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Earthquake ahead of Cortina 2026, champion Arianna Fontana threatens to leave Italy: “Unrecoverable trust” – Il Fatto Quotidiano

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Earthquake ahead of Cortina 2026, champion Arianna Fontana threatens to leave Italy: “Unrecoverable trust” – Il Fatto Quotidiano
Written by aquitodovale

Relations have been strained for years. Since 2014, at least. But the clutches between Ariadne Fontana and the Fig (Italian Ice Sports Federation) became public domain at Beijing Olympicslast year, when she accused some Italian athletes of having “pointed” her on purpose during training, to make her fall and hurt her. And now the Valtellinese champion, after almost 12 months, has put an end to the relationship between her and the FederGhiaccio on which, remotely, the Cones: “Trust is unrecoverable” she wrote, threatening to leave the blue colors for another nation. Which? The United Statesmost likely, country of the husband-coach, Anthony Lobello.

The Gold Medal of short track from Beijing entrusted his reflections to a post on Instagram: “I decided to join the trip that Anthony (Lobello, ed) had already planned here to see what the US and Salt Lake City have to offer in case I have to continue my Olympic journey. I’d like to thank the coaches and training groups I skated with while I was here. Thank you for welcoming me and my coach with open arms.” The decisive issue, which has been dragging on for some time, is the participation of theItalian athlete with the most medals in the Olympic Games (winter or summer makes no difference) at Milan-Cortina Olympics. On this point Fontana writes that “unfortunately there was no constructive communication about my participation on the part of the Fisg after, since last April, there have been admissions by the president of the Fisg (Andrea Gios, ed), of mistakes made and promises that have never been kept. The staff remains, in part, what allowed athletes to target me during workouts and this is not acceptable. The road ahead of me is not easy, but I know I will no longer tolerate technical and federal personnel making decisions to isolate me without taking responsibility for those decisions.”

Then the choice that Fontana could make: “This has never been a ‘gap year’, I haven’t competed because I can’t justify competing for a Federation that condones harmful behavior and decisions towards me. As long as those decisions and actions are approved, I will not return and should you decide to compete in the future, my path will be completely separate from what the technical director and his staff have planned for the Italian group. In that case, I’ll be sorry not to train with the rest of the Italian athletes, but my trust in the coaching and federal staff is unrecoverable”.

It remains to understand, at this point, how serious Fontana is. The hypothesis that his is a kind of ultimatum cannot be excluded. We must also consider that in 2026 you will be 36 years old, but you will be an athlete of your caliber and of your experience – moreover the standard-bearer of Italy in PyeongChang 2018 – may still be able to reap rewards. The Minister for Sport was consulted on the case, Andrea Abodi, who, however, limited himself to saying that “I am in contact with Arianna Fontana and I had an appointment with her, but unfortunately my agenda got turned upside down. He didn’t tell me about this prospect, but as minister for sport I will do everything to ensure that this doesn’t happen “. The goal, in short, is that we arrive as soon as possible compromise so as not to see the Valtellina champion wearing the stars and stripes onesie.

The response from the Fisg arrived during the day, which certifies – instead – an unbridgeable gap between the two positions. In addition to expressing “astonishment and regret at the serious utterances expressed by Fontana” whose “ content is of no use to the search for a common solution and shared for the near future as we approach the Milan-Cortina 2026 Games”, the Fisg points the finger at the Lombard athlete, placing at the center of the story – for a change – a question of money. FederGhiaccio, according to the press release, would have worked with Coni to ensure “that the athlete was put in the best possible conditions to compete again at the highest levels. Taking note of Fontana’s will to not join the Italian national team following the work set up and programmed by the federal technical staff, the Fisg has once again made itself available to take charge of the athlete’s training and preparation costs, together with the staff you have chosen, in the place that you would have deemed most suitable and suited to your needs”. With one condition: provided that “Fontana takes part in international competitions with the Italian national team, accompanied on the ice edge by her coach during individual competitions and by the federal coach in team competitions”.

And here is the decisive point: the Fisg communicated to Icelab, the company to which Fontana belongs, “the commitment to guarantee the sum of 200 thousand euros per season to cover all preparation and training expenses. A figure, however, unfortunately nowhere near the unattainable sum requested by Fontana for the current four-year period”. Then the clarification on the alleged attacks suffered by Fontana in training: “As for the new reference to the affair already reported at the Beijing Games concerning Fontana’s accusations against his teammates, we want to underline the recent filing by the Federal Prosecutor’s Office and the Coni General Prosecutor’s Office. An episode on which the Fisg had immediately taken action by asking the competent justice bodies to investigate, as per practice, autonomously and independently. What is certain is that from now on Fisg will not tolerate further accusations, warnings or intimidation by Fontana. The federal interest, as already expressed by President Gios in Beijing on the occasion of the Winter Olympic Games, is the protection and safeguarding of the work of an entire national team and of an entire movement, which will always come before the interests of a single athlete, however successful. Medals are and remain important, but they will never be more important than respect, education, professionalism and fairness”.

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