“SciVolando con stile” brought together in Campiglio the top athletes of the slalom from 40 years ago: Thoeni, Gros, the wife of Radici, Cotelli, and the trainers of that unforgettable Italian team
Tonight, 3Tre will write another chapter of its history on the Canalone Miramonti (runs at 17,45 and 20,45), in the fiftieth year of the FIS World Cup, of which it was part of already in the first edition. Instead, the event of last night in a crowded Salone Hofer is a part of the history of 3Tre, and of ski as a whole. “SciVolando con Stile”, the cultural event preceding 3Tre (as will happen with Marcialonga), provided for emotions, smiles and even some tears, communicating to everyone – and youngsters, in particular – the fascination of a more romantic era of our sport, even more worthy to be remembered.
“The slalom with long skis and fixed poles was harmony, now with short skis and rapid gates is power. I liked it more before,” the technical director of the Valanga Azzurra, Mario Cotelli, said. The protagonists of the historical 1976 all-Italian podium were back in Campiglio for a night, 40 years later: Fausto Radici first, Piero Gros second, Gustav Thoeni third. Only late Radici could not attend the revival, but his wife Elena did: “My husband was part of a fantastic group, that was a very important part of his too-short life,” she said with visible commotion.
Such fantastic group was all there, including the trainers, witnesses of an incredible rise. “Early on – Oreste Peccedi said – we were weak, and they used to accommodate us in mediocre hotels, but that helped us to create our “magic circle”. So, when we became important, and they offered us luxury accommodations, we used to say: no, thanks. We are good with where we have always been.”
It was a team, a real team: protagonists and friends, sane competition with no envies. “I am a quite person, but I got angry every once in a while, when things didn’t go to plan – Gustav Thoeni explained – but our relationship has always been solid.” On his own, Piero Gros was almost astonished seeing the video of that famous 3Tre, and his anger in the moment he realized Radici had taken victory away from him. “I had never seen that image – he told – it was a moment of anger, but it was not against Fausto, to whom I was very close. When you are young, you can’t control certain emotions.”
The night was also dedicated to style, and the Italian fashion on skis that affirmed itself along with the rise of the Valanga Azzurra. Silvana Spadafora, the founder of Silvy Tricot, one of the apparel partners of the Valanga, voiced her own experience: “We weren’t just partners or suppliers, we were feeling part of that amazing group. That’s how a history of success happens."