Pino Maddaloni in EXCLUSIVE: “Life lessons from judo. I have to prove that I am the gold of Naples “

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Giuseppe Maddalonibetter known by all as Pinorepresents one of those sports stories Italian that you would tell your child as a bedtime story. It is the story of someone born in the heart of Napoli manages to fight obstacles and prejudices, of those who grow up in the sails of the neighborhood of Scampia and metaphorically takes off through sport. The judo it is the discipline that from an early age forms him temperamentally by teaching him the value of life.

Pino Maddaloni teaches that in life there is always a solution to everything and that shortcuts never lead to anything good. Sample Europeansample of world and finally the gold medal at Olympic Games from Sydney in 2000. For a man who starts from the bottom, medals are more than a recognition, but what really matters is the social impact, or rather whether a person is actually to be considered a “teacher”. Spoken in EXCLUSIVE to our Pino microphones Maddaloni talked about his experiences in the world of judohis adolescence and his current commitment to social issues.

Maddaloni: “I hope to build champions in life”

Who is Pino Maddaloni outside the tatami?

Today I am a PopeI have two little girls, but I try to be a maestro as I am on the mat, because there I always try to give the best of myself, taking advantage of the experiences I have lived thanks to judo, wonderful discipline. My goal as a father and as a coach is not to earn a lot of money, trophies, but to create gods samples”.

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What do you mean by champion?

He is not the one who wins the gold medalbut the one who every day tries to make the right choices and is an example to others, to the young people who are behind him is considered as a sample. Like a great woman who always tries to improve herself, to learn and who always listens to those in need. For example mine mamma he didn’t know much about it judobut that stubbornness of hers, her determination gave me a big boost and I see myself a lot in her”.

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Pino Maddaloni
Pino Maddaloni

Maddaloni: “So many blows he took at school. My father is a teacher “

Before starting this interview, we passed your school, Della Porta-Porzio. What memories do you have of your adolescence?

For the years in that school I have a bit of regret, because I was starting to have so many commitments in sport and I realized that they didn’t understand, but they didn’t even believe me. They thought I was one of those kids who found an excuse to ask for the scheduled interrogation. But then when I won at Olympic Games it was nice that some of the teachers asked me to go to school and talk to the students. I liked school so much, maybe I didn’t have that strength to be able to organize myself. Even in these situations I have learned a lot”.

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What are the memories of middle school instead?

I attended middle school in the ward Don Guanella. I learned a lot there. In my class they were all older than me, all repeating and I came from a private school. In middle school I got a lot of blows, I had to react and there it was every day like this. I didn’t tell my father, because I preferred to earn respect on my own. They were guys who lived a different daily life from mine, you often found them on the street on mopeds. Only after two years I was able to eat my meredina”.

The parent-child relationship is now one of the most controversial aspects of sport. How did you manage the relationship with your father and what does he represent for you?

I always try to look inside myself and I often ask myself this question. To date I can tell you that mine padre it was more mine maestro that mine Pope. Or maybe it was both in one person. A padre he teaches you, he transmits his experiences to you. In my case I had both a maestro in everyday life is a maestro on the tatami. It was he who pushed me one day to try to learn from other teachers and that day I cried. Then mine padre he said he taught me everything and that I couldn’t just train with him. The medals are not only mine, but they belong to all those who have made me improve”.

Pino Maddaloni
Pino Maddaloni

Maddaloni: “My mother gave me an incredible boost”

How were the first years you approached judo?

I have not started practicing the judo because I wanted to arrive at Olympic Games. I enjoyed myself and was happy following my father. I remember with pleasure what happened on the mat, but even before. For example when I arrived in lecture I played with my friends with stickers, hide and seek. When I was fighting I didn’t like to lose, which is different from wanting to win”.

With a flashback we go back 20 years. What emotions come back to your mind remember the background of the Olympic expedition?

Nobody was betting on me also considering the injury I had suffered to my knee. But I can never forget what happened the night before. I called mine mamma to tell her what time I was playing. While I was hoping to win at least one race, she told me I had to win the gold medal. Hanging up the phone I turned my gaze to the sky and realized that it was time to collect all the sacrifices made, sweating and working with my father in a gym that used to be a cellar. I did not sleep all night, waking up I repeated to myself that I should not fall. In 5 meetings I have not suffered a point. Speaking of the moment of the podium, I saw all the anecdotes, memories and sacrifices made by my team before my eyes “.

Was it your most important medal?

I don’t have that medal anymore, I gave it to my father. I keep many others medals. One above all when in 2002 I walk for Scampia and I meet a friend who asks me if I remembered him. Of course he was among those who beat me every day and stole my snack. He tells me that while I was winning theOlympic gold he was in prison a Poggioreale. That ex-school friend adds that I had proved so many people wrong. Why grant interviews on television or in reality TV if you can live these moments? In every corner there must be a place for culture, a place for young people, a place for the elderly”.

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Pino Maddaloni
Pino Maddaloni

Maddaloni: “In Naples there is not only football”

Do you feel the gold of Scampia?

Growing up in these areas is an opportunity, we have an edge. I have to prove that I am They from Napoli, They from Scampia, it’s too early to tell. The result will be seen on my children, on this center, on that of Pizzofalcone. The gold medal is won by those who are good at doing judo, not who is a great man and I have to prove that I am. But I need to meet the right people to work alongside. I am neither the mayor nor the commissioner of this city. To date, I can only say that I am honored to be the technical director of the Gold Flames”.

What relationship should you have with your children?

I hear from parents that they do not miss anything for them sons. For me it is wrong, because you have to dedicate time to your children and not just give away objects. I get angry when I hear that i children today they are different, they do different things than before. THE children now they are our children and if there is something wrong, we are certainly wrong”.

How was this structure in which we find ourselves born today?

It was born from a collaboration between the Gold Flames and the association of Don Antonio Loffredo, who joined forces to renovate this abandoned building. Here we try to train champions not in sport, but in life. I brought you here in the Health because it is a neighborhood of the city that I love. This testifies to the good done by the Gold Flames and by our coordinator Luca Piscopo. Napoli today it has an important role in Italian sport. There is no longer just football Napoli, but all these realities of which very little is talked about. Why is it not talked about? Why don’t we talk about it?”.



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