Interview with Speed ParaClimbing World Champion Silvia Parente

Silvia Parente is one of the winners of this first Paraclimbing World Championship. She won a silver medal in Paraclimbing Lead in the visual impairment B1 category and was awarded gold in Paraclimbing Speed.

Silvia ParenteSilvia you were chosen as the paraclimber's representative to recite the Athletes Oath during this World Championship opening ceremony. How did you feel?
When I was asked I just grew pale, I was afraid that I could make a mistake because I had to learn it by heart. I was given a great responsibility to represent all the athletes… and I remembered while listening other athletes reciting it in previous occasions that I was always moved. It was a great emotion to recite it in front of so many people!

What do you think of this first World Championship?
It was a wonderful event. Public was just great. In the climbing stadium there was such a cheerful atmosphere in these two days of competition. I really enjoyed. And it was a great emotion for me as paraclimber to be in the parade of the opening ceremony together with the all other athletes waving flags with no distinction among us.

What is the role of sport and especially of sport climbing in your life?
Sport”s role is essential in my life. Sport gave me the tools to face everyday life, helped me to acquire self-confidence, gain independence and strength.

How did you start climbing?
I started for fun. I used to accompany a group friend in the gym. Then from time to time I smoothly tried to climb. I started three years ago and since November 2010 I am doing competitions.

How long did you train for this competition?
Well, I started training very late just after I knew I was selected for this World Championship. It was a one month and a half of specific training … a very tough one.

Do you plan to go on competing in the next future?
Yes sure, at least I'll try and this time I will do training in a more continuous way.

Do you rock climb?
Yes I do, but less often than on the artificial wall. Living in the city I have more opportunities to go climbing in the gym. By the way, indoor climbing to me is more for agonism, while rock climbing is more for enjoying the contact with nature. I know you used to be a parathlete in alpine skiing. Yes I competed many years in that discipline and I stopped my carrier just after the Olympic Games in Torino 2006, where I won the gold medal in alpine sky.

So you practiced alpine skiing and now climbing. What different emotions do you get from these two sports?
By skiing I always get a sensation of freedom. Climbing, instead, is a great concentration exercise, it implies strength of will and determination, it is a personal challenge!

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