Italian wrestlers demand Olympic status
ROME-- “Make wrestling one of the Coni's sports or we’ll get angry!” is a threat from Alessandro Bernocchi, the president of “Italian Championship Wrestling”, the Italian Wrestling Federation.
What he wants is very clear: to be treated in the same way as so many other sporting disciplines. ‘Italian Wrestling’ says Bernocchi ‘continues to be excluded from the Coni's list of sports, even though it’s increasingly more popular, followed by hundreds of people (both athletes and amateurs alike) who train every week to entertain the public’.
The only thing that differentiates this contact sport from boxing or karate is its cinematography. ‘When you enter into the ring it feels more authentic than real life and you really notice it’ says Queen Maya, a wrestling champion. Alessandro, A.K.A. Nemesis echoes this saying that he enacts his videogame fantasies while in the ring. ‘I’m not myself’ he says ‘but rather who I wish I was!’
However you would be wrong to think that it’s all a game! It’s serious for the athletes who are injured while playing the sport, like Queen Maya who’s broken her wrist, or Riky Rastelli, the Gypsy Traveller, who’s injured his back. There’s nothing pretend about it, they say; and at the gym in Lodi, where “Italian Championship Wrestling” trains, the passion felt is not false at all, but genuine.