No disheveled gestures, no claims, no symbols or flags. Just the national anthem that resounds under the awning that covers the temporary pool dedicated to synchronized swimming; the looks are enough, the hands on the heart, the slippers that some of them wear, unmatched and at the same time coupled with the most beautiful colors, those of their homeland, of their flag, one yellow, the other completely blue.
In this way they celebrate the Ukrainian synchronettes, the European title they conquered at the Foro Italico. Act almost due, given that we are talking about one of the strongest national teams in the world (and also given the absence of the Russians). Unfortunately, the sinister light of this conflict reverberates in a thousand ways, the end of which still appears distant and inscrutable. But the light that emanates from that podium is reflected light, which multiplies by going down just one step. Right where they are, smiling with their silver medal around their necks, the Italian girls.
Thanks to Italy
“Thanks Italy.” The look of Valeriya Tyshchenko, 17, already gold with her companions at the recent world championships in Budapest, is dry, austere. Elegant, one might say, if only these athletes were only elegant, in the water they release unparalleled power and physical strength, forced only into the sublime and paradoxical prison of a smile that becomes an obligation and a mask. Yet Valeriya’s voice – as she caresses the gold she has just won and which is now dangling from her neck – almost cracks, as she tells in her name and her companions the common story, which since February 24 is the Story of all of us, and it will be for generations: «We arrived in Italy six months ago (exactly on March 8th, the day of Women’s Day, ed), because not only training, but even just living in Ukraine was impossible. And here we slowly began to resume our life as athletes, even though in our hearts the anguish for our families, who remained in our country. The gold we won here today must also be shared with Italy, the Italian Federnuoto, the boys and girls who helped us prepare, who hosted and encouraged us ».
And gold then could only arrive in Rome, in that Eternal City which has become (more precisely in Ostia, with its Aquatic Pole) their new home, in the expectation and in the hope that soon we can return to normality, to life as it was ‘before’ on March 24, 2022, the day of the beginning of the Russian invasion.
Silver for Italy
Mutual exchange – Rome, of course. But also Liguria, in particular Savona, where the Ukrainian girls trained together with the blue ones to prepare for the world championship in Budapest. “We are happy with this silver, and also for their success, in such a difficult time for their country – underlines the Italian captain, Gemma Galli -. Training with them was precious: harmony, complicity was created, and let’s not forget that the Ukrainian girls are the best in the world. They gave us a lot of valuable technical advice, on lifting in particular, which are proving to be very useful. We are only sorry that it is a tragic reason such as the war that has brought us closer ”, the captain concludes with emotion and emotion.