Sara Morganti's story
Interview dated February 21, 2014
“If someone had told me years ago that one day I would have participated in the Paralympics, I would never have believed it. A word of advice for young people that want to pursue their dreams? Never give up!”
The Para-Equestrian Dressage champion and I decide to go on first name basis. Contagious perseverance, disarming honesty and zero rhetoric.
3 European bronze medals, 7 Italian titles. And now a new and important award.
I would never have thought to be chosen for this title. I went to the awards ceremony in San Donnino (Florence) as one of the 3 finalist – 175 awards were given: 9 special awards, 151 to athletes and 15 to companies – and I never thought I would win.
At what age did you start cultivating this passion? When did you realize that it was something more than just a hobby?
Actually, and unfortunately, the Paralympic sport remains a hobby and not a professional sport despite the commitments and professional accomplishments…The horse has become my passion, my addiction, something I cannot do without from the first time I got on one at the age of 13. It was precisely in Barga, at the Il Ciocco that I had my first horse.
It is clear that a sport such as this one goes parallel with another passion: to the dedication for this discipline there is also a friendship..
This is absolutely true: when I enter the stables in Pisa and call out Royal, she answers me from hundreds of horses. And every time it’s a burst of emotions.
How many hours a day do you train?
Because of my illness I cannot ride my horse for more than an hour and a half a day and then there are the gymnastics exercises. Mine is a busy day: I work in the morning as a secretary and in an equestrian center in the afternoon.
You were very young when diagnosed with multiple sclerosis.
It was very difficult and hard for me to accept. The feeling of not knowing what is in store for you is magnified in moments like that. From the hyperactive person that I was, my life took a drastic turn. I wanted to attend Veterinary School and found myself having to give this up along with other dreams. Everything was going to change. When you find yourself in a situation like mine, you are forced to make choices. You can decide to close yourself up in the house and let the illness take over, or you can decide to go on and deal with the ups and downs. After an initial period of total despair, I chose to look onward, determined to set new objective. It is like when I get on a horse: every time I have to find alternative ways to face the obstacles. And then, which is not less important, I have the good fortune of having a family that has encouraged me in my darkest moments.
When you received the Pegaso Award, to whom went your first thought?
I continue to not fully realize the importance of this award. It’s as if I received an award for all those athletes that, like me, are committed and willing to make sacrifices, for all those athletes that deserved to win but didn’t. I know of a hidden world of people, unknown to most, like them.
I dedicate this award to my teammates who dream, who aim high and that will go far in life – with me, I hope! I dedicate this award to all the Paralympic athletes in Tuscany…I wish them a magnificent World Championship!