Thomas Ciccone at the World Swimming Championships in Fukuoka: “The gold medal in Budapest didn’t change my life”


to Ariana Ravelli, sent to Fukuoka

Ceccon won the 100m backstroke a year ago at the World Championships in Budapest: “But if it were up to me, I wouldn’t have tried for the world record in the 100m or 50m butterfly. In Japan, I have to defend the title. Others fear me, I turn fear into water in safety

Like an actor who is imprisoned in the role of a hugely successful character or a singer who is always asked to play the same song, so Thomas will be Would gladly leave 100 again, A year ago, at the World Championships in Budapest, he won gold with a world record And an unforgettable grimace on the mustache. Madness, but Thomas is the prophet of diversity, and the only one in Italy who, accepted by a remarkable talent, is able to enter freestyle, backstroke and butterfly competitions into the program. A bit like Gregorio Paltrinieri, who wanted to combine swimming with sea racingeven Thomas only motivates himself if he changes (he adds).

Let’s be clear: you are here in Fukuoka primarily to try to assert yourself in the 100m backstroke.

«Yes, of course, I know I can’t do it. And I have to do them well because I have to defend the title. But everyone says that self-affirmation is hard. Then maybe another world record will come, but if I don’t win the world championship, nothing will happen, it will depend on the race and time, if I do 51”90 (the record is 51”6) and finish third I can’t be angry ».

He said it would be difficult to achieve the same results achieved a year ago.

“Especially in the relay, so we see that everyone’s times are not last year’s times.”

But if you could decide what would you like to do?

“My coach and I have this philosophy: Have you ever competed with a world record? Well, now I’m going to switch and try to set the record in the 100m Dolphin. Or a dolphin in the fifties: even if it’s so short, I think I can beat it, it’s enough to start like Dressel, right? ».

Is this diversity based on the fact that you feel somewhat like an artist? He wrote it on his Instagram profile.
“Ah, I didn’t remember that. I hope I don’t judge myself.”

Let’s go back to the 100-meter backstroke: Now that he’s the guy to beat, what’s changed?

It changes everything. It’s a situation I don’t have, I experienced it in Rome at the European Championships. It’s great when other people are afraid of you, in the end they say ‘He made that world record.’ And if you can turn your fear into safety, it’s over. When Federica (Pellegrini) competed, there might have been some faster competitors in the semi-finals, but then in the final, they got scared and I beat them… I’m not saying it will happen, or even any point like that, but it’s something that is in my best interest.”

A year ago, this gloom: Everyone remembers his arched mustache, on which was written “Mom what have I done.” By the way, do you still have them?

“Now I have a beard and long hair but I don’t know how I will compete, I haven’t decided yet.”

Did winning the World Cup change your life?

“It’s a big word, I’m still doing what I’ve always done, swimming… The commitments have increased a bit outside of the pools, but nothing unmanageable. You know how it goes, unfortunately or fortunately, as soon as the competitions are over, no one looks at us anymore … ».

Has economic calm reached at least?

“I have some extra money, and I certainly haven’t gotten rich. I can put up with some whims, but I’m not one to spend a thousand euros on a pair of shoes.”

He will be more successful with girls.

“No, no, I’m not thinking about it at the moment. That’s very strange?”

Did you learn to draw? In Budapest he took lessons from Zazzeri.

“No, I only paint when I’m with him.”

But he began to take an interest in photography.

“They gave me a camera, so I went in Melbourne to take some pictures, but you should at least study and then travel, I only do it for competitions. Let’s see if Japan inspires me… ».

How is the pre-Olympics year and how are the preparations changing?

“It’s always a kind of strange year, less important, but I try to do the best I can, because if you do well you have a good push for the Olympics, and if things go bad it’s hard to start training again. This year also, like last year, unfortunately I got sick in February, it was almost worse than Covid. Now I’m cured: come on, I have no excuses ».

Caleb Dressel stopped swimming and is only back now, and Adam Petty talks about his mental issues: What’s the secret to staying balanced?

“It is very difficult, I think at a certain point it is impossible, even Phelps fell into depression after London, and that always happens. If you win a lot, of course the curve will go down. And they won everything: in my little penguin, I also know what it’s like. But Dressel now says something sweet: “I came back not because I had to but because I’m glad to be back in the water.” scares me. Someone like him still wants it.”

She also says in her own little tried-and-true way.

“After the races the lights go out, you have to go back to training and everything will change. You don’t feel like it, you say “I won and now what should I do?” Paltrinieri also tells it after the Olympic gold medal, he didn’t enjoy it nearly.”

Did you enjoy the world record?

No, you can’t party because you have other races. You are pleased, but keep your focus. Then that evening I left the pool at 10:30 for the interviews.”


Popovici, world record holder in the 100 freestyle eventHe says his ambition is to inspire people and to be remembered 100 years from now.


«It’s a little weird, but maybe all heroes are. It’s a great suggestion, but if you’re not Phelps it’s hard… and in a hundred years we’ll all die of global warming. “

But you don’t like the idea of ​​being inspired?

“Yes, yes: when children write to me, I am very happy, even if I do not feel like an idol. I try to continue this idea, to do more styles, more competitions, we are few in Italy ».

And who is inspiring her instead?

“I follow David Goggins on Youtube, and I also bought his book. He’s a black boy, weighs 140 kilograms, tried to change his condition, got into the Navy, now runs a very marathon, has the record of 4,000 pull-ups in 17 hours, and they call him “the worst man in the world.” But it started from nothing, it repels those who say you’re born with certain genes, it’s a hymn to willpower. Monday morning, when I’m half asleep, I play videos of him running and talking and I’m really excited.”

Jul 23, 2023 (changed on Jul 23, 2023 | 04:22)



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