In his ten years of experience as president of the Italian National Olympic Committee (CONI), he has seen many suggestive venues and locations. Giovanni Malagò cannot help but be proud of the view and the scenery of the Snai San Siro Racecourse on the second day of Italia. Open to Meraviglia – FEI Jumping European Championship 2023, that will go on until Sunday in Milan. The Horse Arena is a show of synergy, that makes it possible to admire not only the feats of riders and their horses, but which surely gives “an added value” to the entire Italian sport, as he suggested.
“So many speeches and so much reasoning come together here, I would say they come full circle” says the Italian sports chief present today at San Siro to support the Italian team together with the President of the Italian Equestrian Sports Federation, Marco di Paola; “This is a place that has always been devoted to equestrian disciplines, at all levels, Milan is an Olympic city… the headquarters of the organising committee of the Milan-Cortina Foundation is practically behind us and I don’t say that we see the riders jumping the fences from this office, but we almost manage! It seems to me that this is an excellent way to enhance the area; the racecourse is a historical place. Then there is the San Siro Stadium, which will host the opening ceremony of the Milan-Cortina Olympic Games and which will soon be the stage of the Champions League football final. All this gives added value to Italian sport”.
In the space of just a few days, Milan has hosted many top events – the Rhythmic Gymnastics World Cup, the Fencing World Championships, the Volleyball European Women’s Championships (in nearby Monza) – and there will also be the Formula One Grand Prix n Monza: having the five circles in the horizon brings everything to another level, from the point of view of sporting efficiency. “It’s all synergy and momentum” reflects Malagò, ‘that sports managers, local policy makers and associations obviously do their utmost to integrate as far as possible in terms of offer and visibility; in my opinion, this is a typical expression of the driving force behind the five circles. For example, The Verona Arena was the venue for the opening ceremony the European Women’s Volleyball Championships, which was actually the match between Italy and Romania; it is the same Arena which will host the closing ceremony of the Olympic games and the opening ceremony of the Paralympics. It’s a wonderful showcase, as is this European Jumping Championship for equestrian sports, for Milan, indeed for Italy”.
At the Snai Siro racecourse, Italy is competing to get one of the three passes to Paris 2024, a qualification for the Olympic Games that it has not achieved since 2004. “… it’s painful,’ sighs the Coni president, ‘every time qualifiers make us suffer: so please don’t let me say anything else”.