One thing is amazing with true champions: they remain champions all their life long, way
beyond their competitive careers.
This proved true with Anna Cappellini and Luca Lanotte, the 2014 European and World gold
medalists. They have officially ended their competitive careers at Worlds in their home city of
Milan, at the end of the 2017-18 season, but they have never quit the sport. Lanotte was
learning his trade as an interviewer in Turin, at the ISU Grand-Prix Final, when Cappellini
was an Assistant Team Leader for the Italian squad in Graz, at the European Championships.
Both Cappellini and Lanotte were extremely serious and dedicated to their assignment. They
nonetheless managed to entertain their viewers and … Have fun themselves!
Patinage Magazine: How does this new job change your perspective?
Anna Cappellini: You know, that’s funny: I realized doing this job that I never really
knew anyone as I was skating. I knew many faces, but I never really took the time and
energy to really look at them.
When you’re chasing after medals, you’re receiving lots of opinions, support,
appreciation, critique … From all kinds of people, at a time when you just need to be in
your bubble. All you’d like to say is: “Let me do my twizzles! That’s what counts!” Now
I can really meet people.
P.M.: What about the competition itself?
A.C.: I’m learning a lot about organization. I wish I had known before how much effort is
put to organize a major event like this.
At one time, it’s something like Yuzu is about to skate but he needs this or that. Another
time, you’re advised that Sasha Trusova has her dog with her – then you wonder: is it a
dog she wants to skate with, or what? (she laughs) Or such and such skater is about to
skate but he is neither in the bathroom, nor in the locker, he is not anywhere at all and he
is about to start and you desperately need to find him…
Come on! Do you guys realize that there are four people following you at every step
during a competition, just because that’s their job to make sure you’re there on time?
Well, had I known this when we were skating, I wouldn’t have liked it! I would have
answered something like: “I know where I’m going, thank you!”
Leading the Italian Team alongside Cappellini was another great Italian ice dancer: Federica
Faiella, the 2010 World bronze and 2009-2010 European silver medalist (with Massimo
After Daniel Grassl delivered one of the best free programs of his young career, Faiella and
Cappellini sat with him in the so-called “Green Room”, waiting for his competitors’ marks.
They stayed there for nearly half of the field, so brilliant their protégé’s performance had
been. It was just a nice remembrance: the Green Room had not been invented in Faiella’s
time, but Cappellini had so often been in the Green Room for herself!
Running all over the place didn’t require a full attire for Cappellini, but appearing on TV did
force Lanotte to dress in his own fancy way, with a white jacket and a
Patinage Magazine: How do you feel being at a competition and not skating anymore?
Luca Lanotte: I miss competition. I don’t miss training every morning for sure, but
competition I do. What I particularly miss in a competition is the morning last practice
session. Then I used to have the half an hour Luca Show! I loved it.
P.M.: What makes your life now?
L.L.: At the moment I’m doing a little bit of many things. I’m choreographing, doing
shows, training. We skated in Javier Fernandez’s show. It’s an excellent show!
But of course, I’m taking care of my son. He is 3 years old, and he is fantastic!
P.M.: Here you are doing some interviews?
L.L.: Italian television asked me to do some interviews, but I feel stressed out, seriously!
I never dare disturbing the skaters. Some are really good friends as we skated with them,
but there are some new ones as well.
I know I was there myself, but it’s so delicate to ask them. You always have the
impression that you’re going in their way. It’s much more difficult to pull out one’s
microphone than to just skate!
At that precise moment, Victoria Sinitsina and Nikita Katsalapov entered into the room, all
smiles out. Lanotte rushed to greet them. “I came here only once,” Katsalapov started. “I was
skating with Evgeni Plushenko’s Tour…”
Life pushes you, and you just have to be up to the task! There is no doubt that even though
their bright medals remain as only a beautiful part of ice dance history, Cappellini and Lanotte
will remain champions all their lives!