Sofia Goggia, Spirit of the Mountain

An absolute athlete who can climb in the downhill.

In February 1936, an unusual Julius Evola saw himself with “mountain spirit“: The intention is to commemorate the sanctity of the peaks, a place where “The spiritual personality can grasp or strengthen the sense of self». We do not know if Sofia Goggia counts the Baron among her many readings, but surely it is precisely this spirit of the peaks that “it acts as a symbol and, as a symbol, initiates a corresponding inner knowledge“, raise “the action to the value of a ritual».

What Sofia is sporty, she has always proved: the first downhill Olympic champion in the history of the Azzurri, the first Italian skier in history to have climbed on the podium in four different specialties (Giant, Super-G, Downhill, Combined) in the World Cup. He has long since surpassed even Deborah Compagnoni, whom he self-deprecatingly claimed only to have had physical problems and the surgery that resulted.

She reached her final maturity by working on consistency, she who knows she must be «like the drop that digs the rock»because too often competitiveness has led them to dig the rock,«but like a river in the flood»; voracious inexperience has meanwhile grown into mature rationality for stable, winning competitive behavior. However, “Direction and will are everything» she wrote on the eve of the last descent of the year, which her world champion sees for the fourth time, the third in a row:

she who the “mola mia” (Don’t give up) her motto, she wakes up with the fourth trophy in the world to keep her company and repeats it in the dialect she loves so much, “sa te olet de piö?” (what else would you like?).

She defines victory as “gratitude, authenticity, awareness” and knows very well that she is something other than herself, that she has to say thank you and be grateful. Because it is Sofia Goggia In the world, but not of World: in the world for physical and physiological need, beyond the world because it is so needy «a correct attitude towards life, first towards oneself and then towards others» does not belong to her. For her, firmly rooted in her origins, from Bergamo “from the upper town” (repeated with proud parochiality), raised sportingly in Foppolo – “three lane cross” – the ideal living space remains the family cottage in Cogne at 2241 meters above sea level, without water , electricity or telephone line.

Sergio Mattarella with Olympic team flag bearer Sofia Goggia and Federica Pellegrini during the ceremony to hand over the Italian flag to the athletes heading to the 2022 Winter Olympics (Photo

«It’s paradise», she says, describing herself as «an old-fashioned one»; it is authentically free, far removed from external conditioning. In a world where Athletes become cover stars (sometimes not so successful) or impromptu engaged intellectuals, she tells frankly about a nun friend who explains the gospel to her on Sundays and who, when she can, goes to church to see the priest. Or that sporting triumphs are okay, but in reality «If you don’t know how to make polenta, you’re nobody». In addition to the triumphs on the race track, the human values ​​and the metasport vocation, which come to the fore admirably in a total of three victories, are surprising.

2019 silver at the Super-G in Garmisch and subsequent victory in Crans Montana just three months after breaking the ankle; the Olympic silver medal in Beijing 2022, twenty-three days after the Crusader injury; For this reason victory last December on the descent in St. Moritz, with the left hand out of use, punctured by plates and screws to remedy the situation. On the nefarious eve of the Olympics, he commented with an astonishing

“if that is God’s plan for me I can do nothing but open my arms, to welcome and accept it».

Unusual words for an athlete that go well with it Testify almost ascetic after the victory in St. Moritz: «I had a lot of faith, that was me guided by a certain lightsomething I’ve experienced, something I’ve felt inside». Because the essence of Sofia Goggia is beyond Sofia Goggia and we would say, to paraphrase CB, that she does not practice skiing but is practiced by it, enlivened by mountain spirit: it is other than itself, a spirit in motion, the progress of the supernatural act.

Sofia Goggia at the start in Garmisch (photo by Stefan Brending, from Wikipedia)

In it the Olympic motto is fulfilled, citius, altius, fortius (faster, higher, stronger), which Pierre De Coubertin borrowed, not coincidentally, from the Dominican Henri Didon before defining Olympism as one Religious Athlete. In fact, Sofia Goggia makes it religiously combines sporting descent and spiritual ascent: As if descending into the valley, he managed to rise to reach, still with Evola, «a transcendent point of reference through which the vicissitudes of daring, risk and conquest, the disciplines of the body, […] they rise to the value of ways of realizing that which is in man beyond man».

According to favorite motto – nec detached fallback – Sofia Goggia does not step down even broken, she has become a winner identifying with the idea of ​​victory, what for her it means “Authenticity, Self-Identification” and is now ready to consecrate as myth athletic: a status that, he says, belongs to whom

«has dusted the soul with dust Stars».

Like its probably a soul passing by mountain spirit, strengthened by the search for the sacred and inspired by the many readings, including the Greek philosophers, the poems of John Keats and Emily Dickinson, the novels of Jane Austen. For the feats accomplished against adversity, the peaks reached to overcome what the physicist can explain, Sofia Goggia is already a myth: and she is an athlete absolutelybecause he can climb in descent.

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