Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Contesti Contends in Championships

Italy's Samuel Contesti was the surprise of the 2008-09 season. The 26-year-old won the silver medal at the 2009 European Championships and placed fifth at the World Championships, scoring a personal best of 226.97 points in the process. His medal at Europeans was the first for Italy in men since 1954.

"I was happy to perform so well," Contesti stated. "I came to skate my best and I did. I worked very hard and I am happy that it worked well. I actually would like to thank my technical staff for the great job that they did."

Contesti, who was born in Le Havre, had previously competed for France until 2006. He won the bronze medal in senior men in the 2004-05 season and the silver medal for the 2005-06 season. Even so, he competed in only two ISU championships for France, finishing ninth at Europeans and 26th at Worlds in 2004-05.

"I moved to Italy because I married Geraldine Zulini, who is Italian," Contesti explained. "I became a citizen in January 2007. I decided to compete for Italy because they were offering me better opportunities to skate at a very high level and more support."

"I have partners who support me and pay for most of my training," he continued. "I would like to thank the Italian Federation (FISG), The region Val d'Aosta, the city of Courmayeur, and Edea for their support and partnership."

Because of his move to Italy, Contesti did not compete for three years before the 2009 European Championships.

Contesti started skating when he was four years old. "My two sisters were already skating, so it felt normal for me to follow their path," he recalled. "My father was a soccer player in the first league in France (Le Havre, Nimes, etc.) and I played some soccer but I liked skating. I prefer the jumping part even if I also enjoy all the other aspects of skating."

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