Michele Citizens, classroom 1996, is a young rising star of Italian windsurfing, able to scale the heights of world and European rankings in RS:X and lay the glider in bottom-turn under walls four meters to Capo Mannu (Oristano). Michele is very active on the web, via his Facebook page and his YouTube channel and seen his recent video posted a few weeks ago (Click here), RIWmag decided to interview him to get to know him better, discover his secrets and talk about his future projects.
RIW: Hi Michele, tell us about yourself, when you were born and where, and when you started windsurfing?
Michele Citizens: Hello everyone my name is Michele Cittadini, I 19 years and i'm from Cagliari. I started windsurfing at the age of 6 years at windsurfing club Cagliari under the guidance of my father Renato, he too windsurfer. Immediately I fell in love with this fantastic sport and from an early age I began to spend more hours in the water than on earth.
RIW: for years, you've done zonal regattas, national and international, when you started your competitive career, and how it has evolved to this day? What were your goals, and what your best experiences?
M.c.: Until 10 years I played basketball throughout the winter while during the summer I devoted myself entirely to windsurfing together with all my mythical friends of windsurfing club Cagliari; then after accomplishing 11 years I decided that the sea would become my gym for workouts and so’ I started windsurfing full-time. A few years later I started with the first regattas with Techno293 together with my current teammates, starting to tour Sardinia and then Italy. Over the years I have managed to improve more and more managing to win two silvers at the European championships, two world bronzes and a gold at the open world championships 2014 with techno293 and various Italian junior slalom championships. After completing the 17 years I landed in the Olympic class RS:X Youth (under 18) where I joined the national team getting a 6th and a 5th place at the World Cup and two third places at the European championships by country (Eurosaf, 1st). Now I have 19 years and I'm competing in the senior Olympic class along with the best professional windsurfers.
RIW: How you do your workouts at sea? Also do ground workouts?
M.c.: I generally train 3 or 4 days on the water during the week with my RS team:X (if I don't have any engagements with the university) more on the weekend if there's wind. I'm going to the gym 3 times a week trying not to overlay the workouts in the water with those on the ground; I am followed by an athletic trainer who takes care of our workouts with various exercises specific to our sport thus trying to improve performance in the water. I also try to eat correctly and healthily to make the 100% in the water on any occasion.
RIW: In your own right, you can live windsurfing? What are the difficulties encountered?
M.c.: Of course you can live windsurfing even if that's very difficult, only a few manage to make money by doing only and exclusively windsurfing. Sponsors have less interest than before in sponsoring the various talents that are around the world and rightly tip their budget (which is lower as the number of practitioners has decreased sharply compared to previous years) on research and development and collaborations with athletes who are at the top of the World Cup rankings. I hope windsurfing can get out of this “Crisis” and that can reach the levels (cheap, media etc) of wave surfing; a sport that is increasingly successful in all parts of the world.
RIW: In addition to the Olympic and pre-Olympic classes as disciplines of windsurfing meadows?
M.c.: Parallel to the various workouts with Techno293 and RS:X during my free time I very willingly dedicate many afternoons to the practice of slalom, Freestyle and wave. I have been participating in the Sardinian zonal slalom championship for a couple of years (championship that boasts numerous members including Giorgio Giorgi, Manuel Argiolas, Mattia Onali, Roberto Tade, Davide Meloni and many others) where I've always managed to take the podium or win a few stages.
RIW: Besides in the water with windsurfing as you spend your days? You have other hobbies? You went on to study after high school.?
M.c.: Right after high school, I enrolled in college. (Faculty of Engineering), a time-consuming commitment. Study and competitive sport are two activities that are very difficult to reconcile, however between sacrifices I can apply myself in both. Now with university I can organize myself better than in high school where very often teachers did not see in a way “Serio” sport (i remember homework in class or questions on returning from the regattas, where some professors considered our sport almost a waste of time or a summer recreation). When I don't study and don't do RS training:X I dedicate my little free time to other water sports (kite, Surf, sup etc), every now and then I also like to go mountain biking and play basketball.
RIW: What are your plans for the season 2016?
M.c.: In 2016 I will participate in the national and international rs regattas:X, the first will be in Palma de Mallorca next month. I will try to participate both in the Sardinian slalom championship and also in the Italian slalom and wave if I can find some more recent equipment, since my rigs and slalom boards with which I have competed in recent years date back to 2007 and we all know how much the equipment costs and how important it is to compete with the right equipment. I thank my sponsors who are helping me so much: ION for wetsuits and trapezes and clothing, Wipeout Boardshop for accessories, and 4eyes optics for glasses.
Greetings to all readers of RIWmag: you see each other in the water maybe between the waves of Chia or those of Cape Mannu.
Michele Citizens FB Page: www.facebook.com/michelecittadiniITA38/?HANIS = ts
Interview: Andrea Puzzoni 4 www.riwmag.com
Photo Courtesy: Michele Citizens, Vittorio Greggio
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