Il vento contro (headwind)

Waterskiing champion Daniele Cassioli in Cavazza to introduce his autobiography.
Serena Cimini

Front cover of the book Il vento contro by Daniele Cassioli, De Agostini Editor

On last Saturday, February 2nd, the Istituto Francesco Cavazza had the honour of hosting world waterskiing champion Daniele Cassioli for the presentation of his autobiographical book Il vento contro [headwind], published by De Agostini.


Daniele Cassioli, blind from birth, is the strongest Paralympic waterskiing champion of all times, holder of three world records and winner of 22 gold medals at the World Championships and 25 gold medals at the European Championships.


But Daniele is first a 32-year-old man who, thanks to his love of sports, has learned to know himself, recognize his limits and face his deepest fears: "Winning is not just reaching a goal, it's also getting rid of an obstacle that's in your way. Winning can mean finding your own self and loving yourself as you are."


Motivated by the questions of his interviewer, Rai journalist Nelson Bova, Daniele Cassioli involved those present with the stories of his childhood and teenage life (not only about training and competitions, but also about studies, friends, girls, and music, and his relationship with his parents), touching on important and profound themes with disarming lightness and irony, uncommon qualities that only great communicators possess.


The book begins with a dedication to his retinas, which have never worked, and ends with a passionate love letter to sports: these are just two of the many reasons why I would recommend anyone to read Il Vento contro!


Physiotherapist by profession and extraordinary athlete by passion, Daniele is a great example of tenacity, determination and autonomy.


He gives personal development and growth conferences, he is at the frontline of his non-profit organization to stimulate blind and visually impaired children, especially by creating awareness about sports. He visits schools all over Italy to talk to young people about blindness and low vision, in order to break down prejudices because, as his father told Daniele when he was a child, "If you learn about the world, it will never scare you."


The friendship between Daniele Cassioli and Cavazza began to develop last summer during the summer camp (organized by I.Ri.Fo.R. Emilia Romagna, in collaboration with the Istituto Cavazza) when we gave visually impaired youth the extraordinary experience of being water skiers for a day. Facing a new challenge and overcoming their fears, they discovered that the "headwind" is ideal to make you want to fly.


Daniele Cassioli

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