Pavia. It’s a big party at the Rizza house, Manfredi’s Olympic medal lights up the atmosphere of the building where a child’s dream has become reality. «I am very excited – says Serena Merante, mother of the Olympian from Pavia – but also very tired because I have not slept for two days. This medal is the culmination of a life of sacrifices, struggles, training and study amid a thousand difficulties and unexpected events and this is the educational message that must pass: Manfredi has won because he has followed his path with commitment and a spirit of sacrifice. I have to thank all those people who have contributed to Manfredi’s effort in recent years and who have guided him to this success ».
«Before the race I was very stressed. – adds Riccardo, younger brother of the blue -. In the last few days I have talked a lot with Manfredi and I knew that he was in top form and that he could play for something important but I am very superstitious, which is why I lived these Olympics race after race, instant by instant. In the final, as soon as I saw the start I knew he would make it and at the finish I started to cheer and I was moved. I recently started coaching an under 16 basketball team, I always try to convey to them what Manfredi taught me: talent doesn’t matter, with hard work you can get anywhere and I think he proved it tonight ».
Ginevra Maggi, the girlfriend of the champion from Pavia, followed the final from Sardinia: “Before meeting Manfredi I had never followed sport assiduously, for this reason when we met I could not fully understand the type of commitment to which it was called day after day and that we had to face together. Seeing Manfredi crown his dream knowing all the effort behind it, all the sacrifices he made, gave me immense joy. Before the Olympics we couldn’t meet to avoid the risk of contagion, so we said goodbye in a video call, there was a lot of emotion and a lot of waiting. It was the dream of his life and it has come true ». – G. Ve.