The Man Of The Week
Andrea Gilardi: "I feel butterflies in my stomach"
Today we meet a prominent figure in Italian synchro who comes from Milan. Andrea Gilardi, 50, opens the doors of his team "Hot Shivers".
You & synchro
How did you discover synchro?
In 1990, I got a videotape from the USA.
What is your background in the world of synchro?
I’ve been a coach only and not a competitor. I was an ice dancer.
What is your best synchro memory and why?
The World Championships 2014 in Italy. Everything was perfect.
If you had to remember a program that affected you, what would it be and why?
Marigold’s 2000 free program “Sunset Boulevard” because it was a different way to propose synchronized skating and for its musicality.
What did this sport teach you?
A team is not a just group of people. A team can do unbelievable things.
What advice would you give to young people who want to start synchro?
Sharing skating with your friends is much better than experiencing it on your own.
What do you feel and what’s in your mind when you see your team enter on the ice at a competition?
I feel butterflies in my stomach. I try to think nothing, and to mentally give my positive energy to my team.
What’s your favourite element and why?
I have no favourite element, but as I love the subtle technical aspects of skating. I like the No Hold Element or more precisely, the detail behind assembling steps sequences.
Teams Hot Shivers
Can you tell us a bit about your teams (Junior and Senior)?
My Junior team is quite young with many new willing skaters and is doing their best to face this season with commitment. My Senior team is more experienced and especially this year is a very united team with lots of committed and it’s a pleasure to work with.
What makes your synchro teams different?
My teams are normally quite expressive and try to have a good posture and to skate as quietly as possible. I can’t stand scratching on the ice.
People say that your a great coach and a grand choreographer… is there a "Gilardi’s touch"?
I do my best and I’m never really satisfied with the job I’m doing. When I build a new program, I try not to repeat myself and especially I respect the music and it essence as it is. I never changed the music to make it fit the choreography or the technical elements. There is always a way to make everything fit the music and not the opposite. This enhances the musicality of my programs.
When you create a synchro program, what inspires you?
Normally the theme of the music is the main inspiration.
What are your goals for Junior and Senior Worlds?
The same goals we always tried to pursue. We endeavour to our best, to skate with head and heart, and enjoy every second on the ice. The rest is just marks and results.
Italy and synchro
In your country, how is the sport developing? What is done to promote this discipline of skating?
In Italy, the situation is quite good. There are a good number of teams, even if the majority are in non ISU categories. In Italy, promoting skating is very difficult because there are not a lot of ice rinks, and promoting synchronized skating is even more difficult but the Italian Federation is constantly working to invite more and more skaters to join our beautiful discipline.
In your opinion, how can this sport evolve in Italy?
We need more teams, more ice rinks and more talented skaters.
It has been more than 10 years that Hot Shivers Senior represent Italy at Worlds. What do Italians think about your team?
My team was the first Italian team in history, and our responsibility is to give the best example possible of our sport in our country and abroad. I think my teams can be considered a point of reference of what can be done in Italy too.
Thanks for reading! See you next week for a new episode of "Woman of the week"!
Article by Remo De Tomi
Photography by Andy Benaglia & Hot Shivers (ITA)
Editing by Catherine Ruta