The book in one hand and the cup in the other: Donato Telesca recounts his Dual Career
“The harder the fight, the greater the triumph.” A motto that is valid for life in general, and that finds full fulfillment in sport, which is a metaphor for it. Through competition – with oneself before with others – one learns to overcome limits and barriers. You grow, you improve and you overcome even the most complicated adversities. Donato Telesca, who lost his legs when he was three years old in a domestic accident and who won the junior gold medal at the Paralympic World Cup (setting a new world record) and silver medal among seniors, knows this well.
Donato, the Eger’s two medals took you to eighth place in the world ranking: how you rank youreself for your season?
The season started in the best possible way, already with the races in Dubai that preceded the Hungarian stage. So the vote is high, I would say a 9 because you can still improve.
When will be your next commitments?
In July there will be the World Cup in Kazakhstan, in September a test in Tokyo and, finally, a race in Thailand in November.
You follow the Dual Career program, which allows you to pursue a sporting career and academic path simultaneously. In your opinion, does studying in a certain sense also improve your sports performance?
Surely it motivates me and motivates me to do well. For example, it leads me to be determined, to give more and to acquire a certain mentality. You get used to aiming high. On the other hand, being a sportsman helps me in terms of discipline. Just as sport is accustomed to respecting certain rules for food or training, so too in the study you have to plan. You could say that the two careers complement each other perfectly.
What do you think about the Luiss sports model and what degree course do you take?
I think that the University does a great job with us athletes. Although I have less time to study than other students, the University allows me to bridge this gap with the support of tutors. I’m in my first year of Economics and Management, I’ve found difficulties in some subjects but I’ve gotten good results. My goal is to integrate the two careers, because one day I would like to work in management. I aim to acquire skills that can help me in this regard.
What are the main difficulties you have had to face in order to reconcile your university career with your sports career?
The double commitment limits me a bit, not always being able to study at best. I train once or twice a day, with sessions of about two hours. So, the main difficulties are represented by the timetables, as well as the trips I make to compete around the world. But, as I said before, knowing how to organize all this makes me more disciplined.
Finally, a more personal question: apart from study and sport, to which passions do you dedicate your free time?
One of my main passions is table football: I have played in regional championships and also in a national Serie B championship. I also like to read a lot, especially essays on finance and psychology. I’m also passionate about motors, while I watch little TV.
All that remains is to wish our Top Athlete the best of luck. In addition to many compliments for the two careers brilliantly carried on.