Italian figure skater Daniel Grassl is one of the world’s most talented singles skaters. He began to draw attention in his junior years, performing the most difficult quadruple rittberger. Grassl’s best season so far has been last season: silver at the European Championships, his first career adult Grand Prix podium and his fourth consecutive Italian championship title.
It seemed that with the departure of Yuzuru Hanyu and Nathan Chen, Daniel would finally be able to establish himself at the world top. In the offseason, however, the Italian unexpectedly left his longtime coach Lorenzo Magri. The attempt to leave his comfort zone did not pay off: the skater performed with mixed success, nearly injured himself once and, by some miracle, reached the Grand Prix finals, where he finished last.
Grassl and Magri embraced warmly at the Warsaw Cup – adding to this fact the congratulations of Lorenzo in social networks after Daniel’s victory in Sheffield, the fans believed in the skater’s soon return to his native rink. However, Grassl was already preparing for the European Championship in Moscow.
Even his most loyal fans criticized Daniel for his decision to move to the group of Eteri Tutberidze. After the short program in Espoo, Grassl said the following: “It was very difficult to get on the ice today because I was getting so many angry messages. I tried to disconnect from it, not watch anything, because it’s painful for me. I will continue to work even harder to find extra motivation.”
Despite the haters, Daniels repeated several times that he separated sports and politics, expressed confidence in Tutberidze’s innocence in the Valieva case and noted that he plans to continue to work with the Russian specialist. And then the floor was taken by Andrea Gios, President of the Ice Sport Federation of Italy who supported Grassl’s choice.
- He has a commitment for four years, and he wants to prepare as well as possible. From a technical point of view, it’s a great choice.
We haven’t found any documents showing that Ms. Eteri Tutberidze supports the fighting. The Valieva case? There are suspects. But gentlemen, how many suspects do we have in each area? Suspected does not mean guilty.
At the European Championships, after the short program, Daniel is eighth, 7 points behind the bronze medal position. And there is a chance that the Italian will take his medal already today – a year ago, Grassl lost about the same amount, but ended up taking the silver.