The Collari d'Oro for 2021, a magical year for Italian sport, were awarded. Prime Minister Draghi was also present: you continue to amaze us. Malagò: a historic season, second in the world only to the USA


An unforgettable year. Just like the outstanding results achieved and the emotions it stirred up. Countless and vivid. As far as Italian sport is concerned, 2021 has secured its place in the history books, and for all the right reasons: never have so many Olympic medals been won, 40 to be exact, which is a testament to the most momentous Olympic mission ever. Indeed, Italians earned their place on 69 Paralympic podiums, the outcome of a journey that - including World and European Championships - has seen the tricolour flag flying in all its splendour at the helm of the international movement.
The celebration of 12 brilliant months was held at the Parco della Musica auditorium, where coaches, Olympic athletes, managers and clubs paraded in the customary Collari d’Oro ceremony, the most prestigious honour in Italian sport.
This occasion of togetherness and unity, under the banner of victory and excellence, reflected the numerous elements that contribute to the success of a technical school that has always been a point of reference throughout the world.
The ceremony was honoured by the attendance of the President of the Council, Mario Draghi, who gave some closing remarks. CONI President, Giovanni Malagò; the Undersecretary for Sport, Valentina Vezzali; and the President of the Italian Paralympic Committee, Luca Pancalli, were also present on stage.
Attendees included the Secretary General, Carlo Mornati; the Secretary General of the Italian Paralympic Committee, Juri Stara; and federal presidents, coaches, and leaders of the movement, to name but a few.
Prime Minister Draghi's speech was sincere and heartfelt and he gave an ovation to the sporting stars who have given us so much to be proud of this year. "I have been playing sport since childhood, I have also done it competitively and it has left an indelible mark on me. It educates your for life. It is a pleasure to celebrate the successes of this fantastic 2021 and I once again would like to extend my congratulations to all athletes and coaches. Triumphs alone will never be enough, but we must be able to appreciate the victories when they come. I think of all the achievements, the 40 Olympic and 69 Paralympic medals, accompanied by the tricolour flag. You will forever be an important part our history and you have helped carry our country forwards. Your supporters will never forget this. We are grateful to you and we are grateful to all the coaches and your loved ones. You deserve recognition for your talent and the world you are a part of, from the Olympics to neighbourhood gyms. As acknowledged by Federica Pellegrini and Valentino Rossi, who have announced their retirement and to whom I express my gratitude, victory management is important. Victories allow us to understand who we are, to gain awareness, including of the future. They allow us to plan with confidence and awareness because we must
also think about what the future will look like for Italian sport in five or ten years’ time. They allow us to maintain a long-term perspective and remain united around a common vision. There are many events on the horizon, starting with the 2026 Winter Olympics
in Milan and Cortina. I am sure you will approach them with the same high standard. As Gino Bartali once said, “some medals are pinned to your soul, not to your jacket”. I am sure that the values of sport will continue to inspire you. Thanks to you all.”
CONI President, Giovanni Malagò, presented the overall figures for the 2021 successes at world level. The sheer calibre of the results achieved and the collaborative efforts made by all parties to create a sense of belonging attested to the pride felt by the entire movement. "I am happy about this extraordinary year and grateful for all those present, starting with President Mario Draghi, who I would like to thank for attending. We are proud of our successes at the Olympic Games and the World and European Championships. This season we are second in the world only to the USA. This historic achievement is all down to you: athletes, coaches, managers and federations. Being second on the planet says it all. I would also like to give my best regards to Goggia and Moioli who, in 44 days, will be flag bearers in Beijing. We want to continue our successes, starting with the Winter Games”.
IPC President, Luca Pancalli, expressed similar sentiments of gratitude. "Thank you to Prime Minister Mario Draghi for attending this celebration of our athletes, the most valuable asset we have. We are two sides of the same coin. And thanks also to all the volunteers and people who have passionately made this movement something to be proud of. I would like to thank the Federations, Military Corps and all the organisations. Sport is about much more than medals. It is a cultural revolution, a tool to change the country for the better”.
Undersecretary of State for Sport, Valentina Vezzali, expressed her happiness - both personal and governmental - for an amazing year. "It is a special day. I am honoured by the presence of Prime Minister Mario Draghi. Thank you to all the Federations that keep more than 110,000 associations going and then send athletes to the Games. Sport is both the base and the summit, which is why it is essential that it goes hand in hand with education. I am sure that President Draghi will take this into account”.
Prime Minister Draghi, who was also presented with a miniature rod from Gianmarco Tamberi, also commented on the inclusion of sport in the constitution. "Sport is such an important factor that it should be included in the constitution. When we think about what is most important to our life’s education we consider including it in the constitution. The same applies to the environment: an area that was not really taken into account when the Constitution was written”.
The best way to bring the curtain down on a festive day and a whirlwind 2021. (Photo CONI Ferraro-Pagliaricci)