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Flora Tabanelli, the rising star of freestyle, has been selected as the flag-bearer for the Youth Olympic Games in Gangwon 2024


Flora Tabanelli is the Italian flag-bearer at the 2024 Gangwon Winter Youth Olympic Games (YOG). The announcement was made by CONI President, Giovanni Malagò, and General Secretary, Carlo Mornati, during the presentation conference, held in Milan, of the Italia Team that will take part in the Olympic event, reserved for the world’s best under-18 athletes, to be held in South Korea from 19 January to 1 February.

Born in Bologna on 20 November 2007, the athlete from Sestola (Modena), who grew up competitively in Trentino with Ski Team Fassa and is a member of the Army, is the future of Italian freestyle. As a child, she practised snowboard cross, skating and artistic gymnastics, but it was with skis on her feet, following in her brother Miro’s footsteps, where her talent shone through right away.

In fact, the Tabanelli siblings represent the present and the future of the discipline, with Flora already making winter sports history.

Last summer, on the snows of Cardrona, in New Zealand, she became the first Italian ever (including males) to win a world title at junior level in freestyle. The not-yet-16-year-old from Emilia won gold at Big Air, a week after winning silver in slopestyle. Fun fact: the last Italian who took world bronze in freeskiing was her brother Miro, in Krasnoyarsk (Russia) in 2021.

A month ago Tabanelli, who attends the Ski College Val di Fassa, registered another record by becoming, at only 16 years of age, the second Italian in the top three of a World Cup big air event with her third place in Beijing. Before her, only Silvia Bertagna had stood on the podium in the speciality, with one success (in 2016), three second places and one third place.

Flora will parade with the Tricolour at the Gangwon 2024 Opening Ceremony to be held on 19 January, at 8pm Korean time, at the Gangneung Oval. Tabanelli will be the second Emilian, after Alberto Tomba, flag-bearer at Albertville 1992, to serve as the Italian flag-bearer in a winter edition of the Olympic Games and the Youth Olympic Games.

The Italian will make her competition debut on 24 January in the slopestyle event scheduled in Hoengseong and, three days later, she will compete in the big air. (agc)

Photo Claudio Scaccini GMT/CONI

Italia Team flag bearers at previous editions of the Winter YOG:

Innsbruck 2012 – Florian Gruber (luge)

Lillehammer 2016 – Felix Schwarz (luge)

Losanna 2020 – Alessia Tornaghi (figure skating)

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