The 20-year-old Dell’Aquila wins the first Italian gold in Tokyo 2020, beating his rival Jendoubi in the final of the 58 kg category
The last kick better than the last kiss. Six seconds from the end of the third and final round of the taekwondo finale, after being at a disadvantage throughout the match, Vito Dell’Aquila place the shot that is worth the first Italian gold medal. And he confirms himself a boy paste, first going immediately to console the Tunisian Jendoubi, his distraught and incredulous opponent, and immediately after dedicating the victory to his recently deceased grandfather: I was sure he was looking at me from up there. Bravo twice.
And so the first golden page of the Italian Olympics is written by an Italian boy of twenty, yet another product of Mesagne school, that the small homeland of this sport, such as Jesi for foil or Settimo Torinese for judo. Secluded places, for secluded sports, which we only talk about every four years, when there is a need to fill the medal table.
Back in 2012, the first ever Taekwondo gold he had been won by the Mesagnese Carlo Molfetta, born and raised in the same gym as the new champion. But we never crossed paths, unfortunately Vito says. When I started, at eight, he was already somewhere else. a boy who has been able to suffer in the most important race of his life, but who keeps a broad view on what awaits him. As soon as I quit sports, I enrolled in Communication Sciences, because my dream is to be a journalist, and make Taekwondo known.
Workouts in the living room during the pandemic
In the meantime, Vito Dell’Aquila, twenty year old from Puglia, national Taekwondo, nice and shy boy, to the point that from the age of twelve he asked his parents not to come to see him in the competition because he was too excited, he has already achieved what he dreamed of as a child. As soon as he arrived in Tokyo he had said, without feigned modesty, to aim for gold. I would also have been happy with a placement, but since we have come a long way and so much effort to get here, I wanted everything immediately. In the months of the pandemic trained at his parents’ house, even with makeshift tools, doing repetitive kicks in the living room, and push-ups in the kitchen. And the efforts to fit into one category, that of -58 kilos, to which he had landed as skinny, was -54, and who due to the forced break he struggled to maintain, following a very hard diet in the coming months.
After the Olympics, the university
At the time of the first lockdown
he was one of the last to leave the Acquacetosa sports center, where he was preparing for the Games. The worst vision of our hard time was to see my sports house empty and almost abandoned. But I knew that we would return, and that we will make it, this virus just a momentary suspension of our lives. Vito knows that even this sudden notoriety will be short, soon we will immediately start talking about other billionaire sports and not his own. And when I come back, I start studying, I have to choose the faculty. But from yesterday, and forever, hers will be a golden parenthesis.
July 24, 2021 (change July 24, 2021 | 15:54)
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