Think of the history of Italian downhill and the first name that comes to mind is Kristian Ghedina. This is why, when Ghedina arrived in the lounge of the Fiames sports field yesterday evening, where the first stage of the 2023 edition of the Italia Polo Challenge “IPC 2023 Trofeo us Polo Assn” is underway, many approached him to ask for a photos, have him sign a helmet or to see if it was really him. Ghedina has not lost his passion for the snow, who in the morning had skied on the slopes of Cortina that he knows like the back of his hand in the company of another legend like Deborah Compagnoni and who, once his competitive career ended which saw him as the first Italian in history to triumph over the legendary Streif of Kitzbuehel, he was also the protagonist of car races, obviously of speed. And the pole? “I tried to play some time ago, in Misurina – he says -. And I must say that I found it a fascinating and very amusing sport. I saw tonight’s two matches (yesterday, ed) and the fascination of watching the horses play on a snow-covered field it’s beautiful.”
For all Italians, living in his era was wonderful: if Alberto Tomba was the king of technical disciplines, it is thanks to Ghedina that we fell in love with speed disciplines, which allowed him to experience no less than five editions of the Olympic Games . Albertville 1992, Lillehammer 1994, Nagano 1998, Salt Lake City 2002 and Turin 2006. Ironically, the last Olympic Games held in Italy before the one scheduled for 2026 in Milan and precisely in Cortina. “I can only wish polo good luck, hoping one day to see it included in the Games program because it has all the characteristics to be part of it – Ghedina again -. Stadium sports, such as polo would also be, always give away special atmospheres”.
One thing is certain: results cannot be achieved without work and without making sacrifices. “Life taught me that – explains Ghedina, now national councilor of Anaoai, the association of Olympic and Italian athletes -. Today, due to new technologies, habits and a way of thinking that has changed , I see fewer and fewer young people approaching sport. Culture, sporting culture, must be found in each of us. Here in Cortina there is the section of the association with the highest number of members in all of Italy, a sign that there is a desire to But it is throughout Italy that this culture needs to be developed again and, in this sense, emerging sports such as polo are welcome”.
After the first two days of the group stage there is the name of the first finalist team: it is the Natuzzi Polo Team which, after winning the opening match against the Grand Hotel Savoia Polo Team, repeated – always narrowly – against Kadermin Union, arithmetically winning their group. A match which finished 6-5 1/2 thanks to a great comeback by the team that won the tournament last year, but with a missed penalty in the final by Hauptmann which could have given success to the team led by the blue Stefano Giansanti. The success of US Polo Assn. was more balanced (11-3). on Blue Ocean Finance. Tonight’s match against Riccione will elect the team that will face Natuzzi for the title on Saturday at 19.30, on a day that will be opened by the finals for 5th (17.30) and 3rd place (18.30).