"Are you readyyyy!?!"
We can imagine how Arianna, Italian flag in hand, addresses her national team members with this question which is actually more of an exclamation.
Exactly twelve years have passed since the Winter Olympics in Turin, those Olympics she herself defines as “blurred memories” of an adolescence in full evolution.
On that occasion Arianna was one of the youngest components of the “azzurrI”, a group which included such renowned and famous athletes as Giorgio Rocca, Giorgio Di Centa and flag bearer Carolina Kostner.
Today we are not in Turin and Arianna is no longer an inexperienced adolescent: We see her entering the Olympic Stadium of Daegwallyeong as “top of the class”, smiling while waving the Italian flag as representative of a whole nation.
In December, when she was presented in a ceremony with the Italian tricolour flag, she declared in the presence of Sergio Mattarella, President of the Republic:
“The day when I will enter the stadium waving the Italian flag, you will see three different versions of me: one as a little girl discovering a passion for sports, the fifteen year old me who has just seen the road to success and the woman you all see today, ready to face any kind of challenge for our country”.
The students of the Comprehensive Institute “Giuseppe Fumasoni” of Berbenno di Valtellina, seated neatly in the school's gym, watch the pre-recorded pictures of Arianna as flag bearer shown on the big screen. They spontaneously applaud when Ary enters the stadium, an applause accompanied by smiles full of emotion.
The “WE4RY” project has given them the opportunity to get to know Short track better and to have a complete overview of Arianna’s career. Imagine a boy telling his parents when he returns from school: “Mamma, Papà, today we learnt about history. The (hi)story of Arianna Fontana!”
All of them regard Arianna as a sort of big sister. Her victory in the qualification for the 500 meters in front of Hungarian Keszler, which will bring her to the quarter finals, is met with a mighty roar. None of the national tv channels transmits the relay semi finals live so all have to wait for the results.
When school is over, the children leave the gym a bit disappointed. But as they arrive at home they learn that – thanks to Arianna’s fantastic overtaking of the Dutch skater Schulting in the last lap, Italy has reached the finals!
“Mamma, Papà! On Tuesday carnival begins (national holiday in Italy), but I want to go to school. They are going to talk about the story of Arianna…”