silvers, 1 bronze.
Olympics: 30th (individual) and 8th (relay)


ROME 1960 – 10th place long jump.

Attilio was born in Bra in 1936. He began his sporting career playing football at the local parish, like many kids at the time. He also played basketball and practiced track and field, challenging himself with his first sprint races. Finally, he devoted himself entirely to sprinting and long jump, entering the national team at a very young age. During his career, he achieved 8 Italian titles, 3 university titles and 3 titles in the Military World Championships. In 1958 he set his personal best, jumping 7.69m. He made his Olympic debut on 2 September 1960, when he competed in the long jump at the Rome Olympics. On this occasion, he demonstrated not only his athletic talent, but also great sportsmanship, when he lent his shoes to an opposer, enabling him to compete and earn third place. His wife Riccarda remembers how, when people asked him “How did it go in Rome?” he would reply jokingly: “I came tenth, but my shoes got on the podium!” After the Olympic experience in Rome, he concluded his competitive career, enrolled in ISEF (the physical education school) and became a physical education teacher in schools. During his managerial career, he also held the position of Coordinator of the physical education office of the Board of Education and he was President of the provincial CONI of Cuneo from 1993 to 2013.

Italian Championships: 8 golds (1 in relay, 7 long jump)
Military World Championships: 3 golds
Universiade: 1 gold
Olympics: 10th place


In 1960 it was Italy’s turn: the Summer Games were held in Rome, an opportunity for our country to redeem itself after the dramatic events of the Second World War. It was a memorable edition, with competitions held against the backdrop of magnificent ancient architecture. There were 5338 athletes from 83 countries. Italy participated with 280 athletes, competing in all 19 disciplines featured and came third in the medal table, behind the USSR and the United States. Livio Berruti from Piedmont won gold in the 200 metres.
The winner of the marathon was the Ethiopian Abebe Bikila, the first Olympic champion from Africa, who crossed the finish line under the Arch of Constantine running barefoot.


TOKYO 1964 – reserve at the 4x400m relay

Born in Cuneo in 1943, he ran his first races at the Frass parish, then with Atletica Cuneo, coached by “Carlin” Olivero. In 1962 he was called on the national team for the first time and competed in the European Championships in Belgrade and in the 1964 Olympic Games in Tokyo, where he was a reserve at the 4x400m relay. In 1965 he won silver at the 400m and gold at the 4x400m during the Universiade in Budapest.


TOKYO 1964 – rowing 8+: 6th

Born in Mandello sul Lario in 1938, he lives in Revello. He took part in the 1964 Tokyo Olympics with the italian rowing team, the “Otto Azzurro”. In the photo, he is the third rower from the right after the coxswain.


MEXICO CITY 1968 – 1500m semifinal
MUNICH 1972 – 1500m semifinal

Francesco, known as Franco, was born in 1944 in the countryside near Centallo. When his parents decided to buy a tobacconist’s shop in Via Roma, Cuneo, the doors of a wider world opened in front of the young man. “Seize opportunities” became his mantra, and he yearned to conquer all that life had to offer. His priority was sport, which he didn’t see just as competition, but as a time for sharing and socialising. Don Francesco Silvestro was his first guide: he inspired the boys under his care to take action and channel their energy into physical activity. During his adolescence, he met another mentor, Atletica Cuneo coach Carlo Olivero, who taught him the importance of order, punctuality, and discipline. Franco won his first Italian titles in the 800 and 1500 metres, in 1970 he won gold at the Universiade in Turin, then silver at the Mediterranean Games and finally, his greatest achievement: he earned gold at the 1500m during the European Championships in Helsinki, in 1971. Sport allowed him to travel, to get to know different people and places, to gain autonomy and self-confidence. In 1973, an injury forced him to reconsider his path, so he became a successful entrepreneur, taking on new challenges by becoming Head of Italian distribution for the brand ASICS and opening a branch in Cuneo together with his brother Piero. This was a great achievement for himself, his family and his region. From 2004 to 2012, he also served as President of FIDAL (Italian Athletics Federation). In 2014, he left ASICS and acquired the Finnish sportswear and shoe brand Karhu.

“We were lucky, we had everything to discover and conquer.”

European Championships: 1 gold
Mediterranean Games: 1 silver
Universiade: 1 gold
Olympics: 2 x semi-finals


1968 was a difficult year, marked by unrest in France and protests that spread across Europe, the tragic assassinations of Martin Luther King and Bob Kennedy in America, the invasion of Soviet tanks in Prague, a season of dramatic attacks in the Middle East. On the podium in Mexico City, African American athletes Tommie Smith and John Carlos looked away from the American flag and raised their clenched fists as a form of protest against the racism faced by black communities in their country.
This edition also marked the first time a female torchbearer lit the Olympic cauldron: it was young Mexican athlete Enriqueta Basilio.


MONTREAL 1976 – 200m

Born in 1953 in Racconigi, he was encouraged by his physical education teacher to try athletics and he specialised in the 200m. He joined Sisport FIAT as a sprinter and entered the national team, coached by the legendary Carlo Vittori, alongside illustrious names, including Pietro Mennea, with whom he competed at the Montreal Olympics in the 4x100m relay.


SAPPORO 1972 – Biathlon 20km: 22nd, relay 10th

Born in 1940 in Limone Piemonte, he became passionate about biathlon and won six medals in this sport at the Italian Championships and participated in the World Championships in 1969 and 1971.


MOSCOW 1980 – 1 gold 20km racewalking
LOS ANGELES 1984 – 1 bronze
SEOUL 1988 – 1 bronze
BARCELLONA 1992 – 4th


MOSCOW 1980 – 11th 20km racewalking

For twins Maurizio and Giorgio Damilano, born in Scarnafigi in 1957, the choice of racewalking was a random one: at the boarding school they attended, the students had to form an athletics team for the Youth Games and some friends suggested they sign up for racewalking, and so their adventure began. Racewalking is a tough sport, that requires great stamina, but it is also a simple activity: all you need is a pair of shoes and off you go! As it often happens when starting on a new path, they became aware of their skills result after result, as they gradually became aware of their abilities and gained self-confidence. Their older brother Sandro also pushed them to keep going, and thanks to his studies and intuition, helped them improve their technique. Giorgio won the World Team Cup in 1981 and wore the blue jersey of the national team 27 times; Maurizio was 10 times national champion in the 20 km racewalk and won the World Championships twice, in 1987 and 1991. Their ongoing exchange allowed the three brothers to grow together, training the body, but also the mind, finding the right motivation and learning how to cope with anxiety during competitions. Maurizio managed to be very calm and focused: “You have to start each race without regrets, give your best during training, but never forget that the goal is not always to win over others, but more often to improve yourself.” Maurizio represented Italy in four Olympic Games and stood on the podium three times. The 4th place at the 1992 Barcelona Games was not enough for him, so he decided to end his career by trying to set a record in the 30 km racewalk, his favourite distance. He did it in Cuneo, in front of his family, friends and fans: it was a world record!

In 2000, the brothers created a high-performance training group in Saluzzo, the Scuola del Cammino, which became a global reference point for the discipline. Even today, the Damilanos still pursue the pleasure of walking, having introduced in Italy the practice of Fitwalking using their own specific method.

“Competition means not only overcoming others, but also yourself. In sport you always win.”

Maurizio’s MEDALS:
Olympics: 1 gold; 2 bronzes
World Championships: 2 golds; 1 silver (indoor)
European Championships: 1 silver; 1 gold and 1 silver (indoor)
Mediterranean Games: 3 golds
Universiade: 1 gold; 1 silver

Giorgio’s MEDALS:
World Cup: 1 gold
Events with the national team: 27 with the A team


Another crisis shook the Olympic world: in December 1979, the USSR invaded Afghanistan. In response, the USA refused to participate in the Moscow Games and invited its allies to do the same. The Cold War atmosphere between the Soviet bloc and the USA is tangible.
Great Britain and France participated, while West Germany did not. Italy participated, but without the Italian flag and anthem and without athletes belonging to military corps. In addition to Damilano’s, Italy won two more gold medals in athletics with Pietro Mennea in the 200 metres and Sara Simeoni in the high jump.


MOSCOW 1980 – 100km team race: 5th

Born in 1957 in Ceva, he started cycling at the age of 14 with the Chiusa Pesio club. Between 1979 and 1980, he achieved important victories: gold in the 100 km team race at the Mediterranean Games, first place in the Milano-Tortona and he took part in the Olympic Games in Moscow. In 1981 he switched to professional cycling, but a serious accident forced him to end his racing career.



Born in 1963 in Turin, Guido was later “adopted” by Cuneo. He played as a middle hitter for the Turin team until 1988, winning 2 championships. After two years in Treviso, he arrived in Cuneo where he played for four years. With the national team, coached by Silvano Prandi from Cuneo, he took part in the Los Angeles Olympics, winning the bronze medal.



Born in 1956 in Saluzzo, he started skiing in Crissolo, coached by Francesco Deflorian. In 1974 he won the junior European title in special slalom and became part of the legendary “Valanga Azzurra” of the 1980s. He reached 12 podiums in the World Cup. He took part in the 1982 and 1985 World Championships, where he placed 4th and 6th, respectively, and two Olympic Games. After the end of his sporting career, he became a journalist and RAI commentator.


CALGARY 1988 – 20km freestyle: 36th, 4x5km relay: 10th

Born in Demonte in 1967, she started skiing at the age of six during a course organised by her school in Festiona. She won many Italian junior titles and at 19 she placed 4th at the World Junior Championships, on the relay team with young Stefania Belmondo. In the same year, she came in 5th in the relay at the World Championships in Germany with Guidina Dal Sasso and Bice Vanzetta.


CALGARY 1988 – 19th, 29th, 10th
ALBERTVILLE 1992 – 1 gold, 1 silver, 1 bronze
LILLEHAMMER 1994 – 2 bronzes
NAGANO 1998 – 1 silver, 1 bronze
SALT LAKE CITY 2002 – 1 gold, 1 silver, 1 bronze.

Stefania was four years old when she put on skis for the first time. They were red and her father Albino had made them for her. Born in 1969, Stefania grew up in the Maritime Alps, in Pontebernardo di Pietraporzio, a tiny village in the upper Stura Valley. Initially, skiing was just a pastime, a way to sped time with friends, but soon her drive to prove herself intensified. At her first school competition she came last, but Stefania did not give up and her first victories, at both school and federal level, paved the way for her debut in the national team. In 1988 she flew to Calgary, the destination was the Olympics. She was called as a reserve, but one of the athletes suffered a last-minute injury and Stefania, at just 19 years of age, had the chance to compete. At the award ceremony she was not on the podium, but she looked at the winners and began to dream: she wanted to win as well. Four years later she entered the Olympus! In Albertville, she won gold in the 30 km freestyle, silver in the 10 km freestyle and bronze in the relay. She was the first Italian to win a gold medal at an Olympics in cross-country skiing. The road was not always easy, there were challenges: an injury caused her months of foot pain, but this did not stop her. Her incredible willpower kept her going in Salt Lake City, at the 2002 Olympics, when, despite breaking a pole during the 15 km freestyle race, Stefania bounced back and took first place, thrilling the entire world of sports. It was a medal that represented the culmination of an incredible career and confirmed her stand as one of the most successful female athletes in history.

“The best victories, the greatest satisfactions, the moments of pure joy are those for which you have committed the most time, energy and strength, to which you have devoted yourself completely.”

Olympics: 2 golds; 3 silvers; 5 bronzes
World Championships: 4 golds; 7 silvers; 2 bronzes
World Junior Championships: 2 golds; 1 silvers; 1 bronze
Italian Championships: 35 golds
World Cup: 24 victories, 68 podiums


Born in 1938 and originally from Boves, he was a sport manager in cross-country skiing and national advisor to the Italian Winter Sports Federation. He was one of the first who believed in Stefania Belmondo’s talent and he was present, as head of the Western Alps Committee, during the skier’s incredible victories at the Albertville Olympics in 1992 and in Salt Lake City in 2002. At the 2006 Turin Olympics, he was Italy’s head of delegation for cross-country skiing and technical contact for the women’s team, which won the bronze medal in the relay in that edition.


SYDNEY 2000 – 200 m individual medley: 10th; 400 m individual medley: 15th

“When she was 11 months old”, her mother recalls, “Federica put her head under water and that’s where she remained”: it was immediately obvious that this would be her element. Born in Mondovì in 1980, Federica began her career as a competitive swimmer at a very young age. She enjoyed the challenge, but at first it was mainly a game. Besides being fun, however, physical activity taught her many valuable lessons, applicable in all aspects of life and not just in competition. Managing her studies, training and daily trips with her mother to the Cuneo pool gave her great organisational skills and self-reliance. In the 2000s, Federica was one of Italy’s best swimmers. Coached by Francesco Marangio, an expert in the breaststroke technique, she entered the youth national team and, when she was less than 15 years old, she won the first of her 14 Italian breaststroke titles, to which she would add a further 19 in the 200 and 400 metres. “I knew I would go to the Olympics” she recalls, and in 2000 Federica crowned her dream: the Sydney Olympics, where she set the Italian record in both the 400 and 200 medley events. With a degree in education, Federica now runs a school for children from 1 to 11 years old, having realised another of her life dreams. Her mission: to pass on the joy for moving and the love of water to her young pupils and her five children.

“Have confidence in yourself, every person has a talent.”

Mediterranean Games: 1 gold, 1 silver, 1 bronze
Universiade: 1 gold
Italian Championships: 33 golds, 21 silvers, 8 bronzes
Olympics: 2000 Sydney 200 m individual medley: 10th in semifinals; 400 m individual medley: 15th in battery


Born in 1938, Francesco approached swimming while attending ISEF (the physical education school) courses in Rome. Back in Cuneo, he established the first swimming course in the municipal swimming pool, which, at the time, was only outdoors. He was coaching Cuneo Nuoto when he first saw a very young Federica Biscia swim in Mondovì. Impressed by her agility in the water, he decided to coach her, helping her to become one of the most promising Italian swimmers of the 2000s. Marangio can’t forget the moment, on 12 March 1995 in Florence, when Federica won her first Italian title in the 200 m breaststroke, beating frontrunner Manuela Della Valle. Although he was unable to accompany Federica to the Sydney Olympics because he was not part of the Olympic staff, Francesco proudly remembers all the incredible achievements of his athlete. An esteemed professor of physical education at the ITIS in Cuneo, now retired, he never abandoned his passion for sport and it is to him that we owe the first idea for an exhibition on the Olympians from the Cuneo province.


ATHENE 2004 – 6th
LONDON 2012 – 4th
RIO De JANEIRO 2016 – 11th

Elisa, born in 1980, grew up in Robilante. She was nine years old when, a few weeks before the school cross-country competition, she broke her leg. This did not deter her, however, and as soon as the cast was off, she rushed to compete. Her determination – or stubbornness, according to her former coach Sandro Damilano – would take her far. First her teacher Giovanna Ardissone and then her coach Mario Bianco introduced her to racewalking. After graduating high school, it was time to get serious: Elisa began training in Saluzzo, under the strict gaze of the national coach, Sandro Damilano. She was the youngest of the group, but she did well. In 2002, she was among the first group of female athletes to be enrolled in the Fiamme Gialle sports group. “When you prepare for a race, you need more than a stopwatch and a clock, you also need to train your mind”, said Elisa. And her mind was fixed on the goal. In 2004, at the age of 24, she experienced the thrill of the Olympic Games for the first time, but it was in 2008 that her physical maturity and mental equilibrium led her to the podium, winning bronze at the Beijing Olympics. However, racewalking was not her only goal: for Elisa, becoming a mother was an equally important dream. In 2010, her first daughter was born and only 11 months later she reconfirmed her talent by winning 4th place at the World Championships, later turned into a silver medal due to the disqualification of two Russian athletes for doping. In 2014 her second child was born and in 2016 Elisa participated in her last Olympics.

“Sport is a choice, not a sacrifice. It is training for life!”

Olympics: 1 bronze in 2008 (6th in 2004; 4th in 2012; 11th in 2016)
World Championships: 1 silver; 1 bronze
European Championships: 1 bronze
Mediterranean Games: 1 gold
European under-23 championships: 1 gold


The 2012 London Games were the first in which women competed in all the disciplines on the programme, including female boxing, which was introduced in this edition for the first time. The right for women to participate in the Games was not easily granted, it was conquered by the many female athletes who defied gender stereotypes and fought for the opportunity to compete. The second edition of the Games, held in Paris in 1900, saw the participation of 22 women out of 997 athletes. De Coubertin himself was against the admission of women to Olympic competitions. The first Italian to participate in the Games was Rosetta Gagliardi, who took part in the tennis competition in Antwerp in 1920. The first gold medal winner was Trebisonda Valla, known as Ondina, in the 80 m hurdles race at the 1936 Berlin Games. Over the years, the number of disciplines open to women has grown steadily, giving them the opportunity to excel in a wide range of sports. At Rio 2016, 45% of all athletes were women: the goal is to achieve full gender equality.

LONDON 2012 – semifinal 400m hs

Born in 1992 in the Dominican Republic, José Reynaldo Bencosme de Leon moved to Italy to be reunited with his mother, who had moved to Borgo San Dalmazzo several years prior. Starting a new life in Cuneo was not easy: at 11, he left behind the warmth of the sun, the sea and the carefree life in Santo Domingo, but in sport José found solace and a new group of friends. He started playing football in the parish team and tried different sports at school. In 2007 he enrolled at ITIS (technical high school), where he met physical education teacher Paolo Berto who, perceiving his abilities, encouraged him to try hurdles and convinced him to join Atletica Cuneo, under the guidance of coach Gigi Catalfamo. In 2009, he became an Italian citizen and after the World Championships he was offered the opportunity to join the Military Sports Group, turning his hobby into a job. Under the guidance of coach Fabrizio Mori, he joined the Fiamme Gialle and in 2012 he flew to London to participate in the Olympics, an incredible and overwhelming experience. With a controlled start and an electrifying finish, he won the semi-finals. In 2013, José began to struggle with tendon problems in his right foot, which forced him to undergo several surgeries and a long period of inactivity. However, he hasn’t given up and continues to work tirelessly for his return to competitions.

“I didn’t even feel tired, I trained for passion.”

Olympics: semi-finalist Under-18
World Championships: 1 bronze
European under-20s: 1 bronze
Student World Championships: 1 gold
4 times overall national champion in the 400 m hurdles (2011, 2012, 2016, 2018)


Born in 1955, Gigi was a physical education teacher and has followed Atletica Cuneo as Technical Manager for more than 30 years. Over the decades, he introduced hundreds of young people to sport, athletics in particular. His greatest professional gratification came from José Bencosme de Leon. The two met on the track at the Walter Merlo field in Cuneo when the athlete was 15 and since then have become inseparable: Gigi has never stopped coaching and supporting him.


PYEONGCHANG 2018 – 5th in giant and 10th in combined
BEIJING 2022 – 17th Super-G

Marta was born in 1996 in Cuneo, in a family where mountains and winter sports are part of the DNA. Her father coached her until the age of 14, but the young athlete felt no pressure: sport has always been fun for her. As a child, she practised skiing, tennis, and especially artistic gymnastics, demonstrating her natural predisposition for physical activity in all these disciplines. “Lightness” is the word Marta uses to describe her attitude towards her first races. Perhaps it is her serenity, together with her great determination, that allows her to focus on the present and achieve great results. In 2014, she joined the B national team, won the giant slalom in the European Cup and the junior world giant slalom title in Jasna, Slovakia. These successes made her dream of turning her passion into a career and soon the dream came true: Marta joined the National A team. The support of her family, numerous fans, and the Liceo Sportivo in Limone Piemonte have all played a crucial role in her success. In 2019, she was the first Italian female skier to reach the podium in five different specialities. In 2021 came the great World Cup victory in the giant slalom and in the same year, gold at the World Cup in the women’s parallel, doubled with another gold in 2023 in the super giant slalom. In difficult moments, Marta clings to her passion and the beauty that surrounds her: “I love everything about skiing: waking-up early, seeing the sunrise when you get to the top, the silence, the nature that surrounds you, the skis sliding on snow, all the emotions that this sport gives me.”

World Championships: 2 golds; 1 bronze
Junior World Championships: 1 gold
World Cup: 1 giant slalom cup and 30 podiums
European Cup: 1 gold; 1 silver
Olympics: 5th in giant and 10th in combined at Pyeongchang 2018; 17th Super-G at Beijing 2022


Originally from Fossano, Marco grew up with a passion for all kinds of sports. After graduating in Physical Education, he became the athletic trainer for Fossano Basket, the Country Club of Cuneo, and later the Ski Club Val Vermenagna, where he met Marta Bassino. Since then, Marco has become the athletic trainer of the young champion and when Marta is in Cuneo, he plans various training activities for her, expertly calibrated to best prepare the skier for her next performance.


TOKYO 2021 – 6th team pursuit, 8th team madison and 14th omnium

Born in Cuneo in 1998, Elisa has been practising various sports from a young age. Her parents are cycling enthusiasts and coaches and passed on to her their love of cycling: at around the age of 12, Elisa realised that this would be her path. A versatile athlete, Elisa is invincible both on the road and on the track. In 2016, in Doha, she became World Champion in the junior road category. Since becoming a professional in 2017, she has collected 25 victories on the road. In 2021 she won the World Road Championships, in 2022 she won gold at the Italian Championships and silver at the European Championships. Besides cycling, she has always cultivated other passions, such as music, which led her to study for six years at the conservatory, and languages and literature, which led her to attend the Liceo Classico in Cuneo and graduate in Modern Literature. One of her favourite books is Novecento, by Alessandro Baricco. Unlike the book’s protagonist, the pianist who did not have the courage to do what he wanted, she has always found the courage. Even after a bad fall in May 2023, she found the strength to overcome her fears, follow her passion and win. Despite the challenges, Elisa finds the motivation to keep going when she has an immediate goal. Elisa says that among her teammates, both in the national team and in the road team, there is a nice sense of camaraderie, and the girls always support each other: so winning together is even better.

“Curiosity is the driving force of my life.”

Junior Road World Championships: 1 gold
World Road Championships: 1 gold
Track World Championships: 1 gold; 1 silver; 3 bronzes.
European Road Championships: 1 silver
European Track Championships: 5 golds; 3 silvers; 4 bronzes
Olympics: 6th team pursuit, 8th team madison and 14th omnium Tokyo 2021

Paralympic games

The history of the Paralympic Games has its roots in the pioneering initiatives of Ludwing Guttman, a German neurologist of Jewish descent who escaped to England before the war. Guttman introduced sport as an essential part of rehabilitation for soldiers who suffered spinal injuries and he organised the first competition for athletes in wheelchairs in 1948. In the following years, the event assumed an international character and was named “Stoke Mandeville Games”, after the town that hosted them. In 1960, the Games took place outside England for the first time. They were in Rome, the same city that hosted the Olympics: these would be recognised as the first official Paralympic Games.

On that occasion, 400 athletes from 23 nations come together to celebrate sportsmanship and inclusion, making this an historic occasion of international significance. This event was made possible thanks to the efforts of Dr. Antonio Maglio, an Italian physician who was inspired by Guttman’s innovative work. Since then, the significance of the Paralympic Games has continued to grow, making them a symbol of inclusion and opportunity for all athletes with physical disabilities, which were divided into categories by type and severity.

The first Winter Paralympics took place in 1976 in Sweden. Since then, the Paralympic Games have taken place in parallel with the Olympic Games every two years, alternating between the winter and summer games. The very name of the event derives from the Greek “para”, meaning “along”.

Since 2001, any city bidding to host the Olympics has also been entrusted with the task of organising the Paralympic Games.

  • 1960


    For the first time, the Stoke Mandeville International Games took place at the same venue as the Olympics. These would be recognised as the first Paralympic Games. 23 nations participated, with 400 athletes.

  • 1964


    378 athletes from 21 countries participated to the second Paralympic Games. There were nine sports: archery, athletics, darts, billiards, swimming, table tennis, weightlifting, basketball and fencing.

  • 1976

    The first Paralympic Winter Games took place in Örnsköldsvik, Sweden. 98 athletes from 16 nations competed in alpine and Nordic skiing for amputees and visually impaired athletes. Ice sledge racing was included as a demonstration event.
  • 2006

    First edition of the Paralympic Winter Games held in Italy. During the opening ceremony, a group of 39 athletes, one from each nation present at the Games, carried the torch to hand it over to the last torchbearers, Silvia Battaglio and Aroldo Ruschioni, winner of three gold medals at the 1960 Games in Rome. Opposite: Nordic skier Roland Ruepp receives the torch at the opening ceremony of the 2006 Paralympic Games in Turin.

LONDON 2012 – Team relay: 1 silver

Francesca was born in 1978 in Albaretto della Torre. At the age of 19 she was ready to start her first job after graduating from Hospitality school, but she lost the use of her legs due to a spinal tumour. During rehabilitation, she experimented with various sports before trying hand biking. Sergio Anfossi, who was President of the Associazione Polisportiva P.A.S.O. at the time, offered her the first hand bike, and it was thanks to the Sportabili association in Alba that Francesca began to train seriously. Despite finishing second to last in her first race, in 2006, her determination pushed her to keep going. Training on the breathtaking ups and downs of the Langhe paid off: in 2007, she was EHC world time trial champion and in 2009 she won bronze at the World Championships in Bogogno. In 2010, she became European Champion and won two bronze medals at the World Championships in Canada. In order to train for the London 2012 Paralympics, Francesca took a year’s leave from work. Participating to the Games was an immense accomplishment and even more gratifying was the silver medal won in the relay together with Alex Zanardi and Vittorio Podestà. Sport has given Francesca valuable friendships and opportunities to travel, but it admits for no shortcuts: you need a lot of discipline and perseverance to achieve your goals and, as she says, “you must never give up when the first challenge arises”.

World Championships: 1 gold (time trial); 4 bronzes
World Cup: 1
European: 3 titles
Italian Championships: 9 titles
Giro d’Italia: 3 victories


TOKYO 2021 – Team relay: 1 gold

Born in 1982, Diego approached handbiking after a motorbike accident that resulted in the amputation of his left leg. Always a keen sportsman, he got in touch with the Associazione Polisportiva P.A.S.O. in Cuneo, which promotes sporting activity for the disabled. Diego loves the social aspect of sports, finding in his teammates the support and the motivation to keep going. Sport was instrumental to get his life back on track and the thrill of the race drives him to always try harder. 2013 was a year of great results, as Diego won the first Maglia Tricolore, the title of Italian handbike MH5 time trial Champion, and the Giro d’Italia. In 2014, he found the courage to quit his job, which he had resumed immediately after the accident, and devote himself entirely to racing. His wife Giulia and their son Leandro are always there to support him. His commitment was rewarded by many victories, among which a gold at the World Para-cycling Championships in 2021 in the Team Relay with Paolo Cecchetto and Luca Mazzone and, with the same team, gold at the Paralympics in Tokyo 2021.

“…I tried not to set limits for myself and do the things I could do in my situation, always trying to improve myself. Sometimes we have to destroy the limits we give ourselves, to realise that we can do so much more.”

Olympics: 1 gold
World Championships: 1 gold; 1 silver
World Cup: 3 silvers; 4 bronzes
European Championships: 2 silvers


BEIJING 2022 – 18 km: 21st, Middle distance: 25th, sprint: 29th

Born in Centallo in 1992, Michele has always been a lover of sport and motorcycling. In 2018, a motorbike accident turned his life upside down, as he lost his left leg. After months in hospital and demanding rehabilitation, Michele found in sport a driving force for rebirth. He soon developed a passion for Nordic skiing, devoting himself to the discipline with increasing perseverance and commitment. In 2021 he competed in the World Cup in Slovenia and in December of the same year, the races in Canada granted him a place on the national team. In 2023 he competed in the World Championships in Sweden. Sport allows him to experience indescribable emotions and has taken him to Olympus, with his participation to the Paralympic Games in Beijing in 2022. He loves the enchanting landscapes and the contact with nature that skiing allows for, even though the weather conditions and the cold can be challenging. He also finds great motivation in his teammates, who became true friends.

Paralympic Games:
21st 18 km
25th Middle distance
29th sprint


SYDNEY 2000 – 1 Bronze
ATHENS 2004 – 1 Silver
BEIJING 2008 – 4th
LONDON 2012 – 1 Bronze

Born in Puglia but “adopted” by Cuneo, born in 1975, he made his debut in A1 in Cuneo Vbc as a central hitter. In 1999 he joined the national team and won, along with 3 Olympic medals, 3 golds and 1 silver at the European Championships, 3 golds, 1 silver and 1 bronze at the World League and 1 silver at the 2003 World Cup.


SYDNEY 2000 – 4×400 m relay

Born in 1976 in Fossano, she came to athletics thanks to her high school physical education teacher. After joining Atletica Fossano and then the Army Sport Group, she imposed herself in the 100m, 200m and 400m with 11 individual Italian titles, including 9 in relays and 20 events with the national team.


SYDNEY 2000 – 5th

Born in 1971, he began playing basketball for Abet Bra. At just 17 years old, he made his debut in Serie A with the Turin team in the role of “guard” and in 1992 he was called on the national team. He played for Virtus Bologna from 1994 for 8 years. He won several championships, 4 Italian Cups, 1 Supercup, 1 gold and 1 silver at the European Championships.


BEIJING 2008 – 4th

From San Damiano Macra, he was born in 1979 and started playing volleyball at the age of eight in Dronero. He developed his skills with Cuneo Vbc in the role of opposite, then moved on to other Italian teams, including Montichiari, where he was coached by Julio Velasco. In 2001 he made his national team debut and won gold at the Mediterranean Games.


RIO DE JANEIRO 2016 – 1 Silver

Born in 1979 in Sicily, he moved to Cuneo to play as setter with Cuneo Vbc. In 2015, he won silver at the World Cup and bronze at the European Championship with the Italian national team. In 2022 he won the championship with Lube Macerata and from 2023 he returned to play for Cuneo in the A2 series.


VANCOUVER 2010 – Biathlon 4×6 km relay 10th, 7,5 km sprint 72nd

Born in 1985, she started cross-country skiing in Festiona at the age of 4. At 13 she tried biathlon, the sport she would eventually specialize in. She joined the Junior National Team in 2001 and the Army Sport Center in 2005. In 2006 she made her debut in the World Cup and competed in the tournaments until 2011. In that year, she won silver in the relay at the European Championships in Val Ridanna. In 2013, a shoulder injury ended her Olympic dream in Sochi and two years later she abandoned her sporting career.


RIO DE JANEIRO 2016 – road biking

Originally from Corneliano d’Alba, born in 1989, he started as a mountain biker and became a professional road cyclist in 2013. In 2015 he won the Milano-Torino and in 2022 he wore the best climber’s jersey at the Giro d’Italia. After taking up mountain biking again, he was Italian bike marathon champion in 2023.


PYEONGCHANG 2018 – 9th
BEIJING 2022 – 9th

Born in Savigliano in 1989, he lives in Pinerolo, where he trains. He joined the National Curling Team and won 1 gold medal at the Junior European Championships in 2012, 2 bronze medals at the European Championships in 2018 and 2021 and 1 bronze medal at the World Championships in 2022. Since 2021 he has been part of the Air Force Sports Group.


Sandro was born in 1950 and began his career with family, coaching his brothers, Maurizio and Giorgio. Having graduated from ISEF, the physical education school, he applied his research and studies to his brothers’ training. Far from the influences of the big sport centres, in Scarnafigi the Damilanos were free to experiment with new techniques and Sandro accomplished a real revolution in racewalking: he shortened the course and increased the pace, focusing on the speed of movement. His new approach immediately proved successful. A real guru of the discipline, Sandro is now among the most successful coaches in the world, having helped athletes earn 83 medals in global events as a personal coach and 61 as the head of the FIDAL racewalking section. In 1981, he joined the technical staff of the Italian national racewalking team, in 1990 he was appointed programmer and head of the FIDAL racewalking section, and from 2000 to 2010 he was technical director of the Scuola del Cammino, under the patronage of the World Athletics Federation, which became a reference for the discipline worldwide and is frequented by athletes from 13 nations. Sandro has been training the Chinese national team since 2010. He attended 10 Olympic Games (7 with the Italian national team and 3 with the Chinese team) and 18 World Championships (11 with Italy and 7 with China) His Olympic haul with the Italian team is 5 medals with athletes he coached and 2 as national manager, plus 6 medals with Chinese athletes he directly supervised. He won 16 medals in the World Championships (7 with Italy and 9 with China)

MOSCOW 1980 – GOLD earned by his brother Maurizio
LOS ANGELES 1984 – BRONZE earned by his brother Maurizio
SEOUL 1988 – BRONZE earned by his brother Maurizio
BEIJING 2008 – GOLD by Alex Schwazer and BRONZE by Elisa Rigaudo
LONDON 2012 – SILVER by Liu Hong (China) and SILVER by Si Tianfeng (China) – 50km BRONZE by Wang Zhen (China)
RIO DE JANEIRO 2016 – GOLD by Liu Hong (China), GOLD by Wang Zhen (China) and SILVER by Cai Zelin (China)
TOKYO 2021 – BRONZE by Liu Hong (China)


Born in 1948 in Limone Piemonte, he boasts a long athletic career and a lifetime dedication to high-level skiing. From 1977 to 1985, he coached the “Valanga Rosa” of Claudia Giordani, Ninna Quario (Federica Brignone’s mother), Daniela Zini and Paola Magoni, who won the gold medal at the 1984 Sarajevo Olympics. In 1991 he went on to coach the French national team, winning a gold and a silver medal at the 2002 Olympics in Salt Lake City with Jean Pierre Vidal and Sebastien Amiez. He can still be seen on the slopes of Limone Piemonte, with the kids attending the Ski College.



Known to everyone by the nickname “Cocco”, he was born in 1948 and was service man for the national team at the time of the “Valanga Rosa” coached by Stefano Dalmasso.



Born in 1958, he is a ski instructor and 4th level national coach, taught at the Federal Coaching School in the 80s, and became service man and assistant coach for the Women’s National Team coached by Stefano Dalmasso.



Nicola, born in 1979 in Alba, began his sporting career in track and field. He started with long distance running only to discover, at around 17, the thrill of speed with the 100m and the long jump. Sport had always been a family passion, especially for Nicola, who was a particularly lively child. He vividly remembers the excitement he felt watching the Italian team’s entry in the Olympic stadium with his father on TV. From that moment on, he started dreaming of representing his country at the Games. He joined the Navy Military Sports Group as a sprinter, but just as he realised that he had given his all and could not expect better performances, he discovered a new discipline, skeleton, where he immediately reached great results. At the 2010 Winter Olympics, Nicola fulfilled his dream and was the only Italian competing at the Sliding Center in Vancouver. Although qualifying in this discipline was already a huge achievement, the result was not what he had hoped for, and the athlete didn’t want to talk about that experience for some time. Nevertheless, disappointments help us grow: Nicola treasured that experience and chose to pass on his skills to young athletes, supporting them and giving them what he had lacked: that’s why he started a career as a trainer and mental coach. Since 2013, Nicola has been working in the technical staff with the Italian national team and since 2020 he has been following the skeleton team in the European Cup.

“It’s important to always look to the future. We often underestimate what we can achieve in the long run.”

Results as an athlete:
VANCOUVER 2010 – 26th place
Italian Championships: 1 gold, 2 silvers, 3 bronzes

Results as a coach:
European Cup 2023 in Latvia:
2 golds by Amedeo Bagnis 1 Bronze by Alessia Crippa


Gianluca, born in 1964, has had an affinity with snow from a very young age. He began skiing with the support of his father, who worked as a doctor at the Frabosa Soprana ski resort, where Gianluca was born and raised. He reached the European Cup level with the national team but had to quit due to a physical problem. He started coaching at the local ski club, then coached the regional team and finally the national team. He followed the technical development of most top Italian skiers in World Cup races, from Christof Innerhofer to Peter Fill and Dominik Paris, until 2015. He won his first medal at the World Championships with Patrick Staudacher. After the 2015 World Championships, he felt that his experience with the men’s team had run its course and started coaching the women’s team. Sofia Goggia, Nadia Fanchini, Elena Curtoni, Federica Brignone and Marta Bassino from Cuneo became his “students”. They are multi-talented athletes, so they spend a good part of the year training together, and although close proximity is not always easy, Gianluca really enjoys being with his team: “I try to be like a father to them, especially with Marta, who is so young. I have seen her grow up since she was a child”. Even when emotions are running high, he knows how to bring composure and help them give their best, how to instil confidence and convey his thoughts not only in words, but also with the right attitude, because mindset is crucial in top-level sports.

“The opportunity that skiing provides to enjoy beautiful natural sceneries is priceless.”

SOČI 2014: SILVER Christof Innerhofer downhill; BRONZE Christof Innerhofer super combined.
PYEONGCHANG 2018: GOLD Sofia Goggia downhill; BRONZE Federica Brignone giant slalom
BEIJING 2022: SILVER Federica Brignone giant slalom; SILVER Sofia Goggia downhill; BRONZE Federica Brignone combined; BRONZE Nadia Delago downhill.


Born in Cuneo in 1957, he was a member of the Italian national team from 1982 and started leading the French national giant slalom team in 1996, first with the women’s team and then with the men’s, achieving important results with athletes such as Leïla Piccard, Joël Chenal and Frédéric Covili. In 2003, he returned to the Italian team and coached Giorgio Rocca, Massimiliano Blardone and Davide Simoncelli, before returning to the French team in 2005. Shortly before the Turin Olympics, where he was to coach the French men’s giant slalom team, he died prematurely in a tragic car accident.



Born in Predazzo in 1938, he was Italian downhill and giant slalom champion in 1960 and left a lasting impression on the sporting world. He barely missed the chance to compete in the 1960 Olympics and later embarked on a brilliant career as director of the Crissolo ski resort, becoming a point of reference for the local ski community. A discoverer of young talent, he coached Paolo De Chiesa and led him to the Olympics.



Born in 1973, Francesco’s son coached the Italian women’s national ski team in the World Cup from 2009 to 2013. He then moved on to coach the Canadian national men’s team until 2018, when he returned to Italy. Together with Gianluca Rulfi, he helped Sofia Goggia, Federica Brignone and Nadia Delago reach their Olympic medals at the Beijing Olympics in 2022. He was appointed Youth Technical Director of the Italian Winter Sports Federation (FISI) for the years 2022-24.

SOČI 2014


Born in Limone Piemonte in 1970, he has been working as a service man since 1995, initially with the Italian national team, then with the Spanish, Swiss and finally the French national team, both men’s and women’s. He contributed to major victories, including the Olympic gold medal won by Dominique Gisin in Soči and Clement Noel in Beijing.

SOČI 2014


Born in Cuneo in 1985, he began his career in athletics by competing in the 200m and 400m. Later, he switched to skeleton, becoming Italian champion in 2009 in Cortina. Since 2015 he has dedicated himself to another discipline, bobsleigh, and with his team he came close to being selected for the 2018 Pyeongchang Olympics. Since 2019, he has collaborated to the athletic preparation of the national team, becoming its manager in 2021.



Born in 1965, at the age of 9 she fell in love with rhythmic gymnastics, a sport that is also a form of art. Coached by Luigia Martinengo, she was called on the national youth team in 1979 and one year later in the national team that would represent Italy in two European Championships, two World Championships and in the first World Cup. Her dream was to compete in the Olympics in Los Angeles 1984, and it was with great disappointment that she learnt that the IOC would only introduce rhythmic gymnastics in the individual category and not in the team category she specialised in. From 1987 to 2007 she was technical director and coach at Cuneoginnastica. From 1990 to 1993, she joined the technical staff of the national gymnastics team led by Lorena Monguzzi. Here she had the pleasure of coaching the two best Italian gymnasts of the time, Irene Germini and Samantha Ferrari, who were training for the World Championships and the 1992 Olympic Games in Barcelona. In 1993 she was vice-coach of individual athletes for the World Championships in Alicante and national manager of the FGI youth section. In 2005, she became an international judge. Since 2015, he has held the position of CONI provincial delegate.


Born in 1962, after graduating ISEF (the physical education school), he opened a multifunctional gym with his brother Danilo. In 1993 he became athletic trainer for Cuneo Vbc in Serie A, contributing to the victory of several titles, including Coppa Italia, Coppa Cev, Coppa delle Coppe and European Super Cup. He moved to Perugia with coach Fefè De Giorgi, where he also followed the women’s team. In 2005 he was with the Macerata team that won the Italian championship. In 2006 he became coach of the Italian women’s national team, and with them he won two European Championships, one World Cup, one Mediterranean Games, one Universiade, participated in the Beijing Olympics in 2008 and won the Volleyball Nations League in 2022. He was also coach of the Bulgarian men’s national team, which competed in the 2012 Olympics, the Chinese women’s national team and the Czech Republic’s national team.



Born in 1943 in Alba, he was Italian champion in speed ice skating seven times and took part in two editions of the Winter Olympic Games, in 1964 and 1968. He then began a coaching career in athletics that led him to discover great talents including Giovanni Evangelisti (bronze medal in the long jump at the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics) and Merlene Ottey (silver in the 100 and 200 metres at the 1996 Atlanta Games). He took part in a total of 14 Olympic Games.

Olympics as an athlete:
INNSBRUCK 1964: 33rd 1500 m; 26th 500 m
GRENOBLE 1968: 35th 1500 m; 31st 500 m

Olympics as a coach:
SEOUL 1988
TURIN 2006


Born in Fossano in 1967, a former 3 metre springboard and platform diver and winner of several Italian championships, he started his coaching career after competing at the 1988 Seoul Olympics. In 2012, he joined coach Giorgio Cagnotto in training Tania Cagnotto, with whom he won silver in the synchro and bronze in the individual event in Rio de Janeiro. Since 2018, he has been technical director of the diving section of the Italian Swimming Federation with the national team, working with talents such as Eduard Timbretti Gugiu from Cuneo. He won several medals at the European and World Championships with athletes such as Elena Bertocchi, Chiara Pellacani and Giovanni Tocci. For 20 years, until 2017, he was also a technical commentator for RAI.

Olympics: (as an athlete)
SEOUL 1988 – 17th

Olympics: (as a coach)
TOKYO 2020


Silvano was born in San Benedetto Belbo in 1947. From an early age he understood the power of discipline: he attended a religious boarding school with the Salesians, then military service and the military alpine training school to become a reserve officer. This education gave him a mind frame, his determination did the rest. After a brief career as an athlete in Cuneo Vbc and Cus Torino, he realised that his path was coaching. He was given the nickname “the Professor”. He always seeks exchange with his athletes, as he believes that dialogue always leads to mutual improvement. He is also quite strict: “No matter what your situation is, you have to give your best every time! Those who look for excuses are already setting themselves up for failure.” For Silvano, winning is a matter of mindset: you have to train your body, but also your mind to believe in the goal. For him, the greatest fulfilment comes from the process of training, the preparation before the competition. His teams have won many titles: since 1976, he has been winning European and Italian championships with his clubs and national teams. Between 1982 and 1986, he coached the Italian national team, winning gold at the Mediterranean Games and reaching the first Olympic medal in volleyball for the Italian men’s team. From 1993 to 1999 he coached the A1 team of Cuneo. Like many coaches, he then went abroad and coached the Bulgarian national team, with which he won bronze at the European Championships, and several clubs in France, where he still works today. In 2023, the Professor reached one of his greatest achievements: he was the first Italian coach to be included into the International Volleyball Hall of Fame.

Olympics: LOS ANGELES 1984 – BRONZE
5 Championships (including one in France)
4 Coppa Italia (three of which with Cuneo Vbc)
1 Supercoppa italiana (with Cuneo Vbc)
3 Coppa delle Coppe (two with Cuneo Vbc)
2 European Supercups (both with Cuneo Vbc)
2 CEV Cup (one with Cuneo Vbc)
1 Champion’s League (in Turin in 1980, the first won by an Italian club)
1 French Supercup