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Irina Daziano: climbing is a team sport

With: La Sportiva
ITW: Irina Daziano
By: Ludovica Sacco

Eighteen years old and a palmarès to make the experts envious, Irina Daziano entered the world of sports at a very young age thanks to her athletic family, practicing various activities including climbing. However, only the latter sparked a new feeling, the one that makes you think, “This is where I belong, this is my sport.” The initial spark ignited Irina, who trained right away in a small gym within walking distance of home. The rest is history, with a very solid foundation for a competitive future and many chapters yet to be written.

You were Italian U18 bouldering champion and took the third step of the Italian Sport Climbing Cup. Can you tell us how it went?
The Italian championship in Arco and the Italian Cup are two competitions that have given me a lot of joy in the last two years. They are completely different feelings: the podium in the Italian Cup certainly makes me very happy and motivates me more and more, especially because I compete with the strongest in Italy, but at the moment nothing has excited me more than winning the U18 Italian championship. It was a title that had yet to be achieved for me, and last year I knew that I would be able both mentally and physically to climb the top step. It was not easy because I had very strong opponents but I only had one goal in my head and achieving it made me the happiest person in the world.

How do you train? Can you tell me a typical day of yours?
It depends a lot on the period, especially if a competition is coming up or not. I tend to train 5/6 times a week, alternating various exercises according to the need of the moment. A typical day of mine is very simple: in the morning I go to school, when I get home I study a little bit and towards late afternoon I train for two or three hours.

What is the difference for you between indoor and outdoor climbing? Which do you prefer?
Honestly, only in the last few years have I started climbing outdoors thanks to my coach who takes me to incredible places. Before then I climbed exclusively indoors, mainly because I had to train. However, the best practice is rock climbing so you have to try to exercise both ways. If I can, I usually train during the week in the gym and then have the weekend off so I can get to go outdoor climbing. If I have to choose one, I would say indoor climbing, but I am convinced that in a few years that will not be the case.

What is the most beautiful place where you have climbed?
The most beautiful place is definitely Fontainebleau in France. A climber once in a lifetime has to go there, because for us it is really a playground, every place has boulders with lots of blocks. I went there two years ago and it was really nice to be able to climb even on easy grades, but they were still spectacular.

You joined the La Sportiva family, how are you doing? Has anything changed in your life?
It has been an honor to join the La Sportiva family. I get along very well with the whole team, but especially with their materials, and the first races of this season can confirm that. Having a sponsor is like someone really believes in you and that motivates me a lot to always do well.

What La Sportiva shoe do you use?
In the gym I use Theory, I have been comfortable with them from the start and I think they will be the shoe I will use most often especially in competitions and block training.

What advice would you give to people who want to start climbing?
Definitely climb for fun. Climbing is a single sport at the competition level, but outside the competitive world it is a real team sport. Climbing with friends I think is the best thing about this sport, being able to laugh and joke, but at the same time being able to motivate each other is spectacular.

In the most difficult times, everyone has a thought that pushes them forward. What is yours?
I don’t really have a thought that pushes me to keep going after a difficult time. When maybe a race doesn’t go as I expected, such as last year’s World Championships, I always try to think about the positive things that happened and reason about what went wrong. To finish seventh-that is, first excluded from the final-in the race I’ve been training for all year is very heavy. As soon as the race was over I was really so sorry, and what helped me feel better was the support of my teammates. A lot of times a hug is more helpful than anything else.

What are you going to do when you grow up?
When I grow up, I definitely want to stay in the world of sports and particularly the world of climbing. I will certainly continue to study, but it would be a dream to be able to join a military corps and make what is my passion my job.