Sport San Marino
CONS is the abbreviation for San Marino National Olympic Committee (cons.sm) which is member of CIO and participates in the Olympic Games. San Marino has had its best results from its participation in Olympic shooting sports. San Marino also takes part in the Mediterranean Games as well as the Games of the Small European States, organized by San Marino along with other small European countries.
The most popular sport in San Marino is, without a doubt, soccer, which is organized in the National Championship Cup, the Federal Trophy (Super Cup) and the Titano Cup. The San Marino National team has been taking part in international competitions since 1986.
The San Marino Football Federation, FSGC, (fsgc.sm) was founded in 1931. It organizes national competitions and promotes participation in international games. The affiliation to FIFA and UEFA dates back to 1988. The story of San Marino soccer began in the 30's with a 4-team national championship. The "Titano Cup" was the most popular event, but the first "real" championship was organized in 1985 with a season which started in September and ended in May. Today 15 teams participate in the national championship season; the teams are divided into two divisions: with 7 and 8 teams per division. The Federation organizes the "Titano Cup", the National Championship Cup (since 1980), and the Federal Trophy (Super Cup). The National Team made its unofficial debut in 1986, unfortunately with a (1-0) defeat by the Canadian team. The first official outing on November 14, 1990, also ended in a 4-0 defeat by the National Swiss Team. So far, the results have been disappointing, except for one spectacular episode; namely, David Gualtieri's goal during the San Marino- England game (0-7 loss) played on November 17, 1993, after only 8 seconds of play – this is still the fastest goal in soccer history! A welcome victory was the one against Liechtenstein on April 29, 2004 (goal by Andy Selva).
Massimo Bonini was one of San Marino's most famous soccer players; later is his career he became coach of the National Team. Another is Giampaolo Mazza, who took over from Bonini in 1998. The soccer club which best represents San Marino in the Italian Championship is the San Marino Calcio which participates in C1 Series of the B Division (season 2007/2008). Home games are played in the Olympic Stadium in Serrravalle, the same field used by the National Team. The team from Murata was the first San Marino team to qualify for the Champions League during the 2006/2007 season. On July 17, 2007, the qualifying match, played against the Finnish team from Tampere in the Serravalle stadium, ended in the defeat (1-2) of the San Marino team.
Thanks to the initiative of some teachers, fans and athletes, in 1980 the San Marino Volley Federation (FSPAV) was founded (federvolley.sm). Volley is a popular sport, especially at secondary school level, with a high female participation. San Marino takes part in B1 Series of Italian Male Championship and in C Series of the Female Championship. The FSPAV has been a member of the International Volley Federation (FIVB) since 1986 and the Federation (FIPAV) permits the San Marino teams to play in the Italian championship seasons. Significant results have been obtained in the Games of the Small European States and in Beachvolley tournaments where Alfredo and Francesco Tabarini stood out among others.
The San Marino F1 Grand Prix takes place every year (with the exception of 2007) at the Enzo and Dino Ferrari Autodrome in Imola, locality about 100 km northwest of San Marino. Moreover, in 2007, the San Marino Motor-cycling Grand Prix (debut of the motoGP) returned the Misano Autodrome World Circuit in Misano Adriatico, locality at the foot of Mount Titano in the direction of Riccione. Two San Marino drivers compete in the world championship races: Manuel Poggiali, winner of two world titles in the 125 and 250 cc, and Alex De Angelis.
Baseball has also brought a lot of satisfaction to its fans in the Republic. The San Marino Baseball Club was European Champion in 2006 and during the same season won the Italian Cup.
The Olympic Games are important events for Shooting Sports in San Marino. In Los Angeles in 1984, Francesco Nanni obtained 5th place in the Prone Carabine specialty. In Sidney in 2000 and in Athens in 2004, Emanuela Felici placed 7th in the Trap Shoot competition. Francesco Amici obtained 7th place in Skeet Shooting always in Athens. In the X edition of the Mediterranean Games in Syria in 1987, Gian Nicola Berti won a Silver Medal in Skeet Shooting. In the XII edition, Stefano Selva arrived second in Skeet Shooting and in the XV edition in Almeria, Daniela Del Din won a Silver Medal in Skeet Shooting.
During the Mediterranean Games held in 1997, the team Frisoni-Bollini won a Silver Medal in Bocce (Raffa).
As concerns Cycling – during the Giro d'Italia (Tour of Italy) Stage Races, San Marino has won various stages: for instance, on May 19, 1997 Pavel Tonkov won the individual chronometer stage and on May 27, 1998, the llth stage was won by Andrea Noè. Daniela Veronesi arrived third in the 1999 Women's Italian Tour Stage Race. A popular bicycle race, the "Placci Cup" takes place every September, starting in San Marino and ending in Imola.
San Marino has taken part in many Olympic Games, both summer and winter editions, but has not won any medals. The Olympic torch passed through the Republic on occasion of the XX Winter Olympics in Turin where Marino Cardelli participated in the ski slalom event without success. As mentioned previously, Francesco Nanni obtained the best Olympic results, arriving 5th in the 1984 Los Angeles Prone Carabine competition.
Sports Fair 2007
On September 23 and 24, 2007, the Republic of San Marino dedicated two days to sports ("Sports Fair"). An extraordinary appointment for all sports lovers. The event brought the world of sports in touch with children and young adults. Stands prepared by the 31 sport federations were crowded with visitors. There was plenty of space for demonstrations and try outs. A lot interest was shown in the Museum of Sports and Olympics. The opening ceremony presented an exhibition by San Marino gymnasts with the choreography of Loredana Colonna.
Following is an excerpt from the interview with the President of CONS, Angelo Vicini who stated: "This manifestation, which began in 1999, has become an appointment which is repeated at the beginning of every school year and is aimed at promoting sports and giving the opportunity to try them out directly in the field, under the form of play and without exasperated antagonisms. The intention of the organizers of the Sports Fair is to reinforce the, already excellent, collaboration between the school and the sports world through new initiatives that CONS has already proposed: in particular, two projects. The first objective is to better understand in order to better defeat juvenile obesity and the disaffection of youth towards sports. The second initiative is the introduction of the "Olympic Week" - with a series of activities aimed at increasing the knowledge of Olympic ideals and appreciating their values.
During the Sports Fair it is possible to meet the most popular San Marino athletes – persons who have the responsibility of being "role models" not only during their sports activities but also in their daily lives".
Following are the remarks made by the Secretary of State for Sports, Paride Andreoli: "Sports are aggregation, friendship, an experience in living, and a moment of confrontation with other cultures. Sports are deeply rooted in our Country and give us great satisfaction, especially as regards our National image. In particular, I refer to the important MotoGP of San Marino and Riviera di Rimini, where home-town driver Alex De Angelis raced. In this regard, after a brief pause, Manuel Poggiali will also return to motorcycle racing next year. Continuing the emphasis on sports, the name of San Marino will soon eco throughout the world with the new "Adidas" TV spot which will be filmed on Mount Titano". In conclusion, the Secretary of State for Education, Francesca Michelotti, reminded all that: "Sports are good for the mind and body, besides being fun, too. Let sports accompany you throughout your life, in that way you 'll never become a boring, complaining adult with high blood pressure!"