Italian Alpine skier Saracco banking on sibling rivalry to propel him to YOG glory
LAUSANNE, Jan 9 – Alpine skier Edoardo Saracco (ITA) is desperate to win a gold medal at the Lausanne 2020 Winter Youth Olympic Games, but first and foremost he wants simply to claim the bragging rights in his family.
Four years ago, Carlotta Saracco, Edoardo’s elder sister, claimed four top 10s at Lillehammer 2016 with a best finish of fifth in the women’s slalom.
“I have to do better, of course I have to,” 16-year-old Edoardo said on the eve of competition in Lausanne.
The pair, who train together, have been competing for as long as Edoardo can remember.
“We race all the time at home,” he said. “I can’t say who wins. If you ask me I say I do but she would say she does.”
Putting sibling rivalry aside, the younger brother revealed that his sister has been giving him plenty of valuable advice in the run-up to the biggest competition of his life so far.
“She told me that it was the best thing she did as a junior but to remember it’s just a race, so to go for it,” he said. “She had a great time in Lillehammer, she’s really happy I am going to have the same experience.”
The familial influence does not end there for the young Italian medal hopeful. Saracco’s father, Roberto, is coach of the Italian men’s Alpine skiing World Cup squad.
“He lives his racing through me,” Edoardo said of his dad, who was a high-level athlete in his youth. “He tells me about the World Cups and what he is doing with the national team, but he doesn’t put pressure on me.”
With two podium finishes in Italian national junior races this season, Saracco is happy to put pressure on himself, openly targeting medals in Lausanne.
Rival Maxx Parys (USA) is far more circumspect.
“I just came out here to ski, not to try and necessarily do anything,” said Parys, despite having won two silvers and a bronze in FIS races (the level below International Ski Federation World Cups) over the past 18 months. “Trying to get in the right space before a race is tough. I have only got better at it in the last few years. I still struggle to do it sometimes but this year has been pretty good.”
Parys and Saracco will face off in the slalom, giant slalom, super G, and combined, with hometown hope Luc Roduit (SUI) among those hoping to get in on the act.
Roduit’s compatriot Delia Durrer is primed to challenge for one of the first gold medals of the YOG as she goes in the women’s Super G on Friday morning.
Austria’s Amanda Salzgeber and French teenager Caitlin McFarlane line up against her with Great Britain’s Daisi Daniels and Latvian Dzenifera Germane hoping to upset the traditional Alpine powerhouses over six days of action in Les Diablerets Alpine Centre.
By Olympic Information Service