Manuela Di Centa
|Manuela Di Centa|
Manuela Di Centa (left) in October 2008
|Born||31 January 1963|
Paluzza, Friuli-Venezia Giulia, Italy
|Height||164 cm (5 ft 5 in)|
|Ski club||G.S. Forestale|
|World Cup career|
|Seasons||1982, 1984, 1987–1998|
|Overall titles||2 – (1994, 1996)|
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 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.
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.
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
- 7 medals – (2 gold, 2 silver, 3 bronze)
|Year||Age||5 km||10 km||15 km||Pursuit||20 km||30 km|| 4 × 5 km |
- 7 medals – (4 silver, 3 bronze)
|Year||Age||5 km|| 10 km
| 10 km
|15 km||Pursuit||20 km||30 km|| 4 × 5 km |
- 15 victories
- 35 podiums
|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|
- 1 victory – (1 TS)
- 9 podiums – (8 RL, 1 TS)
|1||1990–91||15 February 1991||Val di Fiemme, Italy||4 × 5 km Relay C/F||World Championships||2nd||Vanzetta / Paruzzi / Belmondo|
|2||1991–92||18 February 1992||Albertville, France||4 × 5 km Relay C/F||Olympic Games||3rd||Vanzetta / Paruzzi / Belmondo|
|3||1992–93||26 February 1993||Falun, Sweden||4 × 5 km Relay C/F||World Championships||2nd||Vanzetta / Paruzzi / Belmondo|
|4||1993–94||22 February 1994||Lillehammer, Norway||4 × 5 km Relay C/F||Olympic Games||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|
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.
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.
- "Italian Championships". GBR Athletics. Athletics Weekly. Retrieved 23 January 2011.
- "DI CENTA Manuela". FIS-Ski. International Ski Federation. Retrieved 21 December 2019.
- "Ms Manuela DI CENTA". International Olympic Committee. Retrieved 24 December 2017.