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Fausto Desalu: «Sport? Always a challenge with yourself “

«For me sport is a challenge with oneself, it is nice to compete with others, especially the strongest ones, but the challenge is always with oneself. We need to improve every year: in sport, in life, in school ». This is enough to tell the winning character of Fausto Desalu, 28 year old born in Casalmaggiore of Nigerian parents, Olympic champion in Tokyo 2020 with the 4×100 relay together with Marcell Jacobs, Filippo Tortu and Lorenzo Patta. It could only be in the #CarattereVincente project with which Parmacotto Group wants to promote a balanced lifestyle. «Our values ​​coincide: love for the territory, healthy diet. I live 20 minutes from Parma and cooked ham has always been part of my diet ».

And what else is on your table?
«I like Italian cuisine. I eat everything. During the race I have to be careful. I have a diet of pasta or rice, tuna and eggs because I’m not a great cook. In the afternoon dried fruit, protein bars or a sandwich with cooked ham. In the evening I eat very little: proteins, chicken, vegetables, fish as an alternative, usually salmon which is easy ».

What should he eat and can’t stand?
“I try to eat vegetables. It’s not that I don’t like it, but it doesn’t come automatically. I should eat more fish. ‘

The thing you have to give up?
«I’m not very greedy. I eat the Elvezia cake (Mantuan sweet with almonds ed) which I eat only once a year, on my birthday and the Linzer cake (Austrian origin sweet ed) that I eat in the mountains where I like to go on vacation “.

What does it mean to have a winning character?
«Everything that surrounds us is a challenge, but without comparing itself with others. We are not late if others arrive at a goal first, we must follow our timetable. We must ask ourselves: what have we done to improve ourselves? The winning character arises from defeats, from failures. Character is forged like this. If there is an obstacle we need to understand where it comes from and how to overcome it ».

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How are his workouts?
“I train from Monday to Saturday: for three days 4 and a half hours with the track and the gym, all together to have more time to recover without a break in between, the other days running technique and acceleration, Saturday is the day of training heavier. This year there are the Eugene World Championships at the end of July in the US and then the European Championships in Munich at the end of August ».

Preferred distance?
“200 meters because I have more time to correct a possible error at the start: this is where I can express myself best, where my run is more fluid”.

What has really changed after the Olympics?
«I repeat it from the day after the final: nothing has changed. I’m with friends from before. However, I have more awareness of my means, more desire to dream, less fear of thinking big without fear of other people’s judgments and the stakes that I set. I want to run even more ».

Can a moment like Tokyo be repeated?
“It wasn’t a coincidence. The others were not wrong on the day of our victory in the relay. We did the fifth best world performance ever, the second European one ».

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Cinema or TV?
«Cinema and TV. I like science fiction movies and Marvel. The first film in the Lord of the Rings saga is my favorite film: The Fellowship of the Ring. I saw him for the first time when I was 8 and it was the first year I went to the mountains with the parish. Walking in the mountains I expected an elf, a hobbit, an ogre to emerge. For me the mountains are a place of magic, I like being alone in the mountains and it reminds me of my childhood. I am reborn in the mountains, I was certainly a mountaineer in my previous life ».

“I like reading psychology books on how to use the brain. I would like to use it 100%. And also books on how to find your inner peace in a frenzied society. Especially for sports. An athlete must train the mind before the physical, it must be free from any fear, anxiety or uncertainty. If a mind is relaxed, the body relaxes and goes accordingly. “

«I always have headphones, the music relaxes me. In the competition I listen to rock and metal, to relax the movies ».

What will he do when he grows up?
«I find it hard to think of a future without athletics. I would like to train. However, good athletes do not always become good coaches ».

Has sport made a difference in your life?
“I’ve always wanted to leave a mark. Don’t live an anonymous life, stick a dagger in the ribs of time and sport is helping me achieve this. I’ve always had the dream of being remembered, but I didn’t think about the world of sport where I arrived by chance. I started playing football at 8 for three months, they didn’t let me play and I was disappointed. When I was 13 I started athletics ».

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The rest is history. Where does he keep the medal?

Other stories of Vanity Fair that may interest you:

– Gianmarco Tamberi, a bronze also for Ukraine

– Marcell Jacobs: “I proved that Tokyo’s gold was not by chance”

Source: Vanity Fair

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