The IOC chose it along with 7 others on the recommendation of Coni: “It is a great honor, I am excited”. Tournament debut on Sunday morning
Alla opening ceremony of the Olympics, Paola will be there. Tall, proud, the strongest in volley, the most social of the parquet, the face of a finally modern Italy. Paola Egonu, 22 years old, star of the Davide Mazzanti National Team flew to Japan to dispel tabù dell’oro olimpico, Friday (from 1pm to 4pm Italian time) will carry the flag with the five circles inside the stadium which, for one night, will contain the world.
The IOC chose it on the recommendation of Coni, which in the role of standard-bearer of Italy had preferred the institutionality of two gold medals, the cyclist Elia Viviani and the shooter Jessica Rossi, respecting the invitation to gender inclusion , the message that these Games in the sterile (but not waterproof) bubble are intended to convey. Paola, on Monday in Tokyo in the 3-1 friendly match won against Brazil by Zè Roberto (unlike captain Miriam Sylla, kept at rest), was warned yesterday by Giovanni Malagò: as soon as he landed in Japan, the president of Coni telephoned the athlete in the Olympic village. Paola burst into tears: “I am honored for the assignment given to me by the IOC: carrying the Olympic flag will be a great honor. When I found out, I got excited. I will find myself representing athletes from all over the planet, it is a great responsibility: I will express myself and parade for every athlete in the world ».
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Compensation or consolation prize for the tricolor flag faded to the edge of the siren (Paola in an interview on Courier service she said she was ready for a peaceful revolution: “I, of color, Italian: ignorance and certain things of the past need a clean break”), at this point, it doesn’t matter. Touch to review the look, hair and nails, the smile is already one of the specialties of the house.
Other international athletes, which the IOC has yet to make known, together with Egonu will accompany the IOC flag on its walk around the world towards the flagpole: it is one of the most solemn moments of every inauguration, five years ago in Rio de Janeiro were eight Brazilian sports legends (including the basketball player Oscar and the sailor Grael) to hoist it, in London 2012 the rose was made up of personalities which embodied the highest Olympic values.
Once the five-circle banner flies, it is the moment of the swearing-in of the athletes and the officials of the competition. Paola will parade in good company in front of the wife of the US number one Jill Biden, the French president Emmanuel Macron and the emperor of Japan Naruhito, who should officially inaugurate the most complicated, postponed and buffered Olympics in modern history. As per tradition, the 207 countries parade will be opened by Greece, the cradle of Olympism, and closed by Japan, the host country (Italy will enter the 22nd stage, in alphabetical order, between Israel and Iraq).
Paola Egonu is thus recognized as the leader of the international volleyball movement, but also a representative champion of one whole generation, which recognizes itself in its energy, in its freedom of thought, in his never banal choices. Once you smile at the world, it will be time to get busy. The Italy of volleyball debuts on Sunday against the neutral athletes of Russia, banned as a nation for the doping scandal, uniforms without symbols and the IOC flag on the bench. But, although it also has five circles, this is another story altogether.
July 20, 2021 (change July 21, 2021 | 07:52)
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