Laura Rogora,in the year of the Olympics. Interview with Italian athlete

Spain chapter closed, preparation for Tokyo opens

27 January 2020

Returning from her trip to Spain where she has not failed to surprise yet (to understand, among other things yet another 9a and the first 8b+ on sight), Laura Rogora will have the task of representing, in August, Italy climbing at Tokyo Olympics together with Lodovico Fossali. Months will be focused in practice only on the Olympic preparation and, for the scheduled formula and the list of opponents, there will really be even more hard work to do. Here are some of her considerations on the eve of what could be the most important year of her life from a sporting point of view.

This is a great period, qualifying for Tokyo, the rich trip to Spain and all the winning at championships, yet "the best" arrives now, where I assume you will have to follow an even more rigid preparation. How do you feel overall?
It has been a crazy season. It started badly but then everything went in the right direction and I achieved results in which I didn't even hope. Usually, at the end of the season I am a little unloaded but qualifying for the Olympics has given me a great charge and motivation to face the new winter preparation.

Seen "from outside", one could think of the life of an Olympic athlete as focused only on those fateful 4 days from here to August. Is this really so?
Yes, let's say that a unique opportunity so this year is the main goal. The competitions that come first I consider them a training for the most important event.

By qualifying in Toulouse you will certainly have brought home some important information about your preparation. If you had to say your strengths and weaknesses for each of the three specialties, what comes to your mind?
As for the Speed I would say that I have only weaknesses. Compared to the others, I do much longer times. The only point to my advantage is that I make a small mistake and in direct confrontations this could help but probably the gap is so large that it won't help much. In Boulder my weakness is the physical movements and dynos while my strength is the plaques and the ability to quickly understand the best method for me. As for the Lead, the strength is definitely the resistance while I accuse the slightly more physical passages.

Is there any mental or physical aspect that makes the Combined formula unique? Let me explain: knowing that you have to compete in three specialties instead of one as in the World Cup, for example, does the mental approach to the races change in any way?
In a World Cup the competition ends at the end of your last attempt. In Combined this is not the case, so you have to stay focused on the next specialty however it has gone up to that moment. Even from a physical point of view it is much more tiring. At the Lead test you get very tired and you have to be able to give your best even with bad feelings.

Is there any name among the other climbers you will compete with that has particularly surprised you?
I was very surprised by Miho Nonaka who managed to make the World Cup final in all three specialties and therefore represents the perfect climber for Combined formula.

Rock climbing closed for now or will you still have time to devote to some projects in the coming months?
The goal is Tokyo, if I find some time for the rock I will go there willingly but for now I only plan training.

Interview Stefano Michelin

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