Italy women’s volleyball, 20 years ago the miracle of Berlin

Italy women’s volleyball, 20 years ago the miracle of Berlin
Italy women’s volleyball, 20 years ago the miracle of Berlin
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What a day that day. And today, twenty years and pennies later, looking back, there could not have been a better week to celebrate the twentieth anniversary of a triumph that made – and still does – history. Yes, there could not have been a better prelude to celebrate the world gold won exactly on September 15, 2002 by the women’s national team, than the other fantastic world championship ride completed last Sunday by the boys’ band of Fefè De Giorgi, also capable of give World poker to Italy 24 years after the last 1998 title in Tokyo. The unequivocal sign of the strength of a movement that will try to lengthen this never-ending story in the coming weeks in the world review of Mazzanti’s girls. But what a day that day twenty years ago in Berlin. When Elisa Togut landed the last ball of the final with the United States it was as if, together with the ball, and while she went crazy with joy waving her arms in a frantic way, she carried with her the mad scream of generations of volleyball players doing . And let’s talk about many girls, all those who preceded them over time. Because that gold was not only the first (and only for the moment) girls’ worldwide success, but why definitively decreed the consecration of women’s sport – of which volleyball is the queen discipline – in the old sporting culture of our country, giving back to girls first and then to the whole sporting movement, the correct dimension of what is (or should be) the consideration of the media and everyone fans for a female sport.

But returning to that ball, to that dunk by Elisa that made many happy, including the writer who was in the press gallery in Berlin and carried more than a decade of disappointments and blows, after the illusion of the European bronze of 1989 in Stuttgart with Sergio Guerra on the bench, there was really a lot of stuff. The conclusion of a long march started many years before and which, just after that bronze, began a progression, an indisputable growth. First with Marco Aurelio Motta, then with Bosetti, finally with Velasco and Frigoni to get to Bonitta who was certainly good at collecting – putting a lot of his own – the fruit of the work of those who had preceded him (as Velasco did with that of Skiba and Pittera in the masculine). But there is no doubt that in the growth of the women’s movement, who gave the real shock was the conjunction between the arrival – unlucky, in reality, if we stop at the results – of Velasco on the blue women’s bench and the choice of Women’s league, daughter of the agreement of the secretary general Briani with the same Velasco. The award-winning company he asked and eventually obtained from the Federation the liberalization of the membership of foreigners and the simultaneous creation of the Italian Club where the backbone of the national World Champion in Berlin grew. From that moment on, it is as if the already underway selection process of the girls – the famous height plan – had suddenly been equipped with a boost, a turbo. Because in 1998 Frigoni hit the 5th place in the world championship in Japan, the best result ever, in 1999 the second European bronze arrived, then the first Olympic qualification – Sydney 2000 – until the settlement of Bonitta who, net of some questionable choice, more in the ways than in substance, at least in that first phase of his mandate as coach, managed to forge the group and give him a sparkling game capable of leading to house on first European silver in the fantastic final in Varna against Karpol’s super Russia.

And then came that day twenty years ago. To tell the truth, that tournament played in Germany between Munster, Bremen, Stuttgart up to the epilogue in Berlin. A tournament image and likeness of the history of women who crush, considered by many, too many the usual group of beautiful girls, perhaps talented, but unable to win. A sprint start, five out of five wins in the first phase; the unexpected braking in the second phase with two defeats against Russia and Cuba that almost cost us the elimination, avoided thanks to the success against Greece and the results of the other teams who offered us on the silver platter, thanks to the favorable points quotient, the opportunity of a lifetime. Here, reading the interviews of the 11 blue protagonists of that enterprise told in the book just released “The Miracle of Berlin” written jointly with his friend and colleague Leandro De Sanctis, they all agreed that communication of the passage of the shift thanks to the results of others was the flux of everything. It is as if, the narrow escape risk of elimination with a good dose of luck, had triggered the right spark in the head of the whole group, that is, the one capable of expressing everything in the best possible way, without pressure or fear. the infinite talent of girls that in the absence of other problems they could undoubtedly have won more and certainly opened a cycle.

From that moment it was an endless crescendo, one victory after another with quality, conviction, determination and malice: first in the quarterfinals Korea, crashed, then China in the semi-final annihilated in the face of so much quality and continuity and then that day came, that of the final precisely with the United States. The absence of Phipps, hit by a ball to the eye in the last training session before the match, it was certainly a half advantage, but against that Italy, that union of intentions, that conviction would not have been enough even the best Keba to snatch the gold from the neck of the blue. Of that adventure remains the fantastic path, the poignant memory of Sara Anzanello who left us really too soon due to a cruel pathology and the witness that from generation to generation now passes into the hands of Mazzanti’s girls who have the possibility of continue to feed a dreamtwenty years later.

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