Sports fanatics come in many different forms, and each one has their own story. Emiliano’s story starts like many others: that of a child who dreams of becoming a champion. Different to many others however, every time in which that dream seemed to slip away he didn’t give up, but he started instead on a new sporting adventure.
He started in the junior football team, but for however much he dreamed of becoming the new Pablito he was never called up for the matches, not even when the reserves were injured (objectively speaking, he was a weaker player than the others, keen but not very talented.)
He was more gifted at karate, in fact one of the best for his age at national level. He was so good that at a certain point the instructor decided to get him to train with the older (and meaner) boys. The intention was probably good, of the type “ if you train seriously and don’t have other distractions, you can take on challenges bigger than yourself”. It’s just that these “challenges” really hurt, and so he thought it would be better to dedicate himself to something less traumatic.
He went from tennis to volleyball and as an adult from skiing to windsurfing. However much the ocean waves made him feel like the new Robbie Naish and the pistes in the Dolomites like the new Alberto Tomba, he needed new challenges. But which?
Like a junkie searching for his next fix, he was destined to be the victim of the next pusher out on the street. Alex, colleague and runner, suggested they go running together one fine morning. Six months later, the pusher called him to say that he had two places in the New York marathon. It was the start of August, he had run a maximum of 15km and the race was just three months away.
“Ok” he said, “If I train seriously I can do it”.
His limping run once he’d got to Central Park reminded him of those karate lessons at home. Physically a marathon can be devastating, but the smile on his face was that of one who has finally managed to live out his childhood dream. The spectators looked at him with admiration and respect and that feeling went far above and beyond any of his expectations.
From that moment on he ran all over the world. Once he was even shown on Eurosport at an international event in Santiago, Chile. It was a golf Masters and he found himself on the green by mistake whilst he was out running along the paths adjacent to the club.
Not just running, but also cycling. Many would have been content to stop having scaled the Giau Pass in the Maratona dles Dolomites several times and having participated in some of the great classic races in Northern Europe. But for him it was just the start. The next step was to train for a triathlon. He had his half Ironman debut in the town of his birth, in a Rimini that for one day was transformed into his favourite playground.
Recently he has been sighted on his bike in the Marchean Apennines, on the summit of Carpegna. To be precise in front of a plate of steaming tagliatelle, just the right prize for what Marco Pantani defined as one of his most difficult training climbs (he has been known to say “having done Carpegna is good enough for me” on more than one occasion).
Today friends ask him what his next challenge will be. Nobody knows, not even him. After all it is not possible to know in advance where great passions will take you, you can only follow them.