European Games, Opening Ceremony in Kraków


Flag-bearers Nespoli and Giuffrida lead the parade of the 331 Azzurri. You can win medals and Olympic passes

From our correspondent Michela Cuppini

Night of the Stars in Krakow. Of music, of colors, of emotions. The third edition of the European Games begins with a spectacular ceremony full of stories and cultures. Of noise and fireworks. The flashing lights mix with the flashes from the smartphones of the more than 25,000 spectators in the stands. The Henryk Reyman Stadium, where the home games of the local football team Wisla Kraków were played, is transformed for one night. And it welcomes the athletes who come in excited. It couldn’t be otherwise. There are medals (253) and Olympic passes to be won in these 12 days. Perhaps that is why their tension is perceived. A bit like the pride that accompanies them.


As usual, we start with Greece. Then everyone else parades. Italy will start 24th, with judoka Odette Giuffrida and archer Mauro Nespoli leading the delegation. The two flag bearers are excited but composed. Behind 65 of the 331 Azzurri present in Kraków.


“These Games will be a good testing ground for Paris 2024,” Coni President Giovanni Malagò said a few hours earlier at the press conference at Casa Italia. The team is competitive and we are expected to do better than in Minsk 2019 when we won 41 medals. I’m just sorry that the march and Marcell Jacobs couldn’t take place.” Stefano Mei, President of the Italian Athletics Federation, also commented on the 100m Olympic champion: “Marcell is already living in a difficult situation, plus they have to come and talk someone out.” Jacobs is everyone’s cup of tea, but he has too many haters. He would do well to cut himself off from life as usual, also because he is the strongest of all at running, but he has to be able to do that.”


The first day of play ended positively. All Italian representatives in padel are victorious and thus advance in the competition. In canoeing, on the other hand, excellent results were achieved by men, less so by women. Gabriele Casadei and Carlo Tacchini in the C2 drove the best time; while Alessandro Gnecchi, Giacomo Cinti, Manfredi Rizza and Andrea Di Liberto reached the final in K4. The quartet consisting of Susanna Cicali, Francesca Genzo, Cristina Petracca and Agata Fantini, who were eliminated in the semifinals, will not move into the final act. Genzo and Cicali cannot rehabilitate themselves in K2 either and say goodbye to the games prematurely.

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