Olga represents those who have the strength to get back into the game, always, even when it seems impossible. #believer


Olga Antropóva

Olga is a former athlete, the marketing manager of Savino Del Bene Volley, A1 division team, and Ekaterina’s mother. When she tells her story, it is very clear that the determination gene runs in the family. “We came to Italy in 2017, when with my ex-husband we decided that here there was a chance for Ekaterina to become a volleyball star because the training system for young athletes and the Championship are the best in the world. At the time, however, I was almost forty years old and had an important role in the sports center of St. Petersburg. A home, a family, friends and relatives. A whole life built with commitment”.

How would you feel if you were told to hit the reset button and start from scratch again? This happened to Olga when she discovered her daughter’s exceptional talent, and not enough prospects in Russia. It was like going back twenty years: “At 22 I had already moved with my husband to Iceland for three years. I was very young, didn’t know anyone and didn’t speak the language. I smiled, but inside I was very insecure and had little control over situations. Moving to Italy meant leaving everything again and starting from scratch starting from scratch after, back in Russia, I was able to find my way one step at a time”. She was also scared for Ekaterina: “She had her quiet life, her friends and her balance. I was afraid she wouldn’t fit in, she was in her early teens and we all know how difficult it is. Also, our height makes us the target of a lot of attention. I was afraid to let her out of her bubble. For this reason, we immediately made it clear that if she wanted, we would immediately go back”.

Olga finds the strength to change everything in love for her daughter and for her future: “The alternative would have been a Russian sports club inferior to the Italian ones and with very strict coaches, and I didn’t want such a hard life for her. As much as it meant for me to sacrifice my path to give her hope, I blindly believe in her potential. In the family we are all former athletes and we hardly get blocked by obstacles. In the end, we decided to try Italy, leaving all our certainties behind. Luckily, she has a good time, the climate is perfect, the food is healthy and the people are fantastic”.

Even if there is Ekaterina in the field, the parallel story of her mother is fundamental. A woman who gives her daughter the courage to take the plunge and fight for what she believes in, at the cost of questioning everything. A woman who chooses to relive the trauma of loneliness, protecting her daughter in a conscious way, seeing herself again in her, and in the meantime pursuing her personal path of adaptation, new and more complex: “Still, after five years, I often feel alone even when I am with other people. I don’t think I’m a hero, my daughter is part of me and I would do everything to make her dreams come true. I go to therapy to find a balance, but in the end, I think it’s an interesting and useful path for me too. Changes always lead to an open mind and a panorama of opportunities that we didn’t know we had”.