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INTERNATIONAL PARALYMPIC COMMITTEE
Imagen
a male Para skier and his guide

Giacomo Bertagnolli

Alpine Skiing
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After three years competing, Giacomo Bertagnolli made a name for himself on the alpine skiing international scene after an outstanding performance at the PyeongChang 2018 Paralympic Winter Games.

The Italian took double gold in the men´s slalom and giant slalom vision impaired alongside guide Fabrizio Casal. He added silver in the super-G and bronze in the downhill to his haul.

But Bertagnolli had really come of age in the 2016-17 season.

Back then, the youngster won his first world title on home snow in Tarvisio, Italy, alongside two other podium finishes.

He also followed on from his overall World Cup win in 2015-16 with top three finishes in the super-G, super-combined and slalom. He finished second overall in the men's vision impaired behind Slovakia's Miroslav Haraus.

Bertagnolli and Casal enjoy a close friendship that has enabled them to enjoy success throughout the years. Having been to school with each other, the pair decided to transfer their relationship to competition.

Biography

Impairment information

Type of Impairment
Vision impairment
Origin of Impairment
Congenital
Classification
B3
Guide
Fabrizio Casal

Further personal information

Residence
Cavalese, ITA
Occupation
Athlete
Languages
English, German, Italian

Sport specific information

When and where did you begin this sport?
He began skiing at age two in Cavalese, Italy. He took up the sport competitively in 2012.
Why this sport?
"I live in the mountains and have slopes all around me. It was the first sport I ever tried. I like speed, jumps, adrenaline and snow, so skiing is perfect."
Club / Team
GS Fiamme Gialle: Italy
Name of coach
Davide Gros [national], ITA

International debut

Year
2014
Competing for
Italy
Tournament
World Cup
Location
St. Moritz, SUI

General interest

Nicknames
Jack, Jack Berta (IPC, 10 Feb 2018; ildolomiti.it, 02 Feb 2017)
Hobbies
Climbing, mountain biking, skating. (ildolomiti.it, 02 Feb 2017)
Memorable sporting achievement
Winning gold in downhill at the 2019 World Championships in Slovenia and Italy. (paralympic.org, 31 Jan 2019)
Hero / Idol
US alpine skier Ted Ligety, Italian Moto GP rider Valentino Rossi. (IPC, 10 Feb 2018)
Superstitions / Rituals / Beliefs
He listens to music before competing. (ildolomiti.it, 02 Feb 2017)
Sporting philosophy / motto
"I'm a positive, crazy, determined, guy. I love travelling and meeting new people. I always want to try new sports, the crazier they are, the better it is. I'm not afraid." (IPC, 10 Feb 2018)
Awards and honours
He has been presented with the 'Collare d'oro' [Collar of Gold], the highest honour given by the Italian National Olympic Committee [CONI]. (IPC, 10 Feb 2018)
Impairment
He was born with atrophy of the optic nerve [OPA1]. (IPC, 10 Feb 2018)
Other information
GUIDE
He and his guide Fabrizio Casal have been friends since they were at school together, and after returning from the 2018 Paralympic Games in Pyeongchang they both had to take their final exams. Although the pair won two gold medals in Pyeongchang, as well as a silver and a bronze, Bertagnolli was still looking for ways to improve ahead of the 2018/19 season. "The better we get, the faster we get, which makes it more difficult to see. If I am too fast, I can't see the pole, if I am slower I can see the pole at the last second, but a little faster and I can't see it any more. I realised the solution was not to worry about the gates. Instead I just need to worry about Fabrizio and stay much nearer to him. If I stay just behind him, say 1.5m or something, then I can see the line he is taking and just follow it." (paralympic.org, 03 Jan 2019; pyeongchang2018.com, 05 Mar 2018)

Results

Unit Date Rank
2015 IPC Alpine Skiing World Championships Panorama (Panorama, Canada)
Event Medal Unit Date Rank
Men's Giant Slalom VI Race 1 2015-03-08 10
Men's Slalom VI Race 1 2015-03-10 9999
2017 IPC Alpine skiing World Championships Tarvisio, ITA (Tarvisio, Italy)
Event Medal Unit Date Rank
Men's Downhill VI Race 1 2017-01-25 5
Men's Super-G VI Race 1 2017-01-26 3
Men's Super-Combined VI Race 1 2017-01-28 1
Men's Giant Slalom VI Race 1 2017-01-30 2
Men's Slalom VI Race 1 2017-01-31 9999
Pyeongchang 2018 Paralympic Winter Games (Pyeongchang, South Korea)
Event Medal Unit Date Rank
Men's Downhill Visually Impaired Final 2018-03-10 3
Men's Super-G Visually Impaired Final 2018-03-11 2
Men's Super Combined Visually Impaired Final 2018-03-13 9999
Men's Giant Slalom Visually Impaired Final 2018-03-14 1
Men's Slalom Visually Impaired Final 2018-03-17 1
Kranjska Gora/Sella Nevea 2019 World Para Alpine Skiing Championships (Kranjska Gora/Sella Nevea, Slovenia)
Event Medal Unit Date Rank
Men's Giant Slalom VI Race 1 2019-01-21 2
Men's Slalom VI Race 1 2019-01-23 1
Men's Downhill VI Race 1 2019-01-30 1
Men's Super-G VI Race 1 (from SC) 2019-01-31 1
Men's Super-Combined VI Race 1 2019-01-31 1