Federica Pellegrini goes back into the pool as a driver. Competitive and amateur sport has stopped in front of the virus. Since May 4, however, there has been a timid restart, with limitations of course. Many athletes have been infected and it could not have been otherwise. But sport is obstinate, resilient.
Social distancing has marked us, athletes included. We don’t know if everything will return exactly as before, we’ll see. What we know for sure today is that she is back. Federica Pellegrini, and her beautiful swimsuit. In water after forty-two days: together with her element. A liberating, regenerating dip. Federica had never been so far away from the water.
Federica Pellegrini is back
She, Italian champion, posted a video on social media that portrays her on the starting block with the coach’s voice off the pitch asking if she is ready.
“Six weeks later… like a baby,” so headlined the post. Like a baby.
Pellegrini like a baby on the first day of the swimming school, training in the Federal Center of Verona, ready, but in compliance with the safety measures, first of all the spacing. Images that regenerate us too. And, who knows, maybe it’s sport that get us pumped! To sink the fear. Some are still skeptical: now physical contact is impossible, the workouts are “solitary”, full of precautions. However, it’s difficult to let anxiety go away.
Of course, it will be necessary to invent new ways of competing, at least for a while, but what must remain as it has always been is the sense of encounter, union and community that each discipline knows how to bring with it.
Sport – said Pope Francis – has fundamental values in it.
The culture of the match, loyalty, respect for the opponent, are the lifeblood of the competitive world. It is good to treasure it and learn to look at tomorrow in a ‘competitive’ way. After all, during the quarantine many of us did DIY work out. Compressed, but safe. But it is true that by nature we need air – and, like Federica, to put our heads out of the water from time to time to take the breath of air that corroborates us.
“To be honest – Federica said after training – there are only a few breaths and a little sensitivity to recover. But come on, I thought it would be worse!” So it will be good for us to do it. To think that it will not be so difficult to start again. With caution, of course, because we will have to regain some sensitivity. But we too we will say, out of the water: come on, I thought it would be worse!
Featured image by Drew Dau on Unsplash