Arianna Fontana will be the flag bearer for Italy at PyeongChang 2018. The champion speed skater’s nomination was formally announced this morning by CONI President, Giovanni Malagò, to Committee members at the Foro Italico. Fontana is the first short track flag bearer in Italian history, the seventh woman ever, the second from Lombardy and the second athlete from the FISG after Carolina Kostner. She is the youngest Italian to have won a medal at the Winter Olympic Games (15 years and 10 months), thanks to the bronze won with the Italian relay team at Turin 2006. She has made it onto the podium for three consecutive editions of the Games, winning bronze at Vancouver 2010 in the 500m and finishing three times on the podium at Sochi 2014: silver in the 500m, and bronze in the 1500m and the relay.
She began skating at the age of 4, following in the footsteps of her brother Alessandro, and won her first individual medal in January 2006 during her first international appearance, thanks to the silver medal won at the European Championships in Krynica-Zdrój. In total, she has won 13 world medals (one gold - a record in the 1500m at Moscow 2015, 5 silver and 7 bronze) and 14 European medals, adding six continental titles to the trophy room (Ventspils 2009, Turin 2009, Heerenveen 2011, Mladá Boleslav 2012, Malmö 2013 and Turin 2016) and collecting over 50 World Cup podium positions.
She is the Italian short track queen, capable of excelling in all distances: 500, 1000 and 1500 metres. A champion of the Italian Republic, she has been a member of the Fiamme Gialle since 12 December 2008, and in 2015 married her former national team-mate, Anthony Lobello. As a child, she dreamt of being a vet; when this animal lover takes off her skates, she enjoys shopping, listening to music and reading a good book. Lately, she has also tried out boxing and yoga. Her idol is Valentino Rossi.