Young, nice and definitely very busy. To prepare for the Olympics, the first to live together as athletes. Daniele Garozzo and Alice Volpi, the pair of the Italian foil, are ready. In the suitcase for Tokyo they put their weapons, masks, uniforms. And, both guarantee, if they forget nothing in Rome, where they live together, the credit will go to Alice.
In the eyes and minds of friends and fans, on the other hand, it is still there that Daniele rush to climb the stands of the Rio arena to kiss Alice after the Olympic gold won in 2016. The dream would be to repeat and maybe make a double, as happened in the last Italian championships, where both won the title in their respective races.
Your first Olympics together. What effect does it have on you?
Alice: «For me it is the first ever, I have been waiting for it for a long time, doing it with Dani makes me more serene».
Daniele: «For me it is the second, but doing it together has a special flavor. It was already very nice to have shared it with my brother five years ago, being able to share it with Ali further enriches a magical event».
Five years ago, in Rio, another Olympics, Alice was in the stands to see Daniele win a gold medal. What memories do you have of that day?
Alice: «For me it was wonderful, I really enjoyed myself even though I was tense, maybe not as much as him but almost. When he won it was a moment when I no longer understood anything, all not very real. It took us days to realize this».
Daniele: «Having been together was the typical icing on the cake, it filled us with anecdotes to tell in the future. I remember the evening after the race, there with the medal around our necks, we watched the video and said “it’s not possible”».
It was also your first official public outing, the one in which your couple revealed themselves to all of Italy. A sign of fate?
Daniele: «The truth is that we have always been very reserved, I went to give her a kiss and it seemed like an organized exit, a declaration for that special date. It didn’t happen like that, there had been many kisses before, that day people looked at us more than usual and they noticed it ».
Alice: “Let’s say that there it was inevitable to come out into the open.”
What is the importance of having a person who does the same job as you in everyday life?
Alice: «For me it is definitely a positive thing. We understand each other, we don’t have the problem of traveling, we are often together even during retreats. If Daniele stops one day, it will be a bit complicated to continue fencing for me too. I thought that continuing to talk about fencing even at home could be a problem, instead we enjoy our moments of tranquility».
Daniele: «I confirm, even if sometimes it can be more difficult to have a partner who has many periods in which things are not going well, moments in which he has difficulty in overcoming an obstacle and who would expect support from his partner who maybe he is also focused on overcoming. its obstacles and difficulties. In the end, it’s a bit like what happens to all boyfriends: we give each other strength and help each other to face the hardest moments.»
But don’t you ever fight in the room?
Alice: «No, hardly. Every now and then, if we have some challenge between us, Daniele gets angry because he always wants to win. But we only have a fight during athletic training».
Daniele: «Yes, we have the same trainer, the talented Annalisa Coltorti. I am a robot, compared to everything in the thousandth, Alice is different, a little more naive, and sometimes we argue».
He is at home?
Daniele: «Oh yes, a lot».
Alice: «Once Daniele broke the bathroom cabinet. Let’s say that when I want something I’m very pressing and insistent ».
Daniele: «It’s true. She helps me a lot, more than I help her, but sometimes I struggle to keep my patience. But we have fun, we fight for the right, like all boyfriends who live together, but we are fine together. We divide the tasks, we are a beautiful couple ».
Alice, did you ask Daniele how do you manage the emotion of the first Olympics?
«Yes, I tried, even if he doesn’t handle her emotions so well. In fact, maybe I’m a bit colder in the race. This time, however, I’m in a lot of trouble, I asked him how it feels, how to manage it and he told me to do as for all races».
Daniele, do you envy Alice a bit the emotion of the first time?
«Well, I must say that the Olympics are so unique that I don’t feel like a veteran. I feel like in every important race, very excited, very charged, not at all apathetic. Probably the day I get this cold will be the day I quit».
What can’t be missing in your suitcase?
Alice: «Now I can only think of the crackers I always eat and the raw ham. The breakfast that I carry with me wherever I go».
Daniele: «I have no particular things that just can’t be missing. Po generally helps me to pack the suitcase Alice, otherwise I forget everything. IS gThanks to her that I manage to wear foils and masks to competitions. Here is one thing that cannot be missing in my suitcase: Alice’s advice».
Alice: «And your thimble».
Daniele: «Ah yes, the protection for the finger. Indeed, thank goodness she is there».
What will you miss when you are in Japan?
Alice: «Surely our son Forest (the dog), leaving him for a month will be really hard. And then yes, it would have been nice to have the family. My father, my brother and my mom had already bought tickets last year. But maybe I will have a surprise like sparring that could really make me happy».
Daniele: «Apart from Forest and the family, I don’t feel I have things that I will particularly miss, perhaps because I am focusing so much on the goal».
Together you have won three European titles, five world titles, one Olympic. Not to mention all the other trophies. Do you still have space in the house?
Daniele: «Yes, because Alice’s cups are taken away by her dad. He is very jealous of his victories ».
Alice: «He passed through Rome a few days ago and he also wanted the cups of the last Italian championships».