Greg Leperdi: Ice sledge hockey to be a Sochi hit15.01.2014
With Italy broadcasting the Sochi 2014 Paralympics and players reaching out to the sport’s newcomers, the Italian forward thinks it will catch on more after the Games.
I'm aware this Paralympic year will give us lots of visibility. Two Italian TV stations, RAI and SKY, are going to broadcast the Sochi 2014 Paralympics.
These days, I’ve been very busy with lots of activities going on. I really need to plan as soon as possible my work trips, my training sessions and my family time, if I want to be at my best in March at the Paralympics in Sochi.
After we qualified for Sochi last October in Torino, we had to then schedule the rest of our season.
We went to Czech Republic in December to play a tournament with Sweden and the Czech Republic, winning all four of our games with different lines.
We also played some games at the National Italian Championships, which consisted of four teams.
During the Christmas holidays, each of us spent some time with our families, but did not forget about our Sochi goals. I personally went to France, where I enjoyed snowboarding and Nordic skiing.
The next steps are going to be three weekends of training with the national team, a trip to Sweden to play some games and finally some games in Torino against Norway, just before leaving for Sochi.
My work requires me to travel quite often during the week, and as I'm away most of the weekends, I enjoy as much as possible the time with my girlfriend and my nine-month-old daughter. I'll definitively catch up after Sochi, as I'm also planning my wedding in June.
Of course, I'm aware this Paralympic year will give us lots of visibility. Two Italian TV stations, RAI and SKY, are going to broadcast the Sochi 2014 Paralympics.
We really hope that some young athletes with an impairment start playing ice sledge hockey after watching our games.
In order to promote our sport, I'm personally spending some time to post some pictures and videos on the websites and Facebook pages of my disabled association (Sportdipiu), my ice sledge hockey club (Tori Seduti/Sitting Bulls) and the Italian ice sledge hockey team’s fan page, which has almost 4,000 fans.
I'm happy that through the social networks I've found some French and Slovenian ice sledge hockey players, and I really hope some Swiss will come up some day too so that more and more teams and nations will be involved in the future.