Fair Play Menarini Athletes Close Out a Successful 2023 Winter Season

The winter sports season has just come to a close, and Italian athletes have proven their worth across multiple disciplines. As a matter of fact, the first three months of 2023 have showcased their competitiveness in various world and European events.

Among them are also the athletes that have been awarded in the latest editions of the Fair Play Menarini International Award, always serving as inspirational role models for younger generations.

Between the end of 2022 and the start of 2023, some notable winter athletes stood out for their remarkable performances, including alpine skiers Federica Brignone and Sofia Goggia, biathlon champion Dorothea Wierer, cross-country skier Federico Pellegrino, and curling player Stefania Constantini.

The Courchevel/Méribel World Championships held in France from February 6th to 19th was the most highly anticipated event for snow sports enthusiasts. 

During this championship, Federica Brignone, who became a Fair Play Menarini Ambassador in 2019, made Italian ski history by securing the gold medal in the combined event (a discipline that combines super-G and special slalom) and the silver medal in the giant slalom. Brignone’s win in the combined event was a highly coveted personal achievement and also a historic title for the Italian women’s team, who had never won the title before.

In terms of historic achievements, Federica Brignone’s remarkable success continued as she earned the first and second places in the Sankt Anton World Cup stage, bringing her total podium count to an impressive 56 on the world stage. This outstanding achievement made Brignone the most decorated athlete in the history of Italian women’s skiing.

2023 proved to be yet another exceptional year for Sofia Goggia. The Bergamo-born athlete, who received the Fair Play Award in 2017 in the category “Promotion of Sport”, brought immense joy to her fans by clinching the World Cup downhill title. This victory marked her fourth overall win and third consecutive win in the category. Goggia’s achievement held significant value as she consistently secured a spot on the podium, with five wins and two second places throughout the year.

Transitioning from the adrenaline-filled slopes of alpine skiing to the demanding courses of cross-country skiing, another exceptional Fair Play ambassador showcased his skills. Federico Pellegrino, a renowned athlete in Italian cross-country skiing, received the prestigious “Model for the Younger Generation” award during the XXI edition of the Fair Play Menarini International Award. Pellegrino’s remarkable leadership led his national team to secure a spot on the podium in the overall World Cup ranking.

Federico Pellegrino boasts an impressive sports resume, including numerous personal achievements such as the 2017 World Champion title in the sprint discipline, three world silvers, and two world bronzes, along with two Olympic silvers and a coveted gold medal. In 2023, Pellegrino utilized his extensive experience to secure third place, a position Italy had missed for 15 years.
This achievement adds yet another impressive accomplishment to Pellegrino’s already fantastic record. The “Azzurro” has 17 individual victories and 42 podiums in the World Cup, four team victories, nine podiums, and two sprint specialty cups, with six podium finishes.

There was also great enthusiasm surrounding the Italian women’s curling team, as they made it to the final stages of the World Championships for the first time. This exceptional result was achieved after six days of intense competition, during which the Italian team played 12 matches at the world championships venue in Sandviken, Sweden. The team is led by captain and Fair Play ambassador Stefania Constantini, who also won the Olympic gold medal in mixed doubles at the Tokyo Games in February 2022 with Amos Mosaner.

Italy achieved their best result in the World Championships Curling event, with a record of 7 victories and 5 defeats that opened the doors to the playoffs, securing fifth place out of the 13 participating nations. Their excellent performance in the group stage earned them a fourth-place finish, and they were already fourth in the last European championships. This historical achievement gives the Italian women’s curling team reason to look forward with great optimism to the next season.

Lastly there was Biathlon, a discipline in which Dorothea Wierer, winner of the “Promotion of Sport” award in 2018, has been dominating the world rankings for many years. This past winter season showed that the athlete from South Tyrol is in excellent shape. Among the many successes achieved, the most significant was the historic win at the Oberhof World Championships, where Wierer led the Italian team to their first-ever gold medal in the women’s relay.

Wierer’s performance throughout the World Cup season was impressive, securing a flattering second place in the final standings. Her victories in Anterselva and Östersund added to her exciting journey where she battled for overall success until the last day.Looking ahead, the focus now shifts to the upcoming events on the international calendar. There are many exciting competitions, including the swimming and athletics world championships, where numerous athletes will proudly represent the Fair Play Menarini banner on the world stage.