20 December 2004
Manuela di Centa, IOC member and Olympic cross country skiing champion – 15km and 30 km in Lillehammer in 1994 - has donated to the Olympic Museum the equipment she used last year when she climbed Everest. At a ceremony in Lausanne, she handed over her clothing, rucksack, balaclava, ice axe, sunglasses and even her crampons.
Manuela on the roof of the world
On 23 May 2003, 50 years after Hillary and Tensing, the skiing champion added a new title to her seven Olympic medals (two gold, two silver and three bronze) by becoming the first Italian woman to reach the summit of Everest. And thanks to her, the Olympic flag flew briefly on the roof of the world at 8,850m!
Two dreams come true…
Manuela, journalist, television presenter, top-level athlete and IOC member, had two dreams. One was to take part in the Olympic Games, which she did on five occasions (Sarajevo, Calgary, Albertville, Lillehammer and Nagano), a record! The other, crazy, dream was to climb the world’s highest mountain in the Himalayas.
An IOC trophy
She realised this dream, too, and her performance was all the more extraordinary since she had no high-altitude mountain climbing experience. For this achievement, a great example of the role of women in sport, she received an IOC trophy in July 2003 in Prague.
Now another project is taking shape inside her head: between now and the Olympic Games in Turin, to climb the highest peaks on the five continents, meeting the local people and talking to them about sport and the Olympic ideal. When asked if she will be with the same team, she answers with a big smile: “At least one of them, as three months ago I married Fabio Moraldi, with whom I climbed Everest!”