2000 has been a magic year, no doubts one of the three best in my life so far, because not only I moved abroad for the first time, I reached the peak of my career as a sport journalist in one of the best place in the world: Sydney during the Olympic Games.
In early February, answering a job announce where they were looking for freelance to cover week-end games, I have been offered to take part in a start-up in London, leaving immediately. They were the golden times of internet bubble and even if I was enjoying my job at Fantacalcio.it, that was an offer I couldn’t refuse.
The startup was Sports.com and I stayed in London until the first days of June. I was living and working in Chiswick, one of the nicest residential area, west of Hammersmith, with the Thames just a couple of minutes walk. I was working very hard, often 12 hours a day at least, but in a very cosmopolitan environment and every night I was partying harder.
I was positively surprised when I arrived to find milder days than in Milan, where in january and February temperature drops regularly below 0°C at night.
I must admit though that between pints of beer and awful local food, I put on 5 Kg, that, also because of my more sedentary lifestyle, I couldn’t lose until in 2008 I took a 7 days fasting retreat.
During my free time I hang out a lot with my Spanish colleagues, so I start to familiarize with the language at the point when they ask me where I have learned Spanish I usually reply in London, jokingly but not really.
I was back in Milan in early June, right on time for the beginning of European Football tournament. That was another month that flew away full of fantastic memories. I was working very hard, at least 13 hours a day, but the hour with my colleagues drinking moijtos at La Bodeguita del Medio was enough to pay me back of all this sacrifices. Which sacrifice am I talking about? I was getting paid good money to work as a sport journalist, my child dream, after being a football star, of course.
In August I spent few days on holidays in Greece. While visiting the site who was preparing for Olympic games scheduled held in four years, I had no idea few days later I would be asked to fly to Sydney to cover 2000 Olympic Games. Those September days were the apex of my career as a sport journalist. I was working very hard, at least 14 hours a day, but I was partying harder. I probably slept an average of 3 hours a night, but I was young and I was feeded by massive doses of daily adrenaline.
I was the manager of website “Casa Italia” the meeting point of Sponsors and athletes. Every day I was eating like a king and interviewing the athletes who just won a medal. In a world where internet was still a mystery for almost everyone in the big caravan after the italian sport, I immediately became a trusted reference to everybody there. Italians TV anchorman wouldn’t start their daily show without passing by my workstation and receive the latest news.
And my first impact was shocking! I arrived at night in the Sydney University campus in Parramatta and I had to deal there was no reservation or accreditation under my name. I went for a walk in the campus and saw giants bats, who later find out are named flying foxes. The following morning I was striked by looking at a beautiful girl at the bus stop who was exposing with nonchalance hairs at least 3cm long on her bare legs. I realized immediately why Australia has the nickname Downunder!
The area I liked the most in Sydney was Manly. I wish I can go back soon to this fantastic city and see its real face, because during the Olympic days was simply too good to be true.
eh si bella esperienza !,sicuramente più bella di quella delle olimpiadi invernali di Torino……..