Paola Egonu Olympic flag bearer: “A great emotion”

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A global recognition, a reason for pride, a medal to pin on the chest, waiting for the real medal, who knows. The opening ceremony of the tormented Tokyo Games on Friday it will also be colored blue: the volleyball player Paola Egonu was in fact chosen – together with other athletes – as the Olympic standard-bearer. The indication came from CONI. Giovanni Malagò was the first to congratulate the champion.

The joy of the volleyball player is understandable. ” I am very honored for the task I was given to be part of the IOC to carry the Olympic flag – he said -.

It made me excited as soon as President Malagò told me, because I find myself representing athletes from all over the world and it is a great responsibility: through me I will express and parade for every athlete on this planet ». Egonu had also been in the running for the role of standard-bearer of the Italian group, beaten on the thread of wool by Jessica Rossi and Elia Viviani. Given the facts, the decision to exclude it – probably – was strategic.

Paola Egonu, 22, the best in the world in her discipline, brings her smile and her story as a dowry. The story of a young woman who in a few years has become a model in the fight against racism and homophobia. Raised in Cittadella in the province of Padua by Nigerian parents and declared herself Afro-Italian several times because “one belonging does not exclude the other”, Paola – champion of civil rights – is the demonstration of how the walls of conformity and taboos can be demolished of civil society. His coming out was completely natural. He confided that he had a girlfriend with a strength and serenity that surprised only those who still live in caves.

Italy met her three years ago, when she was the absolute protagonist of Italy’s silver medal at the World Cup in Japan in the autumn of 2018. With her vitality, Paola has become – in a very short time – the emblem of a Winning, young and multi-ethnic Italy. Egonu currently plays in Conegliano’s Imoco Volley in the role of spiker and opposite.

His palmares are extraordinary: 1 Scudetto, 4 Italian Cup, 3 Italian Super Cup, 1 World Club Championship and 2 Champions League. Egonu – 154,000 followers on Instagram and ever-increasing popularity – also boasts the record of points scored by a player in a single Serie A1 game (47). The fact that it is up to her to carry the five-circle banner – a worldwide symbol of brotherhood and loyalty – takes on an even more precious value.

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