“One day I will challenge the able-bodied” – Corriere.it

Do you believe in fate, Amber? «Well I think that each of us has the mission to leave a mark on the world. 14 ”59 on 100 meters in the T63 category, in which athletes who have undergone amputation above the knee compete, is my track ».

At the age of 19 less than a month ago, 617 days after losing his left leg in a scooter accident with his father Ambrogio on the way to the athletics field, Amber Sabatini, from Porto Ercole in Tuscany, set the new world record in the sprint, taking it away by just two hundredths of a second from her clubmate in the Fiamme Gialle and multiple Paralympic champion Martina Caironi, who held it since 2015. If we don’t want to pay attention to the logic of numbers (“Ambra has burned the times: her willpower, combined with the work of the coach Jacopo Boscherini, was incredible,” his father told The nation), let’s trust the bright soul of the sprinter who grew up in Atletica Grosseto Banca Tema of president Alfio Giomi, former number one of the Italian Federatletica: “Of course I had a few moments of despair – she says just back from the Dubai Grand Prix, international debut with a bang -, but life is too good to be lived with resignation. Sometimes we get down to little things. A big one happened to me. Giving up sport, however, has always been out of the question ».


In the bed of the Careggi Hospital, in Florence, Ambra began to research on prostheses and the Paralympic world, that universe of possibilities that led it to get to know Bebe Vio (“I am part of the non-profit association Art4sport, inspired by its history: the bet, with 11 boys, was who qualified first for the Tokyo Games”) andAlex Zanardi (“He sent me a video message of encouragement after the accident, then we spoke and it was super nice: I hope he will recover soon and be able to meet him”). Now the example is her, the girl who dotes on ancient idols, Pietro Mennea and Roger Bannister (“He was the first to run the mile under four minutes when it was thought it was impossible”), a senior high school student at the Albinia IT commercial institute, in the sights fluent English (“For competitions I’ll need it “) e the Paralympics in Japan this summer: “I couldn’t be happier. I still have to metabolize the record time I made in Dubai. I wasn’t expecting it. The real joy was seeing happy who was next to me ».

Di Ambra, in addition to strength and smooth, jerk-free running, impresses the serenity with which he faced the amputation, as if with that car that invaded the opposite lane and hit her and her father, she had an appointment to which she showed up on time, without rebelling. “When I went to visit her in Careggi – says President Giomi – she welcomed me with a smile: it was Ambra who gave us all courage”. Santa Ambrogio, a former Navy officer, confirms: “I remember the moment when he told us: do not cry, I will wear the most beautiful prosthesis in the world and I will go back to running and achieving beautiful results ». She was a promise of middle distance, she became a thoroughbred sprinter. «He has an out of the ordinary motor intelligence – Giomi explains -, an impressive ability to memorize the automatisms of the race. If you look at her working 100 meters from the hips up, she doesn’t seem to have any amputations. Amber will revolutionize the face and timing of Paralympic athletics, you will see“. And not only that: baby Sabatini, who will be back on track in Jesolo in April in the T63 category, he plans to challenge even able-bodied colleagues. «No, it’s not all as easy as it seems, however, with the prosthesis and with the technician who treats it, Gianluca Migliore, a feeling was immediately created. I’ve always been a sportswoman, running is natural for me. The great strength I discovered later. You never know how brave you can be until certain things happen to you. I am convinced that life is a little decided by our destiny but you have to write that destiny for you ».

In Dubai he would have liked to celebrate the feat with a dip in the sea: a false positivity to Covid (denied by the two subsequent swabs) blocked her in the room until she left for Italy. He passed the time by watching on Netflix Rising Phoenix, the docu-film on the Paralympics (“I cried a lot”), talking to his mother and twin brother, imagining the party that awaited him in Porto Ercole. Now she asks the questions: “Do you believe I have a richer life now?”

February 15, 2021 (change February 15, 2021 | 07:37)

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