In seeking to put Valentina’s fencing mastery in straightforward words, we may safely assume that both D’Artagnan and Zorro would have liked her as an ally rather than facing the tip of her weapon.
Valentina Vezzali is one of the most decorated athletes who occupy a rightful place among the world’s greatest foil fencers. With five Olympic gold medals hanging round her neck, being the only athlete in history to have won three individual fencing gold medals at three consecutive Olympic Games - Sydney 2000, Athens 2004 and Beijing 2008, with a total of seventeen gold, seven silver and four bronze medals won in the World and European Fencing Championships since 1993, well, would you have any doubt on who to count on when it comes to drawing swords?
Italian born Valentina started practicing fencing at the age of six. Her first victory at the “Fumi” Trophy - “first blades” category goes back in 1983. Ever since, her elegant, lightning-speed thrusts have collected every possible fencing decoration and medal. Her current objective is to attain the London 2012 Olympic podium for the fourth time in a row: a momentous event that would put her amongst the very few athletes to have ever succeeded in such an undertaking in the history of the sport.
Her passion, determination and, let us say it, electrifying energy does not end anywhere near the fencing piste. It continues on her everyday life and especially on her social work, a true calling for her. She has been working with the AISM charity on the multiple sclerosis disease, particularly with women and youth carrying the disease. She became YUNGA Ambassador in 2009 sustaining activities and initiatives in her effort to engage children and young people in issues of climate change and food scarcity. In this context, Valentina acted as YUNGA Ambassador at the Youth Olympic Games in Singapore in 2010. She also supported both FAO’s “1billionhungry” project to end hunger and the “Run for Food” campaign. Her athletic performances, lifestyle and the values she conveys inspire young people to become active participants in their world and communities. Valentina’s contagious enthusiasm and energy makes her a wonderful role model for us all.
Valentina as Italy’s Official Flag Bearer at London 2012 Olympic Games: “I would be honoured to carry the Italian Flag – a dream would come true”
Valentina sustains FAO’s “1billionhungry” project to end hunger and Run for Food (June & September, 2010)
http://valentinavezzali.com/2010/05/12/la-nuova-campagna-fao/, May 2010
Valentina YUNGA Ambassador at the Youth Olympic Games (Singapore, 2010)
Valentina launches Climate change challenge badge, October 2009
Valentina in her involvement with AIMS Charity
October 2009: Launches Climate change challenge badge
October 2009: Valentina becomes YUNGA Ambassador