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LUDOVICO FOSSALI: TOGETHER WITH C.A.M.P. TOWARDS THE OLYMPIC GAMES

 - Athletes, Company

The fastest Italian climber of all time, national record holder with a timing of 5,78”, but also the defending World Speed Climbing champion, a title obtained at Hachioji in Japan in 2019. And that’s not all: he is the first among our climbers who obtained a place at the Tokyo Olympic Games. We are talking about Ludovico Fossali, born in 1997, the new kid on the block in the C.A.M.P. team: he is classy, strong, determined and he has chosen our company to keep on winning, with the five-ringed podium on top of his wish list. Born and bred in Trentino, Ludovico ended up in Emilia Romagna and that’s where he discovered climbing as a young boy, a sport that has become his reason for living.

Ludovico, tell us something more: how did you get to know climbing?
«I lived in Bieno, a small mountain hamlet above Valsugana, for five years. I have no recollection of that time, but my parents tell me that I was already climbing everywhere back then, both in and out of the house. And so, when my family moved to the province of Modena, my parents tried to channel my “passion” towards something safer. I then found myself in a climbing wall, where I could let off steam without running too many risks».

You then started almost by chance, looking for a safe game to play, and you ended up at the Olympic Games…
«That’s right. I have always been somewhat active, incapable of sitting still. I practiced several individual and team sports, but none of them gripped me as much as climbing does, to which I dedicate myself exclusively since 2015. I started as a racer and I remained as such. I clearly like climbing on rock, as well, where I have a few projects, but that’s a distraction, an alternative way to train».

Why did you choose to compete in the Speed speciality?
«In the climbing wall where I trained, in Modena, I had the chance to try it thanks to the work of Massimo Bassoli, the Speed pioneer in Italy. I had a go at it and I liked it – also because I performed well during competitions – and I never let go of it. Broadly speaking, I can say that I have been attracted to speed in all its aspects, from running to cars».

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What type of training suits a Speed athlete? What differences are there with regards to people practicing Lead or Bouldering?
«The main difference lies in the hours spent at the climbing wall: Speed climbers use weights to the nth degree to increase strength and explosive power. Climbing on the wall is useful to improve precision along the route, to maximise the movements and maybe find newer and more efficient solutions. I like to train, but races give me the utmost emotions, especially when a competitor is next to me and my stopwatch must ring before his. The overall time is irrelevant: the only thing that matters is to arrive before him. The race begins with isolation, a neck and neck with specific dynamics, such as the psychological pressure some athletes can exert on the others».

What do you mean?
«Knowing that they will run against you, some athletes won’t stop looking at you while training. Some others make noise, maybe slapping their thighs. Even though we may not reach the levels of NBA “trash talking”, certain athletes can really rile their rivals up, preventing them from concentrating. Not being able to do that, when that’s all you’re looking for, is truly annoying».

Is there an achievement in your career you have fond memories of?
«Yes, and that’s not a victory, nor a podium, but a fourth place at the European Championships in Campitello di Fassa in 2017. Why this choice? Because that was my debut as a Senior and I did not know how I would score: I had no idea how I would fare when competing with the best athletes in this discipline. It all went well in the end, a real boost. Of course, winning the World Cup was a memorable experience, however if I have to mention an event that truly changed my perspective, that marked a turning point for me, then it will be the “nearly podium” in Campitello».

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How did it feel to be the first Italian climber to qualify for the Olympic Games?
«It felt quite weird: I was really, really happy, but also exhausted. When I found out about it, as confirmed news, it felt like a liberation. For a sportsperson, taking part in the Olympic Games means fulfilling the biggest dream of all. Many responsibilities come with it, too, which is why I am training as hard as I can. I am also happy because Laura Rogora, another C.A.M.P. athlete, together with Michael Piccolruaz, will be representing Italy for climbing, as well».

This challenge has been postponed to 2021, because of the pandemic…
«That was the right choice: I fully endorse it, because health is more important than sport and everything else. Not to mention that I will have more time to train and fine-tune my preparation in the Lead and Bouldering categories. The Combination formula is a compromise that obliges athletes to compete in specialities they do not excel at; this way climbing was allowed at the Games, something that would not have happened otherwise».

What do you do when you are not training, nor competing?
«I like to go for a hike in the mountains with my girlfriend. I enjoy easy hikes, nothing serious, but I really cannot sit still at home. In the winter I have fun with my snowboard, but I am careful as I do not want to injure myself: having an accident would mean stopping training and competing».

Finally, why did you choose C.A.M.P. as your technical partner?
«Because I felt in tune with the company, with its values and history. What’s more, C.A.M.P.’s interest in innovation is similar to an athlete willing to improve: working to make progress, to be in front of everyone. And then, being Italian, I have always dreamt of working exclusively with companies stemming from my country».

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Ph. Giovanni Danieli