Sergej Bubka, from auction to … judo!  Toniolo’s story

Sergej Bubka, from auction to … judo! Toniolo’s story

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Sergej Bubka, from auction to … judo!  Toniolo’s story

The blue judo coach met “The auction czar” committed to supporting the famous Ukrainian judoka Daria Bilodid in weight loss: here is the story of a magical moment

Tokyo, now we are! The Italy of judo, which arrived yesterday from Gotemba, has also settled in the Olympic Village. And while the sparring in support of the eight blues returned home a little reluctantly, athletes and technicians began to savor life in the village which, in addition to countless restrictions and controls, also reserves pleasant encounters and surprises. As happened to Raffaele Toniolo, coach of the blue team: while supporting Manuel Lombardo in the weight loss, Olympic seeded n. 1 in 66 kg, he ran into another judoka with the same goal, the Ukrainian Daria Bilodid, the youngest ever to win a world title. To support her, however, there was not a judo technician, but “The Tsar of the auction” Sergej Bubka: Olympic gold medal in Seoul 1988 who set the world record in the specialty 35 times, reaching over 6 meters and 14 centimeters outdoors. But let us let ourselves be carried away by this magical moment through the words of Raffaele Toniolo.


“In the Olympic Village in Tokyo, it happens to accompany Manuel Lombardo to lose weight. It also happens that when you arrive there you meet Daria Bilodid, who is there for the same reason. And while you watch her run at a slow pace you realize that she is not alone , but accompanied by a man in a Ukrainian shirt. As he approaches, his figure takes on more and more familiar traits. Then you recognize the champion you’ve always seen on television: Sergej Bubka! Olympic champion, 6-time world champion and 35 times world record holder. He is the legend, an honor member of the IOC, who rushes with Daria for a weight loss session. Then he stops and while he takes off his shoes it also happens that you end up exchanging a few words. I usually ask champions or famous people to take a photo, but this time I couldn’t resist. Not only because of the legend that he was, but because at 58 he still shows what he is worth: with all the international commitments he certainly has, he chooses to be close to one of his compatriots in such an important moment as the Olympics and before a competition in a sport that is not his. This, for me, is being a true champion “.

July 22, 2021 (change July 22, 2021 | 19:25)