The second edition of the Trofeo CONI Winter, which will provide entertainment on the snow and ice of Piedmont until Sunday 17 December, has officially begun. At the Pala Gianni Asti in Turin, the opening ceremony of the leading Italian multi-sports event for under-14s, who will compete representing their respective regions, was staged. Music, colours, flags, dances, the tricolour flag and the ever-present Olympic five circles dominated the ceremony of an event that for many young athletes (protagonists of the parade together with their coaches) really can represent their first step towards the Olympic Games. More than 800 participants took part in the Trofeo CONI Winter 2023 organised by CONI Piedmont, led by President Stefano Mossino, in collaboration with CONI's Territorial Directorate and in partnership with the Piedmont Region, the City of Turin and the municipalities of Bardonecchia, Pinerolo and Pragelato. Its aim is to foster sporting activity and emphasise that healthy competitiveness, encompassing both victory and defeat, is a fundamental element in the path of individual and sporting growth. "The Trofeo CONI is a life experience,” said CONI President Giovanni Malagò, also present this year at the opening ceremony. “It is a competitive event, but there is also a great sense of belonging. Italy emerged here, ancient societies and federations originated here. We feel at home. Nothing represents the territorial and national strength of the Olympic Committee more than the Trofeo CONI." Stefano Mossino, President of the CONI Piedmont Regional Committee, was also enthusiastic: "These youngsters provide emotion and passion, watching them makes us realise how beautiful sport is and the significance of the Trofeo CONI. Its goal is the growth of male and female athletes, but also friendship and inclusion: this is your moment, live your dream.” Next to speak was Gianfranco Porqueddu, former CONI Piedmont President and current President of the Italian Twirling Federation: "I take pride in the work done to deliver these three days of high-quality events". The competitions will be staged in some of the facilities used for the 2006 Winter Olympic Games. Piedmont welcomes you with love." Fabrizio Ricca, Piedmont Region Councillor and Councillor, then addressed the audience: "We are happy and proud that you will experience our mountains and our facilities.” Domenico Carretta, Turin Councillor for Sport, added: "It will be an extraordinary event. There is great satisfaction on our part. Playing sport together and forging relationships is fundamental for the growth of young people." Luca Salvai, Mayor of Pinerolo, also spoke: "Hosting an event like this is a source of pride and helps us to keep local areas, which face challenges, going.” There was also a video message from Raffaella Masciadri, President of the CONI Athletes' Commission and former basketball player: "I have wonderful memories of youth events. They are occasions when sport helps people to understand the value of friendship and fun. Get involved – dreams come true." Surprise video contributions were also made by some of the real stars from the Italia Team: Federica Brignone, Sofia Goggia, Sara Conti and Niccolò Macii greeted the Trofeo CONI by wishing the participants good luck. Also present at the opening ceremony was CONI Vice-President Claudia Giordani, as well as various members of the Board, federal presidents, presidents of the CONI Regional Committees and regional and provincial councillors. After the recital of the anthem of the Trofeo CONI Winter 2023 by the keyboard player and composer Henoel, who is from Turin, the athletes took the oath. Subsequently, Giada Russo, a former figure skating athlete who participated in the Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympics, lit the cauldron, and the event commenced with the opening declaration. The youngsters will compete in nine disciplines of the Italian Winter Sports Federation and the Italian Ice Sports Federation. Compared to the first edition, hosted last year by Trentino, there will also be a new addition: for the first time, the Italian Triathlon Federation will be part of the winter edition of the Trofeo with a winter triathlon demonstration competition. There will be 17 teams, made up of athletes from 19 Italian regions (Umbria and Marche will form a single team, as will Calabria and Basilicata), competing for the title that a year ago went to Trentino. Also competing will be representatives of Italian communities abroad from Argentina (competing in alpine and cross-country skiing) and Switzerland (in alpine skiing), who, as part of the NRRP’s “Turismo delle Radici” project, will have the opportunity to rediscover their family history by visiting some of their ancestors' places of origin. The initiative, which is the result of the collaboration between CONI and Italy’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, completes a programme that started in September with representatives of Italian communities abroad from the United States, Brazil, Canada and Venezuela on the occasion of the eighth summer edition of the Trofeo CONI held in Basilicata. On this topic, Paolo Monea of MAECI stressed: "The power of sport in uniting people and populations is unparalleled". The event will be broadcast on Italia Team TV, CONI's OTT platform, which will dedicate three channels to the event (VIEW SCHEDULE HERE). The wait is over, now it’s over to the competitions to deliver their verdicts: the Trofeo CONI Winter 2023 begins.
Second edition of Trofeo CONI Winter kicks off in Piedmont, Malagò: "A life experience"