Athlete of the Month
Took a chance, moved 2000 kilometres
Two and a half years ago, Stefania Corradini moved from Italy to Sweden. The ski orienteer had two big goals for moving from her home country to the Nordic country.
Stefania is from the little village Castello di Fiemme in famous Val di Fiemmi valley and she is daughter of Nicolò Corradini, who has incredible results in ski orienteering.
– Since I was a child, I never felt any expectation or pressure from my family. My parents always let us choose which sport to do.
She took part in many different sports when she was younger, like handball, swimming, alpine skiing, football and of course also ski orienteering.
– I remember my first SkiO race as a funny thing. I was maybe 12 –13 years old and I was competing with my brother, we got lost but we had so much fun. This was my first time I got in touch with SkiO and after that I started to race more often.
When she was almost 15, Stefania chose to focus on ski-orienteering, orienteering and cross country.
At the age of 17 she decided to go Sweden and the ski orienteering gymnasium in Mora in the middle of Sweden – almost 2000 kilometres from home.
– I moved to Mora in august 2013. I have to thank Signar Eriksson and Erik Svensson, who gave me the possibility to move to Mora and do this wonderful experience that no one from Italy had done before, says Stefania. – Sweden thinks in a different way concerning young people that want to be athletes in the future. Here you have the possibility to focus both on school and on sport. Unfortunately, we do not have such possibilities in Italy, that’s why I moved.
In Sweden her goal was to grow, both as a person and as an athlete.
– I wanted to be good both at school and in sport. It wasn’t easy to move, a lot of things were different and I didn’t know the language.
Not an easy start
She got both a new country and a new language.
– When I moved to Mora I did not know the language. In the beginning I spoke English. But the school is in Swedish so I tried to learn it quite fast. The first month at school was not so easy, because I did not understand what anybody was saying. I started to speak some words of Swedish before Christmas and everything became much easier. Swedish is quite different in comparison with Italian, both regarding the pronunciation and the grammar.
– How do you like köttbullar (Swedish meat balls) and other Swedish food?
– I have to say that the food culture is different. We eat in a different way in Italy. I do like the Swedish food and köttbullar as well.
– What do you miss from Italy?
– Certainly my family, the mountains, the sun and the food. It wasn’t easy in the first months, but then I started to speak a little Swedish and got more and more used to the Nordic culture. It might look easy to move to another country, but you have to change many of your habits and it can be hard.
– You feel welcome and part of something bigger. Everybody is so kind and helpful. I want to thank the ski gymnasium in Mora, all the coaches and the teachers. They gave and give me such an amazing possibility to grow in all different ways.
Stefania lives at the school accommodation, and shares a small apartment with another girl.
One of the biggest ever
Stefania’s father Nicolò won his first World Championship in 1994. Since then he has won several gold medals.
– What is the most important you have learned from your father?
– I have learned a lot from him, both regarding life and sport. The most important thing is perhaps to never give up, the hard work pays off and that even the best fall down sometimes. It is important to love what you are doing; it doesn’t matter what is it.
She has a sister, Anna (22), and a brother, Francesco (18). He competes in both SkiO and in cross country.
– We push each other and train a lot together.
Big goal in February
Stefania prepared well before this winter.
– I was at home in Val di Fiemme all summer and trained a lot. Heading back to Mora the preparation continued as planned, but for a time with less skiing than wanted.
There has been very little snow for the most part of this winter. Before Christmas she travelled to Norway.
– I’m glad I had the opportunity to do some SkiO before heading home for Christmas. In Italy it was still warm and there is only artificial snow, which makes it harder for SkiO. The SkiO season hadn’t started in Italy because of the lack of snow.
Stefania’s main goal for the winter is to be in a good shape at the Junior World Championships and do well in the competitions there.
– Now my shape is getting better and better.
– How has you level progressed?
– It’s getting higher and higher. I have the fortune to train with some of the best ski orienteers in Mora and that gives me a lot of motivation. My philosophy is to go all in and I am trying to push myself as much as possible in every race, being able to have some splits like the best girls, but I frequently make some big mistakes that compromise the final result.
In early summer she will finish the last of her three years in Mora.
– I do not know what my future will be like. Maybe I will move to Falun, close to Mora, maybe back home. We will see what happens. Either way I will keep training and try to be even better.
Text Erik Borg
Photos: Erik Borg (2), Private (1, 3, 4)
Previous Athletes of the Month
January 2015 Andrey Lamov (RUS)
February 2015 Michael Johansson (SWE)
March 2015 Tove Alexandersson (SWE)
April 2015 Hanka Dolezalova (CZE)
May 2015 Baptiste Fuchs (FRA)
June 2015 Emily Kemp (CAN)
July 2015 Olli Ojanaho (FIN)
August 2015 Maja Alm (DEN)
September 2015 Anton Foliforov (RUS)
October 2015 Daniel Hubmann (SUI)
November 2015 Gaëlle Barlet (FRA)
December 2015 Ulrik Nordberg (SWE)
January 2014 Hans Jørgen Kvåle (NOR)
February 2014 Daisy Kudre (EST)
March 2014 Andreu Blanes Reig (ESP)
April 2014 Martin Fredholm (SWE)
May 2014 Susanna Laurila (FIN)
June 2014 Catherine Taylor (GBR)
July 2014 Soren Bobach (DEN)
August 2014 Martin Jullum (NOR)
September 2014 Emily Benham (GBR)
October 2014 Svetlana Mironova (RUS)
November 2014 Tim Robertson (NZL)
December 2014 Hana Hancikova (CZE)
January 2013 Staffan Tunis (FIN)
February 2013 Jerker Lysell (SWE)
March 2013 Stanimir Belomazhev (BUL)
April 2013 Davide Machado (POR)
May 2013 Evaldas Butrimas (LTU)
June 2013 Minna Kauppi (FIN)
July 2013 Oleksandr Kratov (UKR)
August 2013 Cecilia Thomasson (SWE)
September 2013 Jana Kostova (CZE)
October 2013 Mårten Boström (FIN)
November 2013 Tatiana Rvacheva (RUS)
December 2013 Olga Vinogradova (RUS)
January 2012 Alison Crocker (USA)
February 2012 Morihiro Horie (JPN)
March 2012 Polina Malchikova (RUS)
April 2012 Ionut Zinca (ROU)
May 2012 Tobias Breitschädel (AUT)
June 2012 Ivo Tišljar (CRO)
July 2012 Matthias Kyburz (SUI)
August 2012 Marika Hara (FIN)
September 2012 Lizzie Ingham (NZL)
October 2012 Tonis Erm (EST)
November 2012 Marit Wiksell (SWE)
December 2012 Tatiana Ryabkina (RUS)
February 2011 Olga Novikova (KAZ)
March 2011 Olli-Markus Taivainen (FIN)
April 2011 Emily Benham (GBR)
May 2011 Søren Saxtorph (DEN)
June 2011 Tove Alexandersson (SWE)
July 2011 Olav Lundanes (NOR)
August 2011 Thierry Gueorgiou (FRA)
September 2011 Erik Skovgaard Knudsen (DEN)
October 2011 Lauri Kontkanen (FIN)
November 2011 Annika Billstam (SWE)
December 2011 Anna Füzy (HUN)