Under the umbrella: A star player’s novel
Accurate compendium to understand Alberto Tomba – modern ski hero and top athlete in FILA’s winter sports tradition – in the best possible way, Il romanzo di un fuoriclasse (‘A star player’s novel’), published in 1992, has a complex structure. First of all, it hasn’t been written only by the Bolognese champion, but also by Leo Turrini, a journalist and writer focused on memoirs (Lucio Battisti, Michael Schumacher). Secondary, it’s enriched by pictures from Penta Photo, photographic agency that has been documenting the most important international ski events since the Eighties. Lastly, thanks to the athlete’s intercession, words deal with shots from the private archive of the sportsman’s family, shaping an exceptionally unique text.
Il romanzo di un fuoriclasse starts from the beginning, when Alberto starts practicing on the snow at the age of three years old, with the help of Franco, his father, who coached in his spare time. Even if it does not snow frequently in Emilia Romagna, baby Alberto reveals a natural attitude, shaped during teenage by talented trainers (Roberto Siorpaes) and inspiring muses (Ingemar Stenmark). Between 1984 and 1987 Alberto is ready for his first competitions: the audience notices him, because Bolognese smiling people seldom appear on ski slopes. The skier notches up a series of victories that lead him straight on magazine covers and into people’s hearts – including Stenmark’s, who declared ‘I like that guy, he’s got a great talent. I’m happy when he tears us all apart, because it’s a pleasure to see him in action’.
The peak of the whole narration is obviously Albertville 199, the Olympics in which ‘Tomba la bomba’ (‘Tomba the bomb’) wins his Golden Medal in the giant slalom. The sorytelling is a witty chronicle, full of rhythm, enhanced by pictures whose captions are texts in the text itself, slipping tenderly like snow on a mountain.
The book is even more precious thanks to FILA’S colored competition suits: blue and fucsia, mint and violet. In a career marked ups and downs, rises and falls, the campions’ colors have remained, worn with confidence by a star player that – we’re sure about it – will make you passionate about a book you won’t only read during summer.
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