Spotlights, flashes and applause for a “never as successful as in 2017” Italian sport. The Golden Collars awards, the movement’s greatest honours, have become the focus of a day that has seen the excellence of the Olympic and Paralympic movement on parade in the Salone delle Armi, live on Rai2 television, with the Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni present to pay homage to them, CONI President Giovanni Malagò hosting the event, with the Sport Minister, Luca Lotti, and the President of the Italian Paralympic Committee, Luca Pancalli, in attendance. Two intense hours of awards and emotions, enriched by the effective content of institutional messages (Photos by Mezzelani-GMT).
The Golden Collar was awarded to winning athletes of an Olympic and Paralympic Championship in 2017, and to motor sports disciplines, as well as to 1982 Football Champions in Spain.
The event was opened by the President, Mr Malagó. “This is an end of year ceremony in which we want to celebrate the world champions, the technicians, the managers and the societies that have given prestige to the system. This ceremony is the source of great pride also because of being in the presence of the Prime Minister, at the end of a magnificent year of successes because in 2017 we have won a record number of titles. Congratulations to all, always proud to serve sport from the height of these incredible results".
Luca Pancalli picked up the same concept, expanding it from the Paralympic point of view. “Awarding excellence makes for a great occasion and what has been achieved in sport is yet to take place in everyday society. 2017 was the year the Italian Paralympic Committee was recognised as a public organisation. It means giving dignity to our movement and turning the spotlight on exceptional athletes. It is a message that helps our country to grow.”
The Prime Minister, Paolo Gentiloni, concluded the speeches preceding the awarding of the prizes. “A great thank you to CONI for this opportunity. I see so many sport legends. The number of people being awarded prizes is impressing as is the role performed by the armed forces. We awards prizes to champions but also to symbols: 15 millions of Italian and over 100,000 societies are involved in sport and offer a significant contribution to the country. There are values to nurture and social consequences in the examples that we are given. We know that physical activity is an essential contribution for our society because it promotes uplifting lifestyles and behaviours. From the success of our champions comes an economic drive. I thank the Minister, Mr Lotti, who has been enthusiastic and has contributed to the diffusion of the sport movement. Every time a sport facility is open, we are strong in the knowledge that it is an element that favours cohesion, safety and development. I think of Federica Pellegrini’s and Bebe Vio’s golds medals, those for fencing, they are results that make us proud to be Italian. We know what sacrifices are behind them. Sport teaches us that effort is never wasted: efforts and dreams, so Pietro Mennea used to say. And today we still need to be able to dream, things in Italy are improving but there are still wounds to be healed. Best wishes for the next Olympics in South Korea. We have a great need to be proud to be Italian.”
Then on to the awards, starting with Vincenzo Nibali and finishing with CONI Lombardia, winner of the CONI Trophy, interspersed with quips, smiles and resolutions to be nurtured in the future, while revelling in a magnificent present. There was a special section dedicated to the 1982 football Champions, the first team to attain distinction before 1995 - the year the Golden Collars were inaugurated - and awarded in recognition of the willingness to recognise earlier successes.
This is the full list of awards:
GOLDEN STAR FOR SPORT MERIT
Matteo Lodo, Giuseppe Vicino (Rowing, Coxless pair), Vincenzo Nibali (Cycling, Winner of the Giro d’Italia 2016), Antonio Cairoli, Kiara Fontanesi (Motorcycling, Motocross), Franco Morbidelli (Motorcycling, Moto2 Speed), Gabriele Detti (Swimming, 800 m freestyle), Gregorio Paltrinieri (Swimming, 1500 m freestyle), Federica Pellegrini, (Swimming, 200 m freestyle), Paolo Pizzo (Fencing, Epee), Martina Batini, Arianna Errigo, Camilla Mancini, Alice Volpi (Foil Fencing Team), Martina Criscio, Rossella Gregorio, Loreta Gulotta, Irene Vecchi (Sabre Fencing Team), Giorgio Avola, Andrea Cassarà, Alessio Foconi, Daniele Garozzo (Foil Fencing Team), Federico Pellegrino (Cross-country Skiing, Free Sprint), Daniele Resca (Shooting, Olympic Trap), Gabriele Rossetti (Shooting, Skeet), Jessica Rossi (Shooting, Olympic Trap), Marco Galiazzo, Mauro Nespoli, David Pasqualucci (Archery, Olympic Archery Team).
1982 FOOTBALL CHAMPIONS
Alessandro Altobelli, Giancarlo Antognoni, Franco Baresi, Giuseppe Bergomi, Ivano Bordon, Antonio Cabrini, Franco Causio, Fulvio Collovati, Bruno Conti, Giuseppe Dossena, Giovanni Galli, Claudio Gentile, Francesco Graziani, Gianpiero Marini, Daniele Massaro, Gabriele Oriali, Paolo Rossi, Gaetano Scirea “in memory”, Franco Selvaggi, Marco Tardelli, Pietro Vierchowod, Dino Zoff and (GOLDEN PALM FOR TECHNICAL MERIT) Enzo Bearzot “in memory”
Ivo Ferriani (FITB President), Gianni Infantino (FIFA President), Julio César Maglione (FINA President)
Bologna Football Club 1909 S.p.A., Moto Club Pavia, Circolo del Golf di Roma Acquasanta, Rari Nantes Torino S.S.D. A.r.l., Società Ginnastica Etruria A.S.D.
GOLDEN STAR FOR SPORT MERIT
Corriere dello Sport, Tuttosport
GOLDEN PALM FOR TECHNICAL MERIT
Marco Bonitta, Attilio Calatroni, Francesco Cattaneo, Fabio Conti, Maurizio Marchetto, Dario Romano
PRIZE FOR THE WINNER OF THE 2017 CONI TROPHY
CONI Lombardia Regional Committee
GOLD COLLAR FOR SPORT MERIT
Martina Caironi (Athletics, 100 m and Long Jump T42), Arjola Dedaj (Athletics, Long Jump T11), Assunta Legnante (Athletica, Shot Put F12- Cat. F11), Gabriel Esteban Farias (Rowing, 200 m KL1), Paolo Cecchetto (Cycling, Time Trials H3 and Relay H2-5), Luca Mazzone (Cycling, Time Trials and In Line H2 and Relay H2-5), Alessandro Zanardi (Cycling, Time Trials H5 and Relay H2-5), Francesca Porcellato (Cycling, In Line and Time Trials H3), Pasquale Longobardi (Karate, Kumite Open), Simone Barlaam (Swimming, 50 m and 100 m Freestyle S9), Francesco Bettella (Swimming, 50 m e 100 m Backstroke S1), Monica Boggioni (Swimming, 50 m and 100 m Freestyle S4 and 150 m Mixed SM4), Antonio Fantin (Swimming, 400 m Freestyle S6), Giulia Ghiretti (Swimming, 100 m Breaststroke SB4), Carlotta Gilli (Swimming, 100 m Backstroke, 50 m and 100 m Freestyle, 100 m Butterfly e 200 m Mixed S13), Efrem Morelli (Swimming, 50 m Breaststroke SB3 and 150 m Mixed SM4), Federico Morlacchi (Swimming, 200 m Mixed SM9 and 400 m Freestyle S9), Alessia Scortechini (Swimming, 100 m Freestyle and 100 m Butterfly S10), Alessio Sarri (Fencing, Epee Cat. B), Maria Beatrice Vio (Fencing, Foil, Individual Cat. B and Team), Ionela Andreea Mogos, Loredana Trigilia, (Fencing, Foil Team), Matteo Betti, Marco Cima, Emanuele Lambertini, Gabriele Leopizzi (Fencing, Foil Team), Giacomo Bertagnolli (Alpine Skiing, Super Combined Cat. VI), Fabrizio Casal (Alpine Skiing, Super Combined Cat. VI), Andrea Borgato, Federico Falco (Table Tennis, Teams, Class 1), Michela Brunelli, Giada Rossi (Table Tennis, Teams, Class 1-3), Elisabetta Mijino, Stefano Travisani (Archery, Mixed Olympic Archery Team – Open)