Interview: Luca Ulivieri (Italy)
Name: Ulivieri Luca
Birth date: 26.09.1990
Job/occupation: Skating trainer
What is skating and what is freestyle for you?
When I see someone skating... I'm happy! For me “skating” is a big part of my life, It's an extraordinary passion which started when I was young. As for freestyle, compared to the other skating disciplines, it's the best sport I've ever known, because it reflects my real personality and I can be myself.
How were you introduced to slalom-skating?
It all started when I was 6 during a boring afternoon at sea, my mother found out that there was a rink, and a teacher who taught in-line skating. This is when my journey in this amazing world began.
Do you practice other disciplines of skating?
The disciplines that I like most are style and speed, but during competitions I enjoy taking part in other disciplines such as roller cross, high jump, free jump, and jam.
The key moments of my skating life are as follows:
2002 and 2003
I started to get first places in the two slalom disciplines in the national Junior Mens category.
For the first time I took part in international competitions, Rollercup Monza and Lausanne, and in both I ended up fourth in the overall category in speed slalom. From that year on Speed Slalom became my main discipline.
2005 and 2006
I started to reach international podiums.
2007 I became world champion in Classic style slalom in GESSATE (Milano) – which I still cannot believe! That same year I also took part in my first battles in Paris (PSWC) and in Rome where I got the second places in Battle, and won the Speed (in Rome).
Three Italian titles at the first Italian championship FIHP: Speed, Style and Roller Cross. Besides, I got an unexpected third place in Free Jump during a World Cup!
I took part in Roma Battle where I won the Battle and ended up 2nd in Speed, and I went to Hannover for the Inline Games – a wonderful competition, where I got the 1st place in Speed and a 3rd place in Battle.
2009 Roller-Cross Italian Champion at the Italian championship FIHP of Amantea (Lamezia Terme)
First place in Speed slalom at Roma Battle
Classic Italian Champion at the Italian championship FIHP of Gessate (Milan)
2nd place at the WSSA World ranking WSSA in Speed Slalom
From 2006 to 2008 I was sponsored SEBA and now from 2009 I'm in collaboration with POWERSLIDE.
Competitions: What does it feels like to be no.1?
It's a wonderful reward after so many sacrifices, I feel accomplished and it gives me the strength to do even better.
You said in another interview (see the WSS 2010 Season Report) that your aim for 2011 was to become #1. The season has just started and you are already #1...
Honestly, I have set several goals:
1) Holding onto first place in the Speed Slalom World Ranking because it is my main discipline.
2) Winning the Speed Slalom world title this year.
3) I wish I could get myself noticed especially in Classic.
4) With my best friend I want to get good results in Classic Jam too.
Not to forget that I hope to do a good job in Battles because I improved a lot physically.
In competitions, you take part in style and speed. What do you prefer in each one?
In style there are many different kinds of skaters thanks to their styles: this is stimulating and makes me want to create something new each time. In speed I like the fact that in a few seconds you have a lot of strength and agility to switch amongst the cones and I think this technique is truly enviable.
Trainings: What does a skater need to be a good speed slalomer?
In my opinion, to have good results in speed slalom a skater should have an excellent athletic performance and should be able to cope with the pressure both during competitions and trainings.
What does your typical slalom-session/training looks like?
I'm on skates for one to two hours per day. Unfortunately I am alone, I'm rarely with someone, but one thing is certain: music! For me feeling the music means almost everything, as if there was someone beside you to give you moral support, help concentrate and make you feel yourself! And thank goodness it exists, otherwise I would not know how to adapt myself to my trainings :)
I also always try to adapt myself to the fantastic Korean style, because that's what fascinated me most.
How do you split your trainings between style and speed?
I always try to balance my training in both specialties, taking into account what I do with the kids I train.
I must say frankly that it's really hard to divide my personal training with that of my team, because you have to think about too many things. But I am happy for the tremendous efforts that I make! For me it is a great passion, why not doing it? ;)
Besides... Do you have other passions that skating? What do you do in life when you are note skating?
In my life I'm a normal guy like so many others: I go out with my friends, I go to the movies, I take my guys to the regional and national competitions and I train them 3 times a week and I hope so much that they are proud of the sport they have chosen.
Also I think that I'm the happiest guy in the world because I have finally found the girl of my dreams (smile)
More to say ? Special thanks... ?
Yes! I would say that, as many other skaters I guess, I have learned a lot of tricks through media and internet from videos on Universkate to Asian skaters' videos. I'm very glad of this because when I was 13 nobody helped or taught me. And I started winning in style and speed as well as in free jump and rollercross sometimes! I did it all by myself and I feel really accomplished!
Ok! I think I said it all J Thank you very much Chloé for this interview but many many many thank primarily to my family whom has always helped and supported me, and gave me the strength to go forward and made me understand that I must never give up even in front of a defeat. Another thanks to my sponsor POWERSLIDE and to all my Italian skater friends. See you next time!
Roller CrossText: Close Yr E's
Photos: Apache and all rights reserved