Greta Cicolari is finally going to leave behind the worst period of her career. Very soon indeed one of the best beach volleyball player in the world will be allowed to play again after a 13 months suspension by her own federation. It is now time to think about a new chapter, with the dream to reach again the olympics in Rio 2016.
Her journey is starting with a new partner Gulia Decordi, ready to discover the Beach Volleyball world. Giulia is born in ’86 and has had a brilliant career in indoor volleyball and played for good teams like Busto Arsizio, Perugia and even the national team. We will follow the adventure on this brand new team throughout the season but first of all we wanted to interview Greta to understand how she sees it after one year and half break.
2014 was not easy for you. What were your feelings while you were leading this battle?
This year I had a mix of very different feelings also going through a bad period of depression. Above all the worst feeling was the sense of not being able to control something I thought was not right. I went through with all my heart until the person who created my problems went away to another country. It is a pity that sometimes in life, unfair things happen and nobody really do anything for you. There were times where I thought of quitting and it was hard to get up in the mourning and not being allowed to go to tournaments like the other girls but the desire to play and the passion for my sport has taken the strong side and now I just can’t wait to go back and play. It was not easy to go through everything but I think this period has made me stronger mentally and opened up my mind. Now I only think of playing and having fun on the sand.
Do you have a desire to pay back?
Actually there is no revanche because most of the people understood what really happened e nobody doubted about my qualities as a player. I just want to start again with positive people around me who have intousiam, positivity and a common goal.
Were you disappointed in some people of the italian beach volleyball world when you got suspended?
It is better not to talk about the past. You can only feel disappointment if you truly believed in someone and I can assure you, there is only one person who truly deluded me. Others were not friends and I did not expect anything from them. I knew very well who was faking to be my friend and was close to me when I was winning for their own interest and I prefer to keep this kind of people away from me. But now I am past through all of that.
We can feel lots of desire to get back…
I am really determined, my goal is to go back to the highest level and do what I have always done in my life, trying to win. I am starting a new project that will be very hard but also very fascinating.
I will play with an ex-teammate from the indoor national team: Giulia Decordi. Together we will do everything to reach a good level. We will need time and patience and we are starting from the bottom. Playing beach volleyball is pretty new to her. At least I hope to recuperate most of the points I earned prior my injury and hopefully we will be able to get a couple wild cards from the federation.
You had other proposals or you picked your teammate yourself?
I had a few offers and also some to have some more economic security but at the end of the day I just waited my time and I will play with Giulia because I believe in her in the long term. I like her character and we both have the same values. We will try with all our heart to represent Itally internationally.
What do you hope for 2015?
I hope to have again a positive and constructive dialogue with my own federation, especially because I have always shown to care about the national team as well indoor as in beach volleyball. I do not have any pressure to have results right away, but of course I will get back on the sand with the same desire and will to win games! It will be a huge emotion when I hear again the whistle of the referee and traveling again with Giulia. Than I am sure that the many fans (that I thank for all the messages received through my FB and twitter pages) will travel and dream together with us. Their support together with my family’s and my boyfriend’s really helped me in order to get back more motivated than ever. That will be very hard to get back there but the most important for me is to play and keeping the passion for my sport. The rest will come along.
What is your program?
We are starting with conditioning only as we both did not play for more than a year. We will have to start from minor tournaments based on the calendars that are coming out in this period. The goal will be to make it to a Gran Slam of course, hoping to have at least a wild card along the way.
Going to Rio is going to be hard but that is in our possibilities and this is why it is so much of a fascinating goal. It is a dream but it is a possible goal that we need to have in order to work hard and trying to get better every day. We have lost lots of time but I don’t lose confidence that someone can help us with our goals. The project is totally private and I am looking for the support of sponsors and people who believe in a certain type of human values before anything else.
Tell us more about the project?
We started with Coach Andrea Raffaelli who did the olympics as well as a player. Giulia will have different conditioning practices first as she finishes university in the beginning of december. December 27th should be our first game in the italian indoor championship. January and february we planned a stage abroad but the base will be in Italy near home where we have all the facilities and our physiotherapist Chicco Gargiulo.
So Beach Volley can be done privately?
Beach Volleyball should be done privately choosing your own partner and staff like most of the teams on the world tour.
I said it before when I was in the “national team”. I don’t think it is fair that some federations choose to help only certain teams.
I think it is very important to have a strong national tour live the AVP or in Brazil. Even Germany, Switzerland and other countries start to have better national tours and this helps improve the competition between players. I hope the same will happen in Italy too.
We hope to talk to you soon and keep an eye on your goal to Rio 2016. There is anything you want to say to your fans?
I can only say that I will be working hard e that I would like to get back to the top together with Giulia. I dreamed all of 2014 of what could happen in 2015… The only message I have for them is to NEVER GIVE UP!