Pyeongchang 2018: The OlymPink Games

Italian women are the authentic winners of this Winter Olympic Games edition with seven medals, including three golds

The Pyeongchang Winter Olympic Games painted the Italian flag pink. Indeed, Italy won ten medals, seven of which by women athletes, including three golds.

This is the loot that the Italian expedition brought back from South Korea, with the blessing of CONI (the Italian National Olympic Committee) President Giovanni Malagò: ‘Women are the authentic winners: for the first time men did not win at least one gold medal, but we deserve a good 7 in the report card for these Olympic Games. The next President, in four years, must start from here’.

Such a meaningful result was not arriving since the Winter Olympic Games hosted in Turin in 2006, which followed the positive results previously obtained in Salt Lake City (USA) 2002. The hard work done by several federations and the dedication of the athletes allowed to redeem the zero gold medals in the past Winter Olympic Games edition in Sochi, Russia, and the poor results achieved in Vancouver 2010, when Italy left Canada with only 5 medals around the neck.


Nonetheless, the azzurri athletes in Pyeongchang offered some exciting moments. Arianna Fontana, Italy’s standard-bearer during the opening ceremony and ice-skating short track champion, won the first gold medal of the expedition already on February 13. Arianna raced a 500 meters short track final close to perfection, winning in a photo finish against the South Korean athlet Minijeong Choi.

The young snowboard cross champion Michela Moioli won the second gold in one of the most spectacular and unexpected olympic competitions. She dominated the final race on February 16, redeeming the bad fall of Sochi 2014.

The third italian gold medal was special due to the great performance by Sofia Goggia, born in Bergamo like Michela Moioli. Indeed, she won the downhill skiing competition and gave Italy its historical first women’s gold in this discipline. The last Italian gold medal in this important game dated as far back as 1952, in the Oslo Olympic Games, when the unforgettable alpine ski racer Zeno Colò finished first.


Federico Pellegrino, excellent cross country skier of Fiamme Oro (a special Italian police department’s sports team) obtained the second position in the hard and tiring cross-country skiing competition, ranking first among all Italian men athletes in Pyeongchang.

The second silver was won again by the skilled Arianna Fontana just six days after the gold medal, leading the Italian team’s relay in the short track speed skating race. The second position arrived also thanks to the disqualification of the Chinese team, due to a contact with the Canadian athletes. The other medalists of the team were Martina Valcepina, Lucia Peretti and Cecilia Maffei.


On the same day, the mixed relay Biathlon race gave Italy another big joy. Lisa Vittozzi, Dorothea Wierer, Lukas Hofer and Dominik Windisch finished third and stepped up on the podium after France and Norway, too far out of reach.

The odds-on favourite Dominik Windish, Italian athlet from South Tyrol, obtained the first Italian medal of the Olympic Games on February 11, in the 10 km Sprint Biathlon. He finished his race just seven second behind the gold medalist, the German Arnd Peiffer. Windish could even reach his rival if he did not wrong in the last shooting lane that forced him into a penalty loop.

On February 15, Italy celebrated a double bronze. One in women’s giant slalom with Federica Brignone, specialist in alpine skiing, and another unexpected one in the men’s 10.000 meters ice-skating race with Nicola Tumolero, who surprised many odds-on favourites and awarded ice-skaters.

However, the cherry on top arrived nearly at the end of the games, on February 22, when the terrific Arianna Fontana got her third medal during the women’s 1.000 meters short track. By winning this medal, Arianna became one of the most awarded Italian olympic athlets of all times. She overcame Manuela Di Centa and she is just two medals away from equaling Stefania Belmondo, two authentic legends of Italian winter sports.


While women were the delight of these Korean Olympic Games, men dashed the expectations, especially in some disciplines where Italy always had great tradition and quality as alpine skiing (downhill, slalom and giant slalom) and luge. A pity for a country framed by the mountains as Italy, that had always walked tall in these Olympic sports. Indeed, in Pyeongchang, Italian athlets competed in every discipline except for ice hockey.

The generational turnover and intelligent investments tailored on specific disciplines must be the Olympic Committee’s focus to let the Mameli’s hymn play loud through the ice and warm the Italian hearts again. See you in Beijing 2022!