On the road to Rio Paralympics 2016, by Luca Lunghi: the outstanding diary of a Paralympic athlete

by Irene Claudia Riccardi (translated by Gillian Shaw – source text)

I’m not a sporty person but I have always admired those who excel in physical activities. So this book ‘Viaparario2016’ (tr: Road to the Paralympics 2016) by Luca Lunghi has doubly impressed me. Available here in Italian (printed and electronic versions).

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Luca Lunghi

An engineer by profession, this diary of an extraordinary and differently-abled athlete covers three years – 2013 to 2016. Beginning when he was asked to join the paralympic rowing squad and Continue reading

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10 Crimes against Rowing

by Giuseppe Lamanna translated by Gillian Shaw (source text)

The writer and satirist Antonio Amurri argued that: “The fight against organised crime is really tough, because the crime is organised and we are not”. Thinking about it, he had a point.

Crimini-canottaggio

In rowing’s case, finding those responsible is much simpler: it is us. And the crime is always the same: misdirected energy. So oarspeople, here are the ten crimes against rowing:

Rowing: 10 crimes

1) ROWING OUT OF TIME. A sense of rhythm and coordination are essential in this sport. There is only one mantra for rowers: arms, body, legs – legs, body, arms. Continue reading

Cycling in the wet – 7 handy tips

by Davide Pettuco (translated by Gillian Shaw) source text

September should be the month when we enjoy milder temperatures, long days and a fitness level that is still good enough to relish the last rides of a beautiful season. Unfortunately, the weather conditions are more like October.

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Do you remember the Worlds road race in Florence in 2013? I went along to watch and was rewarded with a fantastic show – from all points of view – starting with the weather.

Heavy rain fell all day on the riders, to show us once again just how unique this sport is, that takes place outdoors, on the streets designed for cars and not bikes. Continue reading

8 golden rules to always being motivated

by Davide Petucco translated by Gillian Shaw (source text)

Welcome back to my blog about our beloved world of cycling.

how-to-fix-lower-back-pain-from-cycling-300x224Often the thing that is missing from being able to achieve your best and reach your goals on the bike, is motivation.

Luckily there are plenty of ways to increase your motivation.

I have put together a list of 8 simple but effective ways of finding the right motivation just when you are feeling low on energy.

1 Set short-term goals. 

Each and every training event should have a specific objective. Objectives are the best source of motivation available.

2 Vary your training type. Continue reading

Bruno Cipolla, the ‘Rower Whisperer’

by Giuseppe Lamanna (translated by Gillian Shaw) source text

He who rules the waves, writes history. This quote entered the collective memory via the British Naval Admiral, Horatio Nelson, but which is now more closely linked with one of the most important but least considered roles in rowing: the coxswain. What’s more all eyes are on the rowers during races and not on the ‘little’ great men who ‘whisper’ from the bows or the stern.

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The legendary Bruno Cipolla

The rowing stroke is like an unbroken chain of instants and rowers live from one to the next, without really taking much notice of what has just or is about to happen. A luxury denied to the cox, because their job is not to ‘enjoy’ the journey, but to predict the future and to change the final outcome by using their voice. And this is just what Bruno Cipolla did in 1968 at the Mexico City Olympics, who as cox steered the coxed pair of Renzo Samba and Primo Baran to Olympic gold.

The ‘Rower Whisperer’

Bruno Cipolla’s story is not just one of the past, it is even more valid now. After almost half a century has passed since that medal, this great athlete continues to have fun in boats; his purpose is to pass on his passion and experience to the youngsters who have recently taken up rowing.

Are coxswains born or made, Bruno? Continue reading

Rowing in New Zealand

by Maria Giulia Parrinelli (translated by Gillian Shaw) source text

With a surface area only slightly smaller than Italy’s, there are less than one tenth of the inhabitants.  Its climate and environment are very similar to Italy’s too. Yet, while boasting a not insignificant population of sheep and one of the strongest national rowing squads in the world. Obviously we are talking about New Zealand.

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Two young women have come onto the All Blacks rowing scene: the charming Holly Fletcher, whom I met in China and this year is an Under 23 athlete; and the lovely Caroline Pearson, who I got to know through the magical world of blogging. Between us we were able to compare both sides of the same coin: rowing at national level from Holly’s perspective, class of ‘94, and that of junior rowing from Caroline. Draw your own conclusions while I pack to move there. Continue reading

Gravelines – French Rowing Championships!

by Jérémie Azou (translated by Gillian Shaw) source text

I could hardly have imagined finishing the year so fantastically! This weekend, the French Rowing Championships marks the end of what has been the best season of my career. And each medal has its own tale to tell!

The medal I won the day before yesterday has its own particular flavour; That of sharing and friendship with my crew- and club-mate Julien Gazaix. He has been there training with me day in and day out, for the past two years. His physical and moral support was essential when aiming for the Olympics. Finishing with this title  with him, in the 2x, was the best finale possible.

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Photo credit: FFSA (Lionel Piquard) Continue reading