lunedì 3 agosto 2009
31 july 2009
Finished at last! The stretch of sea that frightened me most, which I had imagined unbeatable, dark, stormy at the end, on 31st July I managed to cross it! I hoped to succeed in this challenge, but honestly, when I arrived in Dover and saw the English Channel for the first time, and above all when I felt the temperature (freezing, literally freezing) I admit I was slightly discouraged. Once again though, two extraordinary people managed to encourage and sustain me, Filippo Tassara and Giovanni Giordano. They even swam with me in those freezing waters during the days preceding the crossing. I'm not exagerating if I say that their intelligent and competent assistance determined the success of my crossing. There were moments during those nine hours and fifty minutes in which the cold was so intense that I suffered painful cramps and it was their presence, and my determination not to let them down, that pushed me to the end. To give you an idea of what I suffered, just think that I only reaquired the sensation in my head after two days! I was practically frozen solid!
Apart from the sporting achievement, which fills me with pride, from this experience I'll always keep in my heart the extraordinary human warmth which Filippo and Giovanni transmitted to me, the enthusiasm with which they assisted me and the solidarity they demonstrated for the project which I'm carrying out.
At this stage of the Giro d'Europa, after four steps happily concluded, one thing is blaringly obvious: the people, the associations, and the Institutions which work towards the complete integration of disabled people in society, especially through sport, are really numerous and full of enthusiasm and competence. From them I've learned a great deal and for this reason I'll never stop thanking them. I'm thinking, above all, of those who have been close to me right from the start, il Circolo Canottieri Aniene, Fondazione Roma, and Italbrokers; but I think also of Enrico, Adolfo, Fortunato, Carmelo, Filippo, Giovanni.... and if I've forgotten anyone then that's good! It means that there really are lots of us!
Until the next appointment...