Matteo has a deep link with the territory in which he was born and grew up

“I am very close to the territory, outdoor, I live in the hinterland, where I like to stay when I return. Every time I come back here for me it’s a dream” Matteo Aicardi

THE WATER POLO WORLD CHAMPION

MATTEO AICARDI: THE WATER POLO WORLD CHAMPION
“at the age of 15 I left home, I played two years in B Series in Imperia and then I went to Camogli, I started in A Series at 17 years old. Then, after six years in Savona with Rari Nantes, this is my seventh year in the Pro Recco team”. As the centre forward of the italian water polo national team Matteo has conquered four great victories:

  • two world championships, in Shanghai in 2011 and in Gwangju in 2019
  • a silver medal at the London Olympics in 2012
  • bronze medal at those in Rio in 2016.

https://it.wikipedia.org/wiki/Matteo_Aicardi

 

 

 

A CHAMPION THAT LIVES AS A DREAM EVERY RETURN IN OUR TERRITORY

C’è stato un tempo in cui, prima che la pallanuoto diventasse la sua passione ed il suo lavoro, su quegli stessi sentieri del finalese dove oggi pedalano i biker, potevi incontrare Matteo Aicardi, classe 1986, alla guida della sua moto da trial. “Prima dei biker c’era solo chi faceva trial nell’entroterra, ricordo che qualcuno andava già in bici, ma erano in pochi. All’età di dieci anni poi, in concomitanza con la nascita di mio fratello, ho abbandonato il trial ed iniziato ad andare in piscina e a fare pallanuoto, sport che mi ha dato tanti successi ed il lavoro”.

Un legame profondo quello di Matteo con il territorio in cui è nato e cresciuto – “per me è un sogno ogni volta che sono qui” – in cui il campione mondiale, centroboa della Nazionale italiana di Pallanuoto, torna appena gli impegni lavorativi glielo permettono. È in una di queste parentesi che lo incontro: per Matteo sono giorni di festa e meritate celebrazioni, lo scorso 27 luglio a Gwangju, in Corea del Sud, l’Italia della pallanuoto ha conquistato il titolo di campione del mondo battendo 10-5 la Spagna; e dopo una serata a lui dedicata nella sua Tovo San Giacomo, anche l’Asd Doria Nuoto 2000 di Loano ha festeggiato il campione con una manifestazione in suo onore.

Photo credit Deepbluemedia  by Giorgio Scala

Photo credit Deepbluemedia  by Giorgio Scala

There was a time when, before water polo became his passion and work, on those same trails of Finale area where today the bikers ride, you could meet Matteo Aicardi, born in 1986, driving his trial motorbike.“Before the bikers there was only those who did trials in the interior, I remember that someone was already riding a bike, but there were few. At the age of ten then, in conjunction with the birth of my brother, I gave up the motorbike trial and started to go to the pool to do water polo, the sport that gave me so many successes and the work”. Matteo has a deep link with the territory in which he was born and grew up – “for me is a dream every time I am here” – in which the world champion, centre forward of the Italian national water polo team, he come back as soon as his work schedule allows. It is in one of these time breaks that I meet him during days that for Matteo are made of well deserved celebration, on July 27th in Gwangju, South Korea, the italian water polo team won the title of world champion beating Spain 10-5; and after an evening dedicated to him in his Tovo San Giacomo little town, also Asd Doria Nuoto Loano 2000 celebrated the champion with a demonstration in his honor. Right at the edge of that pool where Matteo started a journey that soon led him to reach important goals: “at the age of 15 I left home, I played two years in B Series in Imperia and then I went to Camogli, I started in A Series at 17 years old. Then, after six years in Savona with Rari Nantes, this is my seventh year in the Pro Recco team”. As the centre forward of the italian water polo national team Matteo has conquered four great victories: two world championships, in Shanghai in 2011 and in Gwangju in 2019; a silver medal at the London Olympics in 2012 and a bronze medal at those in Rio in 2016. In the framework of the outdoor swimming pool of the Doria Nuoto 2000 in Loano I attend to welcome of people who, beyond the recognition for the last won, show to Matteo affection and esteem for the person who he is: the kindness and education that represent this man, the smile with which reciprocates the request for a photo or a sign, I notice the bright eyes of children who see an example in him. It is to the young people, and to the Doria Nuoto 2000 of Loano, that is linked a project to which Matteo particularly cares, to create a water polo school of high level, allowing Loano to become as important a society as the ligurian Rari Nantes and Pro Recco. A great opportunity for young people who want to approach this sport “with this project I hope to create a movement that brings many people back to think of Loano as a sport city.
For two years I have organized a summer water polo camp, unfortunately I have not yet found a place to do it here and so this summer it was held in Malta, with a group of fifty children; in two years we have managed to grow so much”. In this regard I confess him that I was impressed by the words he used to thank these young boys, through a post published on his Instagram profile, writing about how it is necessary to teach them, in addition to love and passion, self-denial for this sport: “I’m sorry to speak of self-denial because it seems as if someone has to give up something indispensable, but then it’s not really like that. I mean, when you have a faith in a sport, when you like it so much, it’s not a real renunciation. Because you want to do this and you don’t care about anything else. At the beginning I’ve also been a little bit fought, when you’re a kid obviously you have lots of distractions, you’d like to go out, see all your friends and mates following certain lifestyles. But then I snapped that thing inside that made me see only one way, all the others I excluded totally and so what I would like to convey teaching to all these young boys, is that the life of a water polo sportsman is this, it is not going around doing who knows what, but it is working assiduously all day, sacrificing every day to get something. As it is in sport, it is in work, in relationships, in everything. So we hope that the project to create a water polo school in Loano will go ahead”. As a sport testimonial of our territory, I ask Matteo what he sent him, and transmits to him every time he comes nack here, in the landscape scenario in which he was born and grew up:
“I am very close to the territory, outdoor, I live in the hinterland, where I like to stay when I return. Every
time I come back here for me it’s a dream, maybe I’m one of the few to think about it because around me I always hear someone complaining about Liguria, but I love the sea, I like the interior and the fact that in a short time you can reach different landscape contexts; and then I love the tranquility because when you spend your day working intensely you need moments of relax. Here objectively there’s everything you want to stay well and feel good, the food is great, here I have close friends my family. I love this territory sincerely and I hope that it will grow even more in the economic way because if people really invest in this place it would have so much to offer”

Photo credit Deepbluemedia  by Giorgio Scala

Before say him goodbye I share with Matteo a last thought about the powerful message that can give a team sport like water polo, in a world where individualism prevails, the value of being able to rejoice together for victories, but also to engage in the daily sacrifice and training together with the mates (the italian water polo team is preparing to face a season that will take them to the Olympics of Tokyo 2020, ed.): “I think, I’m sure, that I could never do a solo sport because, in my opinion, he beauty of a sport is to be in a group, and fight together to get something. And what a team gives you is the confidence that could be that of a child with his family. Because when things go wrong, when your day is negative, someone else’s day could be a good day so it’s the only example where it’s good to be dragged because the team is positive and you live in a healthy environment every day anyway. Everyone should learn it, the one that gives you sport and that at the beginning unfortunately does not give you a work career is just that, knowing how to relate with other people and working in a team. And so many sportsmen should teach, in my opinion, companies or politicians, how to work together because unfortunately there is always a tendency to show themselves and to put in darkness others, instead we are the example that alone we are nothing because without the mates you can not win the game. A team is being all together, playing all together”.

Photo credit Deepbluemedia  by Giorgio Scala