Davide Giardini – Living the dream
Posted on: Tuesday 28th February 2017
Ciao Challenge Family athletes!
I’m super stoked this racing season to have a partnership with Challenge Family as a Pro Athlete ambassador. In this role, I will be sharing with you all my experience racing on the Challenge Family European circuit, chasing fun times, hard racing, lifetime memories and a share in the pot of gold.
To begin this journey, I want to tell you a bit more about my unique background in becoming a professional triathlete. As an energetic youngster growing up on Lago di Garda, in Italy, my parents threw my brothers and I into a myriad of sports: swimming, alpine skiing, water skiing, windsurfing, tennis, etc. I owe it to them that I can now handle the rigor of triathlon. Swimming and alpine skiing were always the lifeblood of my family, with all my family being certified ski instructors at various ski schools on the Dolomites. I myself obtained some decent success, at 17 years old I was titled the FISI Carving Cup Italian Junior National Champion, and ranked top-20 in the FIS Carving Cup European Tour. While skiing was fun, swim team was just a tedious necessity for my parents to keep our energy contained as we live a couple hours away from the ski slopes.
At 18 years old I moved to the USA for a year of high-school foreign exchange in Massachusetts, and competed on the ski team there. I liked the freedom and opportunities available in the US, and stayed for my university degree in Rhode Island, a little State surrounded by water. Living just a mere 15 minutes from the stormy Atlantic Ocean fueled my windsurfing fire. I had practiced the sport regularly on Lake Garda during the summers, but had never lived on the Ocean before. I picked up every water-sport I could in order to extend my water playtime in the water. I would windsurf or kitesurf when windy, SUP and surf when not.
During the summers off from university, I lived the dream of becoming a professional “waterman”, living & working as a windsurf instructor in Bonaire in the Netherlands Antilles, Furteventura in the Canary Islands, and then Oahu in Hawaii. My results in competition never excelled though, as I didn’t seem to perform well in judged sports. I was a Wildcard Entry at the 2008 PWA Freestyle Windsurfing World Cup Grand Slam in Fuerteventura; won the 2009 Matunuck Windsurf Wave Classic; and was a trialist at the 2011 Sunset Beach Hawaii Standup World-Tour.
After moving to Oahu, Hawaii in 2010 post-graduation for desk-job that didn’t suit my lifestyle, I rarely had the time to chase wind & waves, and I found alternative enjoyment in immersing myself in nature around my 9-5 job, by way of long solo Ocean swims, messy bike rides around Honolulu on a beater bike, and sweaty runs on the beach. A colleague pointed out to me that every day for me was a triathlon, but I knew nothing of such thing! He convinced to enter a triathlon in the summer of 2011, got hooked, turned out I was pretty good at it and all those laps growing up in the chlorine came in handy.
By 2012, my surfer laid back attitude turned into competitive spirit, and my childhood dreams of chasing the perfect barrel turned into seeing how good I could be as an athlete. I found the Ocean and the waves “distracting” in this crazy new dream of mine, hence I moved to the farthest place from those things I could find: the mountains at 1.700m of Boulder Colorado.
Fast forward to now, 2.5 years racing professionally has gone by, and triathlon has already given me so much: I’ve raced in places I would have never have the opportunity of going to, met some of the most interesting and successful people, made friends for life, and lifelong memories. Some of those more vivid memories have come from racing those few Challenge Family events available in North America: San Gil in Mexico, Penticton in British Columbia Canada, and Aruba in the Caribbean Sea. When it was time to decide for my 2017 racing endeavors, there was nothing but one dream in my mind: Challenge Family Euro Tour!
I’ll be documenting my travels thru the Challenge Family platforms, and would love to hear from you what you’d like to see and read from me! Any recommendations for what Challenge Family events to do? Where would you like to see me race? Get in touch thru the social links below!
Davide Giardini is an Italian-born US-resident waterman turned professional triathlete. Always found racing off the front, in his young 2.5 year career as a pro Davide has achieved 10x podium finishes (2x win, 5x 2nd place, 3x 3rd place), 19x fastest swim, 12x fastest bike and/or first off the bike, and a sub-2h 70.3 bike split. He is the 2016 winner of Challenge San Gil, runner-up at the 2016 Challenge Aruba, and 3rd place at the 2015 Challenge Penticton. Davide has a college degree in Environmental Sciences, worked in Business Sustainability on Oahu, HI (where he discovered triathlon), and is pursuing an MBA in Boulder, Colorado. When he’s not training & racing worldwide, he can also be found surfing, kitesurfing, and SUPing in Hawaiian waters.
Follow Davide on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and his website www.DavideGiardini.com.
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