Over the last ten years, the 20 year old Alessandro Gavarini has spent his life on the water, canoe practicing and racing. Born in Correggio, in Emilia, he discovered the sport in Città di Castello where he was brought up winning many titles. Even after an injury and his university obligations he has no intentions on giving up.
by Marco Polchi / ph: Giorgia Fanelli
How did you discover your love for canoeing?
«I started about 10 years ago when I was a child. I had already heard about the sport but that was it really. One morning I happened to see a race on television, having never seen anything like it before I wanted to have a go straight away».
How would you describe your relationship with the Canoa Club CDC?
«The Canoa Club is a second family to me, and I think I speak on behalf of many former canoeists. The club has an incredible environment to grow up in, and many of the friendships that are created there last a lifetime. The coach and the team have a special place in my heart; they are people with whom I have formed a relationship in sporting and human terms».
Which trophies have you won and what level are you at?
«The most important of my career are the two first places at the Italian championships, junior and under 23, and second place in the Italian Championship, all achieved in the c2 category in the last two years».
You’re very young so it is difficult to talk about regrets… but if life was a river and you could go upstream, perhaps in canoe, would you do everything the same way?
«I have no regrets in particular, but I would train harder because I think the real breakthrough for an athlete is not physical, but mental. When you are a teenager you don’t often realize these things. Then recently I had an injury and I cannot hide that I have a sense of bitterness that has stayed with me and I also feel sorry for my colleague in c2, Enrico Tornelli. He is an amazing person and I owe a lot to him, and I should have thanked him more than what I have done. Our bags were packed and for Valtellina, home of the last world championships, and we were doing so well…»
So you are planning to return as soon as possible?
«It’s something I think about often and I that want to do, but for now my hands are tied».
You have enrolled in mechanical engineering at University, why?
«It is something I have always been interested in and I have always loved science and after several months at university I know I have made the right choice».
Tell me who you sporting hero is?
«There isn’t anyone in particular but I have always admired professionals in general».
Do you have any hobbies?
«I have started playing the guitar recently but the results are quite disappointing (laughs ed)».
What do you think about being a model?
«This is the first real photo shoot that I have done and I have to say that I have enjoyed it. I do have to admit that I wouldn’t mind becoming a model, but I don’t think I’d go a long way».
With your ‘Nordic look , you must have many fans scattered around Umbria and Emilia …
«What a compliment! Normally the best compliment I get is being told I look like Jesus! My new look with long hair draws a lot of attention, but not always in a positive way».
Trivial question # 1: the most important thing in your life?
«The people who make it special, in particular my family and a very narrow circle of friends, trivial answer number one».
Trivial question # 2 what do you want to do when you grow up?
«Whatever I want to do at that particular time. What I can certainly tell you now is that I have absolutely no idea. I just hope to be able to do something that I enjoy; be it an engineer, an athlete, or perhaps even a model… which is unlikely».