“Mediamax Sport” continues “Sports Beauty of the Week” series.
Greta Cicolari is one of the most famous faces of Italian beach volleyball. She represented Italy in London Olympics along with her former playing partner Marta Menegatti, reaching the quarter-finals.
Marta and Greta no longer play together. We interviewed Greta Cicolari in order to find out why they don’t play together anymore, about the fight with the Italian Beach Volleyball Federation and her sports plans.
-Greta, you were recently suspended by the Italian Beach Volleyball Federation. What happened?
-We had a project and a contract with my ex-partner until Rio 2016 but my ex-coach decided to split the team because of his personal issues. The federation was not able to support and respect this agreement, and they decided to stop the project. After this illegitimate breach of agreement they invented false accuses against me. I am appealing against their decision at every level of the sport jurisdiction system and in front of regular civil court.
-Who are your supporters during this struggle against injustice?
-Unfortunately, it takes time to get justice. Even though some people inside the federation found a way to keep me away from playing, I am practicing and sharing my passion for Beach Volley with the Italian and international public. I know all the truth will come out one day but I try to stay focused on what is important. I am working on my game and I want to be ready when it is time for me to get back on the tour.
My supporters are amazing. I get tons of messages every day. Supporters signed a petition to beg the Italian President of the Federation Carlo Magri to stop this persecution against me.
-You are known as one of the best Italian beach volleyball players in Italian history. Which is the best moment of your sport career?
-The Olympics are the greatest experience for any athlete. It was no different for me. I enjoyed my time in London and I am dreaming of the ones in Rio. With time, I hope some people inside our federation will have good sense and stop this war against me. I love my country, so I hope they will let me work in order to get a spot for the next Olympics.
-What relations do you have with Marta Menegatti right now, and why did you decide not to continue playing with each other any more.
-She hasn’t talked to me since. She just wrote me an email that it was not her decision and she just took a plane with another player. She knows what I have done for her but I do not expect anything in return. She is the past for me. I just want to be able to do my own thing now.
-There are periods of life when you are tired of things you usually love to do. Have you ever experienced this feeling?
-Sure, it can happen to all of us. For example, after the Olympics it was necessary to take a break. But than the passion takes over again and you train harder in order to get even higher! In moments of adversity, I go back to my roots. My family is my greatest strength and I thank god every day that they are still here by my side.
I got a tattoo when I changed sport in 2009 (first I was playing only indoor volleyball in Serie A). It says: “Will is Power” and this has guided me during my life and my career.
-Greta, are you a superstitious person and do you have any special techniques you use to get inspires before the game?
-Not really. I am really concentrated when it is game time. I give all the energy I have when I step on the sand. At the end of the day, I have a drink with my coach, my partner, my boyfriend or my family when they have a chance to travel with me and I try to relax hoping to say: Today I gave it all!
-Greta Cicolari is …
-I am a sincere and positive girl who is going through life pursuing her dreams.
-What is the best advice you have ever received?
-My father used to repeat to me an Italian expression that says “it is better to eat bread and onions than be subject to blackmail”.
-What do you know about Armenia as a sport country?
-I know really little about it even though I like all international sports.
-There are lots of female athletes trying to become famous with the help of different photo-shoots… What is your attitude to athletes who try to beat their way through their beauty and photo-shoots?
-This is so funny you ask me this because above I was talking about someone I know very well who is aiming success through photo-shoots and all those things that are not effective! This doesn’t work for me. I am an athlete and I want to win. The rest doesn’t count.
-Anyway, would you give some beauty tips to our female readers?
-Eating healthy food is an important thing. And the second one is do sports every day. It’s the most important one. Move your body and live your passions through sport.
-As you said, you are enjoying summer right now. And what plans do you have for the second half of the year?
-I can return to sport any time so right now I am enjoying summer and trying to stay in shape the best I can.
-Greta, Congratulations! I would like to inform you that this week you are named Mediamax Sport’s “Sport Beauty of the week”.
-That’s fun. I am glad you contacted me, and I wish to play in Armenia one day. Why not? I am sure there are lovely places worth seeing.
Greta Cicolari was interviewed by Narine Daneghyan