Manuela Di Centa

Manuela Di Centa OLY (born January 31, 1963) is a former Italian cross-country skier and Olympic athlete. She is the sister of former cross-country skier Giorgio Di Centa and cousin of former track and field athlete Venanzio Ortis.

Manuela Di Centa
Manuela di centa.jpg
Manuela Di Centa (left) in October 2008
Country Italy
Born (1963-01-31) 31 January 1963 (age 57)
Paluzza, Friuli-Venezia Giulia, Italy
Height164 cm (5 ft 5 in)
Ski clubG.S. Forestale
World Cup career
Seasons1982, 1984, 19871998
Individual wins15
Team wins1
Indiv. podiums35
Team podiums9
Indiv. starts106
Team starts15
Overall titles2 – (1994, 1996)
Discipline titles0

CareerEdit

Di Centa, born in Paluzza, province of Udine, to a family of Nordic skiers, made her debut on the Italian national team in 1980 at the age of 17, skied with the G.S. Forestale. Two years later, she competed at the FIS Nordic World Ski Championships in Oslo finishing in eighth place. After a quarrel with the president of the Italian Skiing Federation, Di Centa left the national team, not returning until 1986.

At the 1988 Winter Olympics in Calgary, she finished sixth in the 20 km freestyle. She won her first medals in international competition at the 1991 World Championships in Val di Fiemme: a silver (4 × 5 km relay) and two bronzes (5 km, 30 km). An Olympic medal followed in 1992, a bronze in the 4 × 5 km relay. In 1993, at the Falun World Championships, she won two more silvers (30 km, 4 × 5 km relay). At the 1995 FIS Nordic World Ski Championships, she won another silver (30 km) and a bronze (5 km).

Di Centa also became Italian national champion in fell running in 1985, 1989 and 1991.[1]

Di Centa seemed confined to the role of the eternal second, but this changed abruptly at the 1994 Winter Olympics in Lillehammer, where she medaled in all five cross-country events: two gold, two silver and one bronze medal. The same year she also won her first aggregate Cross-Country Skiing World Cup, a feat she repeated in 1996.

In 1996 she was the first Italian cross-country skier to receive the Holmenkollen Medal. Her last title was a bronze at the 1998 Winter Olympics in the 4 × 5 km relay.

After retiring, Di Centa worked for Italian television (RAI), and became a member of the Italian and International Olympic Committees.

Di Centa became the first Italian woman to climb Mount Everest (with supplementary oxygen) in 2003.[2]

Di Centa is the first Italian woman (and the 19th Italian) to compete at five Olympics, which she did from 1984 to 1998.

Her younger brother Giorgio is currently a member of the Italian national cross-country ski team and was the winner of two gold medals at the 2006 Winter Olympics.

At the 2018 Winter Olympics di Centa was inducted into the Olympians for Life project.[2]

2006 Winter OlympicsEdit

As a member of the International Olympic Committee and the Italian National Olympic Committee (CONI) and as one of Italy's most accomplished Winter Olympic athletes, Di Centa played a prominent public role in the 2006 Winter Olympics in Turin. She was one of the eight flag bearers during the Opening Ceremonies. At the Closing Ceremonies, she participated in the awarding of medals to the winners of the men's 50 km cross-country race. Coincidentally, the gold medal winner was her younger brother Giorgio.

Cross-country skiing resultsEdit

All results are sourced from the International Ski Federation (FIS).[3]

Olympic GamesEdit

  • 7 medals – (2 gold, 2 silver, 3 bronze)
 Year   Age   5 km   10 km  15 km  Pursuit   20 km  30 km  4 × 5 km 
 relay 
1984 21 24 28 N/A N/A 26 N/A 9
1988 25 18 20 N/A N/A 6 N/A
1992 29 12 N/A 10 N/A 6 Bronze
1994 31 Silver N/A Gold Silver N/A Gold Bronze
1998 35 21 N/A 23 N/A Bronze

World ChampionshipsEdit

  • 7 medals – (4 silver, 3 bronze)
 Year   Age   5 km  10 km
 classical 
 10 km
 freestyle 
 15 km  Pursuit  20 km  30 km  4 × 5 km 
 relay 
1982 18 8 17 N/A N/A N/A N/A
1989 25 N/A 8 7 N/A N/A 5 6
1991 27 Bronze N/A 4 N/A N/A Bronze Silver
1993 29 10 N/A N/A 5 4 N/A Silver Silver
1995 31 Bronze N/A N/A 4 N/A Silver 4
1997 33 34 N/A N/A 12 DNF N/A 4

World CupEdit

Season standingsEdit

 Season   Age  Overall Long Distance Sprint
1982 18 22 N/A N/A
1984 20 49 N/A N/A
1987 23 49 N/A N/A
1988 24 27 N/A N/A
1989 25 4 N/A N/A
1990 26 5 N/A N/A
1991 27 5 N/A N/A
1992 28 9 N/A N/A
1993 29 5 N/A N/A
1994 30   N/A N/A
1995 31 20 N/A N/A
1996 32   N/A N/A
1997 33 41 27
1998 34 20 20 21

Individual podiumsEdit

  • 15 victories
  • 35 podiums
No. Season Date Location Race Level Place
1  1988–89  13 January 1989   Klingenthal, East Germany 10 km Individual C World Cup 2nd
2 11 March 1989   Falun, Sweden 15 km Individual F World Cup 3rd
3 1989–90 18 February 1990   Pontresina, Switzerland 15 km Individual F World Cup 1st
4 7 March 1990   Sollefteå, Sweden 30 km Individual F World Cup 1st
5 10 March 1990   Örnsköldsvik, Sweden 10 km Individual C World Cup 2nd
6  1990–91  12 February 1991   Val di Fiemme, Italy 5 km Individual C World Championships 3rd
7 16 February 1991   Val di Fiemme, Italy 30 km Individual F World Championships 3rd
8 10 March 1991   Örnsköldsvik, Sweden 15 km Individual F World Cup 2nd
9 16 March 1991   Oslo, Norway 5 km Individual F World Cup 2nd
10  1992–93  27 February 1993   Falun, Sweden 30 km Individual F World Championships 2nd
11 6 March 1993   Lahti, Finland 5 km Individual F World Cup 2nd
12 9 March 1993   Lillehammer, Norway 5 km Individual C World Cup 3rd
13 10 March 1993   Lillehammer, Norway 10 km Pursuit F World Cup 2nd
14 10 March 1993   Štrbské Pleso, Slovakia 10 km Individual C World Cup 3rd
15  1993–94  18 December 1993   Davos, Switzerland 10 km Individual F World Cup 3rd
16 21 December 1993   Toblach, Italy 15 km Individual C World Cup 1st
17 15 January 1994   Oslo, Norway 15 km Individual F World Cup 2nd
18 13 February 1994   Lillehammer, Norway 15 km Individual F Olympic Games 1st
19 15 February 1994   Lillehammer, Norway 5 km Individual C Olympic Games 2nd
20 17 February 1994   Lillehammer, Norway 10 km Pursuit F Olympic Games 2nd
21 24 February 1994   Lillehammer, Norway 30 km Individual CF Olympic Games 1st
22 6 March 1994   Lahti, Finland 30 km Individual F World Cup 1st
23 12 March 1994   Falun, Sweden 10 km Individual F World Cup 1st
24 20 March 1994   Thunder Bay, Canada 10 km Pursuit F World Cup 1st
25  1994–95  12 March 1995   Thunder Bay, Canada 5 km Individual C World Championships 3rd
26 18 March 1995   Thunder Bay, Canada 30 km Individual F World Championships 2nd
27  1995–96  9 December 1995   Davos, Switzerland 5 km Individual F World Cup 3rd
28 9 January 1996   Štrbské Pleso, Slovakia 30 km Individual F World Cup 1st
29 18 March 1995   Nové Město, Czech Republic 10 km Individual C World Cup 2nd
30 2 February 1996   Seefeld, Austria 5 km Individual F World Cup 1st
31 11 February 1996   Kavgolovo, Russia 10 km Individual C World Cup 1st
32 24 February 1996   Trondheim, Norway 5 km Individual C World Cup 1st
33 25 February 1996   Trondheim, Norway 10 km Pursuit F World Cup 1st
34 2 March 1996   Lahti, Finland 10 km Individual F World Cup 1st
35 9 March 1996   Falun, Sweden 15 km Individual F World Cup 1st

Team podiumsEdit

  • 1 victory – (1 TS)
  • 9 podiums – (8 RL, 1 TS)
No. Season Date Location Race Level Place Teammate(s)
1  1990–91  15 February 1991   Val di Fiemme, Italy 4 × 5 km Relay C/F World Championships[1] 2nd Vanzetta / Paruzzi / Belmondo
2  1991–92  18 February 1992   Albertville, France 4 × 5 km Relay C/F Olympic Games[1] 3rd Vanzetta / Paruzzi / Belmondo
3  1992–93  26 February 1993   Falun, Sweden 4 × 5 km Relay C/F World Championships[1] 2nd Vanzetta / Paruzzi / Belmondo
4  1993–94  22 February 1994   Lillehammer, Norway 4 × 5 km Relay C/F Olympic Games[1] 3rd Vanzetta / Paruzzi / Belmondo
5  1995–96  17 December 1995   Santa Caterina, Italy 4 × 5 km Relay C World Cup 2nd Paluselli / Belmondo / Paruzzi
6 14 January 1996   Nové Město, Czech Republic 4 × 5 km Relay C World Cup 3rd Paluselli / Belmondo / Paruzzi
7 3 February 1996   Seefeld, Austria 6 × 1.5 km Team Sprint F World Cup 1st Belmondo
8 10 March 1996   Falun, Sweden 4 × 5 km Relay C/F World Cup 3rd Giacomuzzi / Dal Sasso / Belmondo
9  1997–98  14 December 1997   Val di Fiemme, Italy 4 × 5 km Relay F World Cup 2nd Paruzzi / Valbusa / Belmondo

Note: 1 Until the 1999 World Championships and the 1994 Olympics, World Championship and Olympic races were included in the World Cup scoring system.

National titlesEdit

PoliticsEdit

Manuela Di Centa, who has been vice-president of the National Council of the Italian National Olympic Committee (CONI) until 2006, is also involved in politics and was a member of the Chamber of Deputies for Forza Italia, between 2006 and 2013. She became a member of the International Olympic Committee in 1999 and remained there until 2010.[4]

Doping allegationsEdit

The Swedish investigative television program Uppdrag granskning claimed that Di Centa had an exceptionally high hemoglobin level prior to a World Cup in Lahti in 1997. Di Centa's hemoglobin value was measured in an official pre-competition test as high as 17.3 g/dL. The allowed limit to start in official FIS competition is 16.5 g/dL.

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Italian Championships". GBR Athletics. Athletics Weekly. Retrieved 23 January 2011.
  2. ^ a b https://olympians.org/news/1064/woa-honours-olympians-for-life-inductees/
  3. ^ "DI CENTA Manuela". FIS-Ski. International Ski Federation. Retrieved 21 December 2019.
  4. ^ "Ms Manuela DI CENTA". International Olympic Committee. Retrieved 24 December 2017.

External linksEdit