The new Italian tricolor: gold, silver, and bronze
August 9, 2012
By Maria Trecca
ROME- Seven gold, six silver, and four bronze, so far, these are the Italian winnings at the London Olympics. It is the last week, with much more to go.
Expectations un-met and delusions for broken dreams are coloring the minds of the athletes and audience alike. The first upset came while the spotlight shone on Federica Pellegrini. The gold-medal winner in Beijing 2008 for the swimming category lacked perfection this year and the gold went to American Allison Schmitt, pushing the Italian back to the fifth place. “Honestly, I thought I was swimming much faster” said the disappointed athlete. In a response to a question about the Olympics 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, she offered hope while acknowledging though that it is too early to make any forecast.
The 50km marathon Olympic champion, Alex Schawazer tested positive during the doping scan. An illegal level of erythropoietin was found in his body and resulted in an immediate exclusion. The athlete told reporters, “I could not handle the pressure anymore. I did everything on my own. I bought the erythropoietin on the internet in July and since then I have been in fear and trembling at the thought of being caught.” He confessed, in tears, during a press conference.
This episode left a bitter taste in the mouths of the nation, but fortunately the temporary crippling of Italian pride is rebooted with the winnings in the fencing and rowing categories.
The 47-year-old, Josefa Idem, rekindled red, white, and green hope by qualifying for the final in the rowing. It is the eighth time for her at the Olympic games, and yet “I feel like I’m 15 again!” she said. The final in her category will be on Thursday.
In addition, the male and female teams for the fencing category have been meeting expectations and beyond. First the women then the men: competing Italians athletes reached the highest spot on the podium. These victorious moments brought tears of pride and joy to many Italians.