The forth medal and particularly the first Italian Gold at the 2008 Beijing Olympics was won by the Italian fencer Matteo Tagliariol from Treviso: 25 years old, determination and endless love for fencing. On August 10th Matteo competed against the French Fabrice Jeannet – one of the most feared athletes in the world – moving the entire Italian nation, closing the final 15-9 and collecting the fruits of a commitment of a lifetime. His career started at the age of 6 when, still a child, he moved his first steps in fencing. Since then many years have gone by and Matteo has taken the right path which has led him to training with qualified trainers and to be part of a society that is ready to support him in his competitions, accompanying him in the small fencing circuit to the Olympics. Italian Championships, European Championships, World Championships (where he has achieved excellent results) and other competitions have allowed him to compete with great champions and improve. So, after 48 years of absence fencing Italy is a first place winner again: in fact, it was since1960 - when Giuseppe Delfino won the Gold medal in Roma – that Italy was missing this title. This victory raises Tagliariol up to the exclusive circle of athletes and at the same time launches good auspicious for the entire team and Italian fencing.
You have reached an excellent goal, probably the same goal aimed by many athletes, what are the difficulties you need to face to reach such goal?
«Certainly the first difficulty is the physical factor, you need to train a lot and there is very little time to do anything else, plus you have to give up a lot of other things. You have to keep up with a certain lifestyle and above all it is necessary to completely dedicate yourself to sports. It is important to have great determination which day after day allows you to reach your goal ».
Who helped you along the way, not only emotionally and athletically, but also financially, especially for what regards sponsors necessary to face the training, transfers and travel?
«My family has helped me out a lot. Living with me they have lived with the consequences of a limited social life due to the constant training and commitment in terms of time and energy. The same way the training staff, qualified and attentive, was essential to get where I am now. Sports groups like the Società Sala d’Armi Aeronautica Militare supported me and came to Beijing with me. Societies are, often, for us sportsmen/women the only real material support».
What kind of difficulties do you encounter when looking for a sponsor?
«Today I reached an important goal there are no difficulties: everyone wants me. Though, before achieving great goals very few people invest in a sportsman and especially if we are talking about sports that are considered “minor”. Only after you conquer great success like the Olympic gold medal the famous sports names look for you and offer their support».
What advice would you give a young individual who is approaching a sport, especially who is approaching a minor sport like fencing?
«Whoever approaches a sport needs to be passionate about it, believe in it fully and go beyond appearances. It is especially necessary to not get discouraged, often, in fact, when you reach good results you don’t get the same applause that other sportsmen and other types of sports get along the way » .