The Olympic gold and world championship gold celebrated with pizza and soda: «And in Paris 2024 we hope to be able to run 20 and 25 km. My childhood dream? Being a Policeman: I’m “
Who did you like, Massimo? “Well, in my family they’re all serious: I’m the black sheep!”. Here he is, the Olympic and world champion in the march Massimo Stano: it is impossible to dislike him, even the opponents (even the Japanese Kawano, silver in the 35 km of Eugene, who on Sunday saved the blues at the finish line ) cannot hate him. If Stano wasn’t the strongest walker on earth, this would be a funny cartoon.
Do Tokyo and Eugene taste the same, Massimo?
“No one. The world and the opponents are the same, but the range of emotions I felt on the Olympic podium is unmatched. I was filled with sensations. The World Cup comes immediately after. Beautiful, but the throne of Olympia is unique ».
Is it worth being the fourth blue in the history of athletics to beat such prestigious gold medals after Cova, Damilano and Brugnetti?
«And how, if it is worth it. Coach Parcesepe and I thought about this statistic before the game. In fact, while I was marching, he shouted at me: go Massimo, let’s make history! The real challenge was to confirm myself a year after the Games at a different distance, and now I’m bursting with pride’.
In Paris, the goal is to complete 20 and 35 km, but the IOC predicts that the 35 will only be mixed. Will she be able to convince him?
“Well, I tried to start the appeal, so watch them. My word is very small. I’d also like the walking race at the 2024 games to arrive inside the Olympic stadium: just put the finish line in places like wolves! ».
As a child, in Palo del Colle (Bari), where you grew up, what idols did you have?
«Only one, superb: Ivano Brugnetti, gold medal in Athens 2004 in 20 km. I was 12 years old, I was in front of the television: from that day Ivano is a god. He marched more than instinct, but I drew my own path in my head: his race in Greece remained imprinted on my brain. One day a few years ago I took courage in both hands and called him: he was very kind. Every night I find myself watching a video summarizing his gold and I get excited as hell. But I learn from someone: Our career years are not enough to mature at 100% ».
Have you ever dreamed of becoming a fireman, an astronaut, an actor?
“Never. I wanted to be a policeman: I also realized this dream. I am lucky”.
Marching is a mine of medals, but it is always considered the younger sister of track athletics.
“Promoting the march is a complicated task. You sweat, you fight, you compete for two and a half hours: how do I explain it to the Tik Tok generation, in this life where time is less and less? I like fatigue, it excites me, but asking today’s kids to fight is a feat. The march is still seen as wobbly, they make fun of me. It should be included as a school subject. More than winning as much as possible, I don’t know what to do ».
You have to have it in your DNA, the march.
“In fact, they tell me that my grandfather, whom I knew too little, passed quickly.”
Coach Parcesepe says you grew up first as a man and then as an athlete.
“I left home at 18, as soon as I joined the police. I wanted my autonomy. I married Fatima in 2016, after many years of cohabitation: thanks to the marriage, I went from a boy to a man. Then Sophie came, and I became responsible for a little person who is completely dependent on me and my wife. Fatherhood has given me incredible strength. I live for Sophie to be proud of her Pope. At the 20th km, Sunday, I looked at the camera: hi Sofi! During the race, I didn’t stop thinking about her for a moment.”
Is converting to Islam part of your maturation process, Massimo?
“It was born as a choice for love. Fatima followed me everywhere: she changed cities, jobs and friendships to allow me to cultivate a passion for walking. Converting was the least I could do for her in return. Islam has given me a lot on a mental level: Ramadan has helped me learn to follow the rules, it is a cult of incredible richness. It was a free choice, independent, regardless of judgments. Disclaimer, in the end. It is legitimate. I am preparing to examine the law: Article 19 of the Constitution guarantees freedom of religion ».
A whim that you want to allow yourself before focusing on the EC in Munich?
“Already finished: after the race I swallowed 6 slices of pizza and ate myself with Pepsi. A day of total trouble, now and then you have to. Now I’m back in Italy and I’m getting back on my diet and training’.
At the EC, he will return to the 20 km, as in Tokyo.
“With total serenity. After winning the Olympics and the World Cup, I feel like a transformed wanderer”.
July 26, 2022 (change July 26, 2022 | 07:43)
© REPRODUCTION RESERVED