An athlete in our school. Alberto Simonelli. What's your name? My name is Alberto Simonelli How old are you? I'm 41. Why are you in a wheelchair? I had an accident some years ago. Are you angry for this? Yes, very much. When did your passion for Archery start? How?.
When I had the accident I had been in hospital for some months. Then I went to a Physical Rehabilitation Centre to make my body move again as much as I could. I met some trainers who helped me a lot, maximizing my mobility through the use of special equipment. They proposed me doing archery to develop my chest and arms muscles.
Since then, I have been improving my body by training many hours a day.Now I consider Archery my life aim. I would like to give an example to anybody who has to face health diseases, saying that there is a different way to live for us. We need to be tenacious, patient and full of self-esteem.
It depends on the season. In winter I practise shooting for a couple of hours two days a week, in summer eight hours a day.
Were you frightened?
Yes, of course.
At the Paralympics yes!
Yes, it was
I was very angry because I could have won the gold medal!
I had two contests in a row, so I was very tired, that’s why I came only second.
I was first in the Archery World Cup in 1998 and in the
Archery European Cup in 2006.
I have got many bows that I use for training and for competitions. They are all recurve bows. The strength of the strings and the speed of the arrows are ensured by a block-and-tackle system that intensifies the power during the initial drawof the bow.
I use aluminium and carbon graphite arrows. Aluminium arrows are more uniform in weight and shape, while graphite arrows fly faster. Competition arrows are made of carbon graphite with an inner tube of aluminium.
The target is divided into ten concentric rings in five colours, gold in the middle, followed by red, blue, black and white with two scoring zones in each colour. The scores associated with each ring increase from one point for the outer ring to ten points for hitting the centre ring. The face of the target lies in front of the buttress, into which the arrow lodges.
Athletes may use a quiver to store their arrows, finger tabs, which protect the athlete’s fingers and an arm guard and bracer, which protect the athlete in case the bowstring snaps.
Now I’m very famous, everybody knows me!