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Accent on Fabrizio Macchi
 
By Staff
Date: 1/3/2004
Accent on Fabrizio Macchi
 

Fabrizio Macchi is a most remarkable sportsman. He had to rebuild his life after losing a leg at the age of sixteen, yet in his "second life" has gone on to claim multiple hour records and Special Olympic medals, among other things. He has also ridden in the past two editions of the Giro d'Italia.

He also competes in track, rowing, ski slalom, javelin, long jump...You can find out more about him at his website, www.fabriziomacchi.com.

Here we bring you a message from Fabrizio about his new autobiography, a review of the book and an account by the Daily Peloton's own Fabio, who watched Macchi set an hour record in Milan in 2001.


Franco Ballerini and Fabrizio Macchi on the Alpe d'Huez, June 2003.
Courtesy Fabrizio Macchi.

Dear friend,

My name is Fabrizio Macchi, and I would like to tell you about my latest work. My autobiography, that has just been issued by the "Libri di Sport" Publishing House, and is now available at book stores. All money raised from the selling of the book will go, in collaboration with the "Juventus Football Club" Team, to the Regina Margherita-Sant'Anna Hospital in Turin, and help their Neonatology Unit restructuring project. The book, entitled Non Mi Fermo ("I will not stop"), is about the story of my life, from my childood as "lively child", to the tragedy of having to fight knee cancer at the age of 13, from "recapturing" my life, to the desire of building a normal existence after finding myself without a left leg at the age of 16.

And then there's my most recent years, which you probably already know of: I set three cycling Hour Records, was a forerunner to Alberto Tomba in skiing, and twice rode in the Giro d'Italia, at the Pescara and Groningen Prologues. I took part in the Sydney Olympics, and I'm currently preparing for Athens. The past summer, all by myself, I have completed a Cycling Tour of Europe, covering nearly 3000 kilometers in twenty stages, in order to sensitize public opinion in the European Year of Disabled People (EYDP).

All of the above, including the problems I had to face in a society that finds it difficult to accept the differently able persons (that's the way they call us now) is told in my book, which was written along with Corriere dello Sport-Stadio newspaper journalist Pietro Cabras.

A very happy New Year to all of you,
Fabrizio

More info at: www.fabriziomacchi.com
My e-mail address:: info@fabriziomacchi.com


Fabrizio waiting to start the 2002 Giro d'Italia Prologue. Courtesy Fabrizio Macchi.


Book review: Io Non Mi Fermo ("I Won't Stop")
Author: Fabrizio Macchi with Pietro Cabras

"I'm an extremely fortunate person: I would not change anything in my life": Fabrizio Macchi, 33, sport champion from Varese, tells us his extraordinary history in a dramatic and thrilling autobiography. The happy childood of an ordinary, lively child, the three years he spent in a hospital to fight knee cancer, his low chances of survival, the seventeen surgical interventions he had, his comeback to a totally different world. But thanks to sport and his steel-like determination, Fabrizio can now travel the world, climb the mountains on his bike, set new records, take part in the Olympic Games and run the NYC Marathon, and build an absolutely extraordinary life day after day. Even if he has been living with one leg only for seventeen years.


Macchi on the hour record course at Varese Velodrome. Courtesy Fabrizio Macchi.


The "Fairytale" of Fabrizio Macchi 
By Fabio
Published at The Daily Peloton 25 September 2001

Last Saturday, at the Vigorelli Velodrome in Milan city centre, Italy's Fabrizio Macchi set the new Hour record for disabled persons. The result got by this 31-year-old physioteraphist from Varese, who lost his left leg at the age of 16 because of a cancer, and who underwent 17 further operations, was absolutely astonishing: 45,870 km/h. He improved, better crushed, his previous record by more than 7 km/h (that one, set last year, was 38,572 km/h) !!!!!

It's true that during his whole attempt he got the help of many cycling personalities who rode in front of him, but it remains and extraordinary exploit anyway. Among the several champions who helped him were the likes of Francesco Moser, MTB ace Paola Pezzo, former World Champions such as Maurizio Fondriest and Gianni Bugno, past Olympic Champions Giovanni Lombardi and Marco Villa, 2000 Giro winner Stefano Garzelli (he too coming from Varese) and former pro (now Italian TV commentator) Davide Cassani.

Even former ski sensation Alberto Tomba was present. But maybe the guy who mostly helped Macchi was Pierangelo Vignati, a man who shared Fabrizio's fate, another disabled whose strength of character allowed him to become a champion both in sport and everyday life. Both Vignati and Macchi took part in Sydney's Paralympics last year (Vignati also won the Mixed LC1 4000 meter individual pursuit gold medal), and in the European Championships at the beginning of September (2 silver medals for Vignati, a bronze for Macchi).

Macchi's new hour record result won't be ratified, but his performance remains absolutely amazing. And you should add the fact that he was riding under a steady, annoying drizzle, in a sultry climate which didn't help him at all.

"Yes, both the rain and the sultriness annoyed me, but everything went well, I'm truly happy", said Macchi at the end of his performance, adding that "I must thank everybody. I believe this is an authentic message of sport and solidarity and a moment of joy for many, from the pros to the disabled persons. Sport is the same to everybody. This exploit must be a starting point for a big pleasure only sport can offer. I proved that we can do sport all together, in the same way, and the we all should have the courage to overcome the obstacles".

A beneficial initiative was linked to the event: an auction, starting this week, and featuring a lot of stuff belonging to well-known champions, including the bike used by Gilberto Simoni during the last Giro d'Italia. All auction proceeds are going to the "Associazione Italiana Ricerca Contro il Cancro".

In spite of two great races to watch on TV (the Vuelta and the "Hell of the South", better known as Giro del Lazio) I opted for going to Milan, and I have to say it was a great and unforgettable experience!!! The only negative thing was the low number of spectators: only 150-200 bystanders, despite the free entrance and the presence of several "VIPs". That was quite disappointing; I must admit there's something wrong with many Italian fans.



Fabrizio Macchi. Courtesy his website.

Fabrizio Macchi Career Highlights

Hour Records

1998: km 37,499
1999: km 38,388
2000: km 38,562
2001: km 45,870

Time Trials

2000: Gold Medal, Italian Championship (Varese)
2001: Gold Medal, Italian Championship (Rome)
2001: Bronze Medal, European Championships (Zurich)
2002: Silver Medal, World Championships (Germany)
2003: Silver Medal, European Championships (Czech Rep.)

Track Pursuit

2000: 5th, Olympic (Sydney)
2001: Gold Medal, Italian Championships (Rome)
2001: Bronze Medal, European Championships (Zurich)
2002: Bronze Medal, World Championships (Germany)
2003: Bronze Medal, European Championships (Czech Rep.)


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