Massimo Stano, who is the walker who won gold at the Tokyo Olympics: from love for Japan to conversion to Islam

Massimo Stano, who is the walker who won gold at the Tokyo Olympics: from love for Japan to conversion to Islam
Massimo Stano, who is the walker who won gold at the Tokyo Olympics: from love for Japan to conversion to Islam

At the start of the 20 km Olympic of marcia a Sapporo, Massimo Stano he was not among the favorites. The Asians are too strong, moreover in a known environmental and climatic situation and in which they train every day. Above all Chinese e Japanese they had to win without any hassle from any other walker present. Instead, the Apulian overturned the prediction, making his one of the most surprising races of this Japanese Olympics, because he was in shape, because he drives splendidly and because he knew them well.

Stano was born in Lump Appula on February 27, 1992 and grew up to Palo del Colle, the town in the province of Bari that gave birth to the great boxer Vito Antuofermo. He started practicing track and field in 2003, first in middle distance, to then devote himself only to “heel and toe”, or walking, one of the most successful disciplines in the history of Italian sport. To take him under his wing Giovanni Zacchaeus than on the track of Molfetta has built this diamond since pure technique, recognized and awarded by the judges.

The first time Stano stands out is ai Europei under 23 of Tampere in 2013, winning the bronze after the disqualification of the Russian Bogatyrev. To grow even more, he moves to Sesto San Giovanni, where he trains under the gaze of Alessandro Gandellini. Technical and physical growth began in Sapporo, but also a series of injuries really bad for a walker, including two microfractures to both shin they make fear even the worst for his career. But when it passes into the group of Patrizio Parcesepe in Castelporziano in March 2018, even the misfortunes end and he starts winning, with a third place in the World Cup in teams and fourth place for the European Championships in Berlin in 2018, just one second from Vasiliy Mizinov, also present today in Sapporo.

He established the record italiano in June 2019, with 1.17.45 in a race in La Coruna but, when everything seemed to go the right way, it stops because of the pandemic. And in 2021 it first passed one periostite, to then prepare the head and legs for today’s race.

Computer programmer and policeman, Massimo Stano runs for Gold Flames, the same sports group – “astral conjunction” – of Lamont Marcell Jacobs e Gianmarco Tamberi. Live to Ostia, he married in September 2016 to Fatima Lotfi, former middle-distance runner, then she also switched to the march, converting toIslam. Of this choice, he himself said: “Everyone chooses to follow the religion what you want, I have a Moroccan wife and I became a Muslim also for love, to be able to marry her and be with her “. Five and a half months his first daughter was born, Sophie. And that finger in mouth upon arrival it is a dedication just for her.

Returning to the victorious race and the fact that he knew his opponents, it must be added that Massimo Stano is a passionate of culture and language Japanese, who is learning precisely because he wanted to be ready on the most important day of his career. A few days ago he said he was studying Japanese “also to understand what he was doing at the Olympics coaches they will shout to their athletes ”and for sure it will help him to win the most important race of his life. Study, application, details. In all this (and in the sublime technical talent) lies the secret of an Olympic champion.

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