Coronavirus and rowing. Is it dangerous to train? Are there some people at more risk? What precautions should you take? Antonio Spataro, Medical Officer to the Italian Rowing Association, gives his opinion

by Stefano Lo Cicero Vaina (source translated by Gillian Shaw)

Antonio Spataro, President of the Medical Commission for the Italian Rowing Association

Clubs are closing, training sessions suspended and races are at risk. Even the rowing world is suffering the effects of the coronavirus emergency that’s forcing Italy and other countries to organise themselves so as to contain the virus that’s troubling organisations and the population at large. For normal, everyday life it’s enough to follow the directions issued by the Italian Ministry for Health to reduce the risk of infection, but for sports people, they’re wondering if physical activity will put their health at risk during this period. To get some clarity on this, we asked Antonio Spataro, President of the Medical Commission for the Italian Rowing Association.

Mr Spataro, what’s your opinion of Covid-19? Does it cause a simple influenza, as some virologists have said, or is it a particularly dangerous virus?

“Coronavirus is a broad grouping of viruses, which attack the respiratory system. We have known about them for years and have caused illnesses like Sars in the past.  Now, this new respiratory disease is spreading, caused by Covid-19. In 85-90% of cases, this virus develops into a minor or moderate illness Continue reading

“Coronavirus is a broad grouping of viruses, which attack the respiratory system. We have known about them for years and have caused illnesses like Sars in the past.  Now, this new respiratory disease is spreading, caused by Covid-19. In 85-90% of cases, this virus develops into a minor or moderate illness Continue reading

Alex Bellini: “Motivation is a cheat”

by Giuseppe Lamanna (translated by Gillian Shaw) (source text)

We live on a planet we call Earth, even though 3/4 of it is covered by water. There have been more men to walk on the moon than who have rowed across an ocean. Alex Bellini has never been to outer space, but he has rowed across the Pacific. Twice.

Alex-bellini-motivazione

Alex Bellini

I’m only jealous of this guy because his profession on his ID card reads: explorer. Whereas I am just a journalist, who rows. Or at the very most, a rower who writes. But because of my job, I met him and asked for his help to find the right motivation, with the aim of spending more hours rowing than in front of the TV. It’s a pity he took the wind out of my sails, telling me not to believe in motivation. Because motivation is a cheat. Continue reading

Now it’s September, what next?

by Davide Petucco translated by Gillian Shaw (source text)

imagesSeptember’s the month when everything starts again: we get back to our usual work schedule, kids go back to school, football starts again, even the winter TV schedule begins…

Ever since I was a child, I’ve always lived September as if it were a magical month, full of promise, the right time to start something new.

Now, as a cyclist, September represents a ‘middle ground’.

Weather conditions are Continue reading

Mario Palmisano: “Sweep to victory!”

by Mario Palmisano and translated by Gillian Shaw (original article)

Rowing a sport made up of choices. But most of the time it won’t be you who’ll make them – it’ll be your coach. One of these, and possibly the most important, is whether you choose to row sweep oar or to scull.

boat classes

Usually your coach will decide this based on what the squad needs or which boats are available.  It can also be down to his/her personal choice. For example, sweep oar was my coach Aldo Calì’s preference, even though he had won in the 2x with Davide Tizzano.

Sweep to victory! Continue reading

Majesty

by Giacomo Pellizzari, translated by Gillian Shaw (original article)

The Stelvio – who is that?
Of course, now that Alfa Romeo has named a car after it, everyone knows what ‘The Stelvio’ is. A bewitching mountain with all the required ingredients to strike terror and to make history. A kind of pagan temple shrouded between the clouds of Mount Ortler and the glaciers of Monte Cevedale.  An impossible dream, a surfaced route that goes straight from Austria to Italy. From Vienna, down to Milan. A non-stop road, that takes the most direct course. But before that, who knew what the Stelvio was?stelvio
It took an Italian engineer – the best there was – to build this road at the behest of Emperor Franz I. The Austrians would only have the best, after all. His name was Carlo, Continue reading

Mattia Trombetta: Devil’s Bowman

by Mattia Trombetta, translated by Gillian Shaw (source text)

I have always loved rowing because it teaches us about life. A sporting career only lasts a short time and the art of rowing  gives you a heightened awareness and focus on the difficulties to be overcome in everyday life. This is what happened to me.

coxed pair

Mario Palmisano (stroke) and Mattia Trombetta (bow)

In 2004, I became the World Champion in the coxed pair with Mario Palmisano and our cox Luigi Longobardi, on the Spanish lake at Banyoles. My name is Mattia Trombetta and I am an Italian rower. I had never believed in the existence of the devil until the day I became his bowman. This is my story. Continue reading

Etna calls, ‘El Pistolero’ replies.

By Giacomo Pellizzari, translated by Gillian Shaw (original article)

Below the volcano.
They call her Mungibeddu. And she always does things big. She wasn’t messing around even with this year’s eruption. The road that goes up to the Sapienza di Nicolosi mountain hut has never been the same. It has to be sorted out every time Mungibeddu has some fun with volcanic rock and rivers of molten lava. Her summit craters are vast and immense, true. But the most dangerous at least for the road, are the fissures, that open up like rifts going right down into the valley. Someone was hurt this year while they were out on a trip and playing – a little too much – with fire.

Etna
At the top of Etna, there used to be a tower. It was called the Philosopher’s Tower and Continue reading