Argentina crowned synchronized ski world champion in Aspen: the secrets of a sport that wants to be Olympic

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poplar It is one of the leading ski resorts in the world. Four mountains of the Rocky Mountain system, in the heart of the state of Colorado, which every year are chosen by many winter sports enthusiasts to enjoy the snow and nature. And that, even every season, they receive the action of the Synchronized Ski World Championshipa discipline that is growing more and more, which continues to add followers and which dreams of conquering, one day, a place in the Olympic program.

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The 2023 edition took place over the weekend and a 100% Lazio team was crowned champion. He silver It was formed in 2014 by a group of Argentine friends who love this sport and was “re-proposed” last year by other compatriots, among them, Andrés Martinez Giardini, an instructor from Mendoza who has been working in that tourist complex for years. In the last edition, the Albiceleste team won the bronze medal. And in what took place between Thursday and Saturday he won the gold medal.

With training they have completed Luca Guinazu, Juan Ignacio Crescitelli, Luciano Ramonda Lemos, joachim single, Maurizio Masut, Alessio Crespo, Manuel Gaite AND David Tressen; the Argentines climbed to the top step of the podium.

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The competition consisted of three events: a race, similar to a slalom, in which the team placed first; a bump test on a fairly steep “bumpy” track, in which he finished second; and the synchronized test, in which a jury of specialists evaluated technique, times and braking distance.

“Once all trials were done, all the scores added up and we came out champions. Second was a team from Aspen, Divas, which is made up entirely of women, some from Argentina; and third, one from Telluride, a other mountain in Colorado,” said Giardini clarion from the United States.

“This team has several years of experience. It was founded in 2014 by other Argentinian instructors who used to work here, but are no longer there. It competed in the World Cup for several years and also made podiums. But then it fell apart. The last year , I really wanted to ski and compete. I started talking to friends and motivating them to participate. So we relaunched it. We work so much here that we have little time to ski for ourselves. This was a way to get together skiing and enjoy the sport. And now we are champions,” he added.

The complete squad of the world champion.  Photo courtesy of Andrés Martinez Giardini

The complete squad of the world champion. Photo courtesy of Andrés Martinez Giardini

What is this discipline, very little known in our country, about? “It’s something like artistic swimming, but in the snow. The idea is to build figures among the eight members as we go down. Try to synchronize the movements with the person in front of you, who is doing the same movement or in one mirror,” explained the man from Mendoza.

The World Cup – officially, Aspen World Synchro Championship– is organized by the company that manages the ski centre. To participate you just need to assemble a team and register; in addition to “having a minimal characteristic and they know you,” said Martínez.

Teams consist of eight skiers and can have up to two substitutes. Before the pandemic, the competition brought together around 20 teams in each edition United States of America, Canada and several countries of Europe, in addition to the Argentine. The health crisis caused by COVID-19 forced to cancel it in 2020 and 2021. And last year it was played again, albeit with fewer participants (about 10).

Synchronized skiing is not regulated by any federation, although it is gaining more and more followers.  Photo courtesy of Andrés Martínez Giardini

Synchronized skiing is not regulated by any federation, although it is gaining more and more followers. Photo courtesy of Andrés Martínez Giardini

“Synchronized skiing is not regulated by any federation. The World Cup was born in Aspen many years ago and has gradually become better known, even if it has not yet developed sufficiently for a federation to emerge or aspire to be a olympic discipline it is booming and growing. I think the idea is that I continue on that path and that in the future, maybe, I can be an Olympian. Because visually it’s fun and attractive to look at, even if you don’t like or know nothing about skiing,” said the Argentine.

From Las Lenas to Aspen

Martínez Giardini was born 31 years ago in meanness and started skiing at the age of five when his family went to spend a few days Le Lene and his father invited him to try the sport. “We went skiing every year. One weekend, because it’s an expensive sport, so we were satisfied with it, in Las Leñas or in two other nearby ski centers. It was nice to share that time with my family in the mountains. I also liked it because you’re always outdoors and active. And I love nature and trees and mountains and the cold,” she recalled.

Martinez Giardini and companion.  There is a large Argentinian community in Aspen and the customs of our country have not been lost.  Photo courtesy of Andrés Martínez Giardini

Martinez Giardini and companion. There is a large Argentinian community in Aspen and the customs of our country have not been lost. Photo courtesy of Andrés Martínez Giardini

On one of those trips, the work of the instructors started to get his attention and he started imagining what it would be like to dedicate himself to that. Curiosity was dormant in his mind and when he had the opportunity, he decided to try his luck in that field.

“In March 2016 I obtained the diploma of Expert Agronomist (Editor’s note: a career to which he is still very attached, thanks to a wine production company undertaken with his brother and some friends) and had some free time. Through a friend I learned that in Las Leñas there was a short course for instructors that allowed you to work in that complex, and in June I did. I started to internalize the subject and I discovered that there was a degree from the Argentine Association of Ski Instructors, which allows you to work internationally, so I signed up,” he said.

Months later he had already landed in the United States, through a shipping company. work and travelwhich connected it with a ski resort in California called north star, in the Lake Tahoe area. And in 2017, thanks to someone he met when he was studying in Las Leñas, he arrived in Aspen, which ended up becoming his home for a good part of the year.

Since 2017, Martínez Giardini spends his Northern Hemisphere winters in Aspen.  Photo courtesy of Andrés Martínez Giardini

Since 2017, Martínez Giardini spends his Northern Hemisphere winters in Aspen. Photo courtesy of Andrés Martínez Giardini

“It is one of the best places in the world to ski, because having a dry climate, the quality of the snow is very good. I only live here during the winter season. I am hired by the company that manages the center and I work from 9 to 15, giving group or individual lessons. Now I live in a very nice place, in the middle of the four mountains. From my window I can see the slopes and the people skiing,” she commented.

“There is a free public transport system for anyone who comes downtown, which works very well. And there is also a fairly large community of Argentines, including instructors and people who work in other areas, such as restaurants, clothing stores, etc. “We always do things together, we get together to drink mate to have a barbecue… We live in an apartment building next door with a friend. And there are also many people from Peru, Chile, Costa Rica, for example”, continued.

He said he never thought about getting into high-performance skiing, mostly because he’s viewed the sport as a hobby for much of his life. That every year, in mid-April, when the season in the United States ends, he returns to Argentina, where he takes the opportunity to devote some time to his oenological project and to hold courses in some center of the country (in recent years, in Bariloche). And that even if sometimes he misses the heat, he doesn’t get tired of living from winter to winter, because “the cold does not saturate me” and because the snow gives him the opportunity to make a living from a profession he loves and enjoys.

"I like working outside, in nature, not being stuck in an office," he said.  Photo courtesy of Andrés Martínez Giardini

“I like working outside, in nature, not being stuck in an office,” he said. Photo courtesy of Andrés Martínez Giardini

“I like working outdoors, in nature, not being stuck in an office. I also help people. I really like working with children, because it’s more educational and more fun,” reflects Martínez. “Basically, sharing the passion I have for this sport.”

Source: Clarin

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