The story: the athlete, who suffers from degenerative arthritis, has always been involved in social matters
noon, February 5, 2022 – 10:51 am
The Paralympic swimming champion nominated by the president Giovanni Malag together with the master Gianni Maddaloni
from Vanni Fondi
I have chosen to always be on the side of those who suffer, of those who are least. I share with you the appointment of Coni National Ambassador for the poor suburbs of Italy, strongly desired by President Giovanni Malag, whom I thank. the Paralympic swimming champion Gianluca Attanasio is very happy for his new assignment, an honor he shares with the famous Gianni Maddaloni, a real “saint” of sport in the suburbs. the first time in history that a small disabled athlete receives commendations and such a prestigious assignment and I am honored, he enthuses on social media.
Its a long story, with a happy ending: I was struck at the age of 2 by fulminant arthritis of the lower joints, a progressive degenerative disease that usually comes in old age. I was lucky enough to meet her in my early years and this for me, unlike what many might think, was fuel for my life.
Attanasio, 52 years old, born in Naples, former Italian champion in the 50, 100 and 400 freestyle, won various medals, was summoned to the national team in 2008 and arrived in 2nd place in the Messina Strait Crossing, also participating in the Capri Naples with a Paralympic relay that fights against able-bodied athletes. Waiting for the Capri Napoli of 2023, in the meantime he plays in the Paralympic water polo series A.
since 2008 that his path has joined with that of the Maddaloni, from whom he often took refuge in the gym in Scampia to combine sporting and social commitment. Scampia taught me a lot – says Gianluca – and in recent years I have seen what suffering is for a missed job, lost, for a family to be fed. The suburbs have taught me that everyone, without differences, is on the same level, we only need to believe in it and get help, even if only by talking and comparing ourselves with others. Here in Scampia I witnessed the rebirth of many young people who entered that gym as children and international champions came out, children without dreams in front of whom it was said that dreams exist, but that they must be chased. Then I saw those same kids grow up and become an example for others.
Already in 2019 Attanasio was appointed Ambassador of Coni Campania, for the all-round commitment shown not only for the world of the disabled but also for those suffering from marginalization and bullying.
And now, in 2022, here is the national appointment together with Maddaloni, with Gianluca overwhelmed by the emotion of supporting him in this commitment that will last for years to come. Life hit me hard with disability – continues the Paralympic athlete – but it gave me two dreams, playing sports and helping others. It is incredible for me to still be able to go a long way with maestro Gianni Maddaloni, for me a unique man who trusted me. Together we will travel a difficult path that will lead many young people from the suburbs to become future champions both in sport and in culture. To them, to the young people, in their fifties, I tell them never to give up both sport and study, two tasks that can change our life for the better wherever we are, forever..
February 5, 2022 | 10:51
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