Michele Giordano is the second runner-up in the IWGA Athlete of the Year 2021 poll. The Italian Wushu fighter gathered an amazing 52,046 votes. The support of the Wushu community does not come as a surprise; Michele Giordano is one of the most beloved athletes in his sport because of his spirit and his enthusiasm.
How did you start with Wushu, and why did you choose your sport?
Michele Giordano: I started Wushu when I was four years old. It was all because my father is a Wushu teacher. So I was pushed in this direction. I can say, when I started to play in the gym I was at the same age as when I started to learn to walk. Of course at that young age everything was like a game. But when I grew up, my father’s passion became mine as well. After the first competitions I realized that I liked to compete and of course to travel the world. So my dream was to be a member of our Italian Wushu team. All this happened in the same way to my brother Domenico, and we shared almost 15 years of competing as representatives of the Italian Wushu Federation. The two of us took part in many international competitions.
How strong is recognition of Wushu in Italy?
Michele Giordano: Of Course Wushu in Italy is not considered as one of the most popular sports. We quite often have to explain to people what we do. But there is a lot of passion among the athletes who do this martial arts sport. There are more and more people who practice Wushu. We are growing step by step. We always look to China, where this sport was born and raised. I have had many opportunities to be there and to practice with many professional athletes. I hope my sport can become very popular in Italy as well. It deserves it.
What do you consider your biggest strength in Wushu?
Michele Giordano: I think my biggest strength during all these years has been to be able to improve myself and my skills at every competition. So year after year I have become more solid and mentally focused. All this has helped me to avoid making mistakes or repeating them during competitions. I am able to beat athletes who are stronger than I am. I can even achieve the highest positions at the Wushu World Championships.
What is your next goal?
Michele Giordano: For 2022, I would like to represent my country in international Wushu competitions as I have done in the past. At the same time, as a Wushu coach, I would like to train the new generation of Wushu athletes in Italy and try to help them grow.
What advice would you give to boys and girls dreaming of a career at the top in sport?
Michele Giordano: I think a top sport career needs a lot of motivation and spirit. You need to have a clear goal and you have to pursue it. You have to makes sacrifices to achieve this goal. What is always required is the will to improve yourself and to have in mind that every single training session can make the difference between winning and losing a fight. Passion must be like an ever-burning flame.
How was it for you to represent Wushu at the race for the IWGA Athlete of the Year?
Michele Giordano: I was proud to be one of the candidates for this award. It means that I was able to represent Wushu all over the world. Actually I did not expect to be in third place. I am honoured to share the podium with two outstanding athletes. I am so happy about that. I would like to thank the International Wushu Federation and the Italian Wushu Federation for all their support. At the same time I have to thank my family and my friends all over the world who voted for me every single day.
If you could not do Wushu, which of the sports of The World Games 2022 would you like to try, and why?
Michele Giordano: I would like to try Sport Climbing. I like to watch their competitions, and I have always been interested to have some training in this sport and learn more about Sport Climbing. From what I can see, athletes who practice this sport have great strength and impressive capabilities.
IWUF President Gou Zhonngwen was also proud for Giordano’s success:
The IWUF is extremely proud that our athlete Michele Giordano has come in third in the voting for The World Games Athlete of the Year. Especially as we are new to the IWGA family, and are working hard to promote wushu in the upcoming 2022 World Games, this wonderful event has created incredible excitement in the wushu community around the world. We are also happy that the IWGA can see how passionate our athletes and fans are about our sport, and we look forward to sharing the beauty of wushu live and in person in Birmingham, USA this summer.
The World Games is a multi-sport event staged every four years by the International World Games Association, organised with the support of the International Olympic Committee. The 11th edition of The World Games will be held in Birmingham, Alabama, USA, 7-17 July 2022. 3,600 athletes from 34 sports and over 100 countries will take part in The World Games.