Five big names in global freediving for disabled people, all under the umbrella of the same federation (Fipsas) with the same goals. For them in 2024 it's about being back at the top of the world podium. Ilenia Colanero, Katia Aere, Fabrizio Pagani, Alessandro Cianfoni and Mirko Luppi continued training during the holidays because “if you want to wear the gold medal around your neck, you can’t stop.”
The stages between the swimming pools and the Sea Games were a great joy because they showed that there is no disability in the water. “In Ischia this summer – explains Fabrizio Pagani, multiple world champion from Terni – I reaped the fruits of extensive work, which also enabled me to win world gold in the Lignano swimming pool.” The same applies to Alessandro Cianfoni from Velletri, who in the Life is a PHead of Neuroradiology at Lugano Hospital: “Ischia-Lignano, the route was similar to that of Fabrizio (Pagani). We have the same passion within us, the sport, which allows us to achieve goals that we could not have imagined until a long time ago.”
Ilenia Colanero, multiple world champion in freediving for disabled people
Mirko Luppi, 9 gold medals and 9 world records in Lignano
Ilenia Colanero from Lanciano in Abruzzo has “won” a new operation that forced her to take a long break: “But at the World Finswimming Championships for the Disabled in Lignano Sabbiadoro I allowed myself to win 'with interest': two gold medals. “ and as many world records, and I have no desire to stop there.” Katie Aere, born in Spilimbergo, the “multitasker” of the Italian Paralympic world, joins her. From handcycling, where she won Olympic bronze at Tokyo 2020 and is currently the winner of the Giro d'Italia 2023, to Paralympic swimming, where she holds 28 national titles, to finswimming and freediving where he won three gold medals in different disciplines at the World Championships in Lignano: “Competition is my path that leads me to experiment with multidisciplinarity. I'm at the top of the podium and I'm happy because I couldn't do more.” Closing the list of the “magic five” is the blind Mirko Luppi from Modena, who collected trophies in Lignano Sabbiadoro last November: “9 gold medals and as many world records. Now I'm looking for the star, the one who will reach the tenth championship in football. Here is my goal for 2024 to achieve my tenth record in a calendar year.”
The Disability Champions team is ready for new challenges that will beautify the Palmarès and give Fipsas the energy to continue investing in a continuously growing sector. Because water softens, normalizes and evokes strong emotions.
Alessandro Cianfoni, record for him in Ischia and Lignano
Katia Aere in the swimming pool of Lignano Sabbiadoro