9 November 2014

Interview with Italian skater Valentina Marchei

I'm sure many of you, like myself, are big fans of Italian champion Valentina Marchei. You'll be happy to know, than, that  A Voce Alta recently published an interview with the Italian figure skater. The original Italian version of the interview is accessible on their site. Or, if you prefer, you can read a translated English version below.


Q: Sport and life: do they go on in parallel or they cross each other?

VM: Sport is a school of life experience, it teaches you to respect schedules, hard work, and your opponents. Besides, if it becomes a work for you, as it has been for me for quite some time now, you're able to travel the world and strike up true friendships, made of passion and common goals to achieve. In my future life, my life after figure skating, I'll make good use of the lessons this rigorous sport taught me, above all, being able to face challenges, being able to lose and get up again, even in hard times.

Q: Why did you choose single above pairs skating?

VM: I choose to skate alone and not in pair because I'm an individualist and ambitious person, and I like to win alone.

Q: Do you like to be the centre of attention? Are you an exhibitionist? During training you seems an ordinary and shy young girl, while during a competition you become a sexy and intriguing woman. So who is Valentina Marchei?

VM: Valentina isn't an exhibitionist, neither she want to be the centre of attention. She loves very much her sport, and, only when she skates, she loves to show off, that is interacting with the spectators. Skaters are actors on the ice. When I build my competitions programs, I look for music that told a story and trough which I can express my feelings. Valentina is a simple girl, who loves to be with her friends; it's only on the ice that I change, I play a role.

Q: Why did you go abroad to train?

VM: It came a moment when I realized I was at a point of no return, and, if I wanted to make progress, I had to find spurs elsewhere. I looked for a coach and a rink with skaters more skilled than me who would be able to help me raise the bar. 

Q: What do you think of figure skating in Italy and what would you suggest? Any ideas or comparison with other countries?

VM: Figure skating in Italy is in stalemate. The best athletes train abroad and the new generation would need breath of fresh air. I have some ideas, but I don't know if when I retire I'll be able to put them into practice. Anyway, I'd like to put my abroad experience in the service of the younger skaters, right here.

Q: What prospects and objectives do you have for your career?

VM: Since I've improved in the last years, I'd like to go on, till my body allows me, providing young skaters athletically better off won't turn me away from the rink. In addition to some other Italian title,  it's been long I've been dreaming to win an European medal. Last year it was really close.

Q: Is it winning really essential to feel satisfied? Which spurs do you find competing in a tight spot, for example knowing that your skills won't earn yo a medal?

VM: It is always the love and the passion for the sport you play that make you go on, even if you know your limits. Not only medals can give satisfaction. Also a well skated competition is a good reason for wanting to skate even better next time...

Q: When you'll turn professional, what you'll dedicate yourself to?

VM: I have many projects for the future. First of all, I want to graduate and than to take a master abroad. Then, I'd like to open a school, so as to pass to younger skaters the passion that brought me thus far.

Q: Would you advise young people to take up figure skating? If so, why?

VM: Gliding on the skates makes you feel free, like a butterfly that flies gently. Besides, if a girl loves music, with figure skating she will learn to perform it. It is a really elegant sport, that makes the body more harmonic.

Q: Does a skater live on this sport?

VM: Unfortunately not, even if you win a lot, you can't live on figure skating, unless you are the Korean Olympic champion...

Q: Last question of this interview, there's something you want to tell us?

VM: After the Team Event, in Sochi, I was contacted by the CH2, the composers of "Nyah", my long program's music. I daresay that they've been struck by how I performed that music on ice, insomuch as they asked me if I want to make a video with them. It's exciting! I've been invited to Sorrento  as well, after that people of the region have been struck by the fact I choose "Torna a Surriento" for my Olympic short program. I achieved to realize what I wish to happen on the ice, that is engage spectators, interact with those before me, and making them fall in love with my sport!

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