Vanessa Ferrari competes on floor. Photograph: Silvia Vatteroni

Italy’s OA Sport magazine awards every year the ‘Sports Oscars,’ trophies for each sports category. This year’s trophy as Best Gymnast of the Year was awarded to Vanessa Ferrari.

Ferrari was honoured for her fourth-place finish on floor exercise at the Olympic Games in Rio. Ferrari achieved the same result at the Olympics in London four years ago.

Ferrari was injured in 2016 and competed only twice before the Olympics. And yet, she fiercely competed in Rio, and delivered beautiful floor performances both in qualifications and in the event final.

Ferrari most likely lost the bronze medal on floor after over-rotating her last tumbling pass.



Despite the disappointment for narrowly missing twice an Olympic medal, Ferrari is the best female gymnast Italy has ever had. In 2006, she was the first (and so far only) Italian gymnast to win a world all around title. Ferrari also won other four world medals: silver on floor at Antwerp 2013, bronze in the all around at Stuttgart 2007, and bronze on floor and bars at Aarhus 2006.

Ferrari also won ten European medals, of which four gold: with the team in 2006, in the all around and on floor in 2007, and on floor in 2014.

And she is not done yet. Ferrari underwent surgery on her foot after the Olympics, and announced on Facebook that, if recovery goes well, she will continue competing. On her posts, she always uses the hashtag #roadtofuture.

At the sports ceremony, a special recognition was also awarded to Erika Fasana, who finished sixth on floor at the Olympics in Rio, and Sofia Busato, who was fourth on vault at the European Championships in Bern this spring.

By Talitha Ilacqua


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