Earlier this year I was not convinced to still compete … then the perspective of a Free Dance a little different”, highly technical, started something in, my motivation increased and I realized that the time to retire had not yet come. I started to work with commitment, dedication and “head”, as I always used to and I arrived in July at the Italian Championship in Roccaraso very fit and determined to reconfirm myself. Despite the fact that Italian level is very high, thanks to a straight race, I won the sixth title! Preparation for the World Championship has been intense, the life as an athlete is really beautiful, although training alone and repeating the same things is not easy, the motivation was strong enough to not feel the weight of what I was doing.

Race day arrived, before entering the track I was calm and aware of my ability. I knew I had trained a lot and was fit. The first dance, thePaso Doble”, went very well indeed, bringing scores up to 9.5. I had quite lot time before the second dance, because I would have run among the lasts. In that moment of pause I did not feel very well, I had a strange feeling and it is started to echo in my head a question: “Why do not you change wheels? You probably will slip more after so many skaters.” But I tried not to give weight to this voice, and I said to myself: “I tried it, it will go well.” The Tango dance was my favorite and the one I used to do better. Before entering the track I gave the usual “10″ to my mom and during that gesture the bracelet she was wearing fell to the ground … It had never happened..The first thing I thoughts was: “It’s not a good sign“!

I let it be and I entered quiet on the track as long as halfway between the first and second round, in a passage stupid, I felt slipping the right boot with a crazy effort I managed not to fall and tried to get back immediately and as well as possible. In the hall there was a roar of choral NOOO …. At that very moment I couldn’t believe I was in the race, that the crash had happened and that I could not erase and rewind. I felt helpless. I had the clarity of mind to go on well the second round but the error forced me to score in a penalty. When I left the track the first thing I said was, “Tomorrow I’ll do a hell Free Dance!” I was angry and heartbroken even though I was in first place, however, I was very close to the other competitors. Several people came close and complimented on how I handled the situation, and this has given me strength, but I was miserable, I had never made such an error in a compulsory program!

That night I learned two things, the first is I have to give more attention to my intuition, the second is that I am a human being, you cannot always be perfect!

Waiting for the Free Dance, I admit I was pretty excited, I fought with myself on the one hand the fear of failing again, the other the desire to do well and to redeem the day before.

“Fear is a form of energy. It’s like love, like hate, like the anger is just energy pointed in a certain direction(Mamami)

In the afternoon before the race, my mom told me: “This thing has probably happened just because you always go looking for a challenge with yourself. I wouldn’t do any drama, be aware of your skills and bring out the true Paola is within you! “

I was upset, I was afraid of being wrong again, but at the same time I wanted to do well, I wanted to bring out the best, I could not give up right now. I am convinced that between fear and love, LOVE must win, the same love I always put in my sport and the one I wanted to communicate this year with free dance. This is how I entered the track, trying to free my mind, listen to my music and just immerse myself in the interpretation of the piece. And just like that once again I did, I brought all my passion, joy and LOVE for this sport on the track.
I shed many tears, I was excited because aware that was the last time that I would have been in the track to compete.

I came to Reus saying myself that if I won, it would be the last world championship because I believe that, at certain point in your life, it is right to change. I learned and gave so much, now it was time to explore and do other things … that’s evolution. I will not stop, however, to train because I love to skate and I love the athlete lifestyle, but I have so many projects in my head I want to achieve. First and foremost this blog, meant to help the most people through what my great career as an athlete has been.

I still have many dreams and I think it‘s time to pull them out of the drawer to be able to achieve!


Reus, 2014