6 Mar 2024

What a Season for Italian Paralympic sports!

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Photos of Paralympic athlete De Silvestro

Italy of dreams! All the successes of our athletes in Winter Paralympic disciplines.

As the winter season draws to a close also for Paralympic snow and ice sports, results are better than just good for Italian athletes. The hefty stash of medals brought home by the same Italians who will shine during the Milano Cortina 2026 Paralympics emphasises the excellent health enjoyed by the Italian Paralympic movement. With just two years to go before the 2026 Winter Games, we recap Italy's major triumphs in recent months.


De Silvestro-Bertagnolli: Paralympic skiing stars

In Paralympic skiing, the Italians know they can count on two phenomena also for the Italian Paralympics: René De Silvestro, silver and bronze medallist in the giant and special slalom in Beijing 2022, and Giacomo Bertagnolli, Italian flag bearer in China and multiple Paralympic champion in 2022 and at the 2018 Pyeongchang Games.

In the "sitting" category, René De Silvestro has proven he is one of the world’s fittest athletes. This athlete from Bolzano, has to date collected no fewer than fifteen medals during the World Cup stages: seven gold, five silver and three bronze. One of his noteworthy exciting performances was in Cortina d'Ampezzo, which in 2026 will host the Paralympic alpine skiing, Paralympic snowboarding and wheelchair curling events, when René took home gold and silver in the two special slaloms and gold in the giant.

Cut from the same cloth is Giacomo Bertagnolli, the Italians’ flag bearer in Beijing 2022, who, in the vision impaired category, won fifteen medals together with his guide Andrea Ravelli: seven gold, four silver and four bronze were his spoils from the world competition in his four Alpine specialties (special slalom, giant slalom, super-G and downhill).


Photos of Paralympic alpine skiers


In women's Paralympic alpine skiing Martina Vozza stands out, together with her guide Ylenia Sabidussi. In the "vision impaired" category, Martina collected two silver and seven bronze medals. Federico Pelizzari also won two silver medals and a bronze in the special "standing" slalom.


Romele is top in the Nordic combined

There’s also positive feedback from Para Nordic skiing. Beijing 2022 introduced us to Giuseppe Romele from Lombardy, who brought home a fabulous bronze from that edition of the Games. He has continued to grow and this winter season has seen him raise the expectations of the entire Italian Paralympic movement ahead of the event in Milano Cortina 2026. Giuseppe charmed the Italian public at the Dobbiaco and Martello World Cup stages with three golds in Dobbiaco in three different specialties and a silver medal in the sprint. He then added another with a bronze in Martello for the classic sprint, taking home a total of five medals from 2024 Paralympic Cross-Country Skiing World Cup.

Photo of Paralympic athlete Giacomo Bertagnolli


Para snowboarding successes

Italy was back as a winner also in Para snowboarding thanks to two athletes in particular: in the category with disabilities in one upper limb, Jacopo Luchini won three gold and two silver medals, while the category with disabilities in both lower limbs saw Emanuel Perathoner take home 5 gold medals in six races.


Upcoming team sports dates

The best is yet to come for Wheelchair Curling and Para Ice Hockey.

The most important result this season for the national wheelchair curling team was a 3rd place in the World Cup Group B last November that meant the Italians were promoted and therefore eligible to take part in the World Cup Group A (the top flight world championship) which sees the twelve best teams compete on the international scene. The World Championships are underway in Gangneung in South Korea until March 9. The goal is to earn a permanent place in Group A, avoiding relegation to Group B. These World Championships will be followed immediately by the World Mixed Doubles Group A.

The highlight of Para ice hockey, meanwhile, is definitely the World Championships Group A in Calgary in early May. The various tournaments played so far, including the Memorial Ciaz trophy which saw the Italian national team finish third, have served as preparation for the world championships in Canada.

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