Giorgia Villa with her individual four gold medals. Photograph: Benoit Bonatre

Last week, at a junior gymnastics competition in Combs La Ville in France, a young Italian gymnast, born in 2003, won five gold medals out of five. Her name is Giorgia Villa.

Villa moved to Brescia last year to train at the Brixia Brescia gym with Enrico Casella, who is also Vanessa Ferrari’s coach. Since then, Villa has grown immensely, and many people see her already as the new Vanessa Ferrari. And they may not be wrong.

Villa had a stellar 2016. In her junior debut last February, she won the all around competition, beating veteran senior teammates Carlotta Ferlito and Elisa Meneghini.

And last week, Villa also affirmed herself internationally, winning five gold medals, in the team competition and in all four events, in Combs La Ville, France. Villa scored 14.400 on vault for a super clean double twisting Yurchenko (she has Italy’s best double twisting Yurchenko ever!), an excellent 14.500 on bars (again, with super clean lines), 13.900 on beam, and 13.850 on floor, with another secure performance.

In an interview to the Italian magazine Gioia earlier this year, Villa argued: ‘Sometimes I ask myself why I chose this life. The answer is, because I loved it, because I love it. I enjoy myself in the gym, when I grow up I want to become a gymnast, and then a coach.’ About her future career, Villa was equally confident: ‘Europeans, Worlds, Olympics: this is the dream.’

Her recent successful performances make of it more than a dream. Villa is already training according to her personalized Olympic programme, which, according to her coach Enrico Casella, should bring her to the European Championships in 2018, to the qualifying World Championships in 2019, and to the Olympics in Tokyo in 2020.

The future looks bright. A new gym star is born.

By Talitha Ilacqua



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