Baseball Europe Africa Qualifier

18/09/2019 - 22/09/2019

@wbsc   #Baseball #RoadtoTokyo  

Hosted by:   ITA

Baseball Europe Africa Qualifier - Official Payoff

Alberto Tomba: “Sacrifice is the key to reach the top”

24/09/2019

The Olympic Games are probably the most significant event in sport. They are something special that you will never forget. For athletes, participating in the Olympics means they will be remembered amongst the best in their own country. Winning at the Olympics brings an athlete on top of the world. It’s the opportunity to get the greatest success and recognition. It’s the best of what athletes can achieve.

Alberto Tomba knows it very well.

The former World Cup alpine skier raced in four Olympic Games from 1988 to 1998. He won 3 gold medals in Slalom and Giant Slalom at Calgary 1988 and in Giant Slalom at Albertville 1992. He also got two silver medals in Slalom at Albertville 1992 and Lillehammer 1994.

He quickly became a worldwide icon.

After more than 25 years, Alberto Tomba is still loved all around the world.

A great example of this is what happened in Bologna on the last day of the games of the WBSC Baseball Europe Africa Qualifying Event for the XXXII Olympiad Tokyo 2020.

Alberto Tomba made the ceremonial first pitch before the match between Italy and The Netherlands.

He got a massive ovation from the crowd. A lot of fans of all ages asked him to take pictures or to sign gadgets. He accepted to do everything with great pleasure and with a big smile on his face.

“I’m pleased to be here for such an important event that allows a team to qualify for the Olympics,” Alberto Tomba said during the event. “You know, I have never played baseball in my life,” he added. “I only had a ceremonial first pitch at the Yankee Stadium in 1996, in New York, when the Yankees faced the Cleveland Indians. It was fun. I remember that the pitch was good. Anyway, I know something about the swing because I used to play golf, but at the moment I usually swim and, sometimes, I run”.

The former alpine ski racer gave some interesting advice to follow not only in sports but in everyday life.

“I think that sacrifice is the key to reaching the top, in every area, including, obviously, sports” Alberto Tomba commented. “The players who are battling in this Qualifier to get the ticket for Tokyo 2020 made a lot of sacrifices to be here. They deserve much credit”.

In his career, Tomba showed what sacrifice means.

Besides the Olympic Medals, he won two World Championships, and nine World Cups: four in slalom, four in giant slalom, and one overall. He also finished 50 times first in World Cup Races, 26 times second and 12 times third.

“It’s difficult to find only one special moment in my skiing career” Alberto Tomba revealed. “For my Olympic career, I could tell you about when I got a back to back titles in Calgary 1988 and Albertville 1992. I think that one of the most difficult things in sport is to stay at the top for a long time. On that occasion, I got a repeat, and that’s how I showed to be a real champion”.

What about in general? “I could tell you about my last win in Crans-Montana in 1998. After that, I decided to retire when I was only 31 years old. Marcel Hirscher, the Austrian alpine ski racer, took the same decision this year. I could have kept skiing until I was 38 years old, but I preferred to leave at the top of my career” he ended.