Words and silence

Premio Ussi Roma 17maggio 2010
USSI Awards, Circolo Canottieri Aniene
Roma, 17 maggio 2010

Salvatore Cimmino e Damiano Tommasi

Salvatore and Damiano Tommasi

Salvatore e Elda
Salvatore and Elda

Words and silence are two sides of the same coin, one enlightens and gives value to the other.
Man was created to relate, he is a being in constant relationships: with himself, with the reality that surrounds him, and with others.
Silence and speech are resources designed for this purpose, man’s great vocation: the gift of self awareness.
Silence and speech are powerful means of communication, words facilitate and uphold relationships, silence adds meaning.
Pablo Neruda wrote, the word is one wing of silence.
Last Friday, June 4, I was invited by the Baracchi Foundation to Sochi, a hamlet of Bibbiena near Arezzo. I attended a meeting entitled “Champions in sport, champions in life,” organized as part of “Words and silence. Outlooks on the World.” The moderators of this meeting were two very capable journalists: Massimo Orlandi and Paolo Ciampi, whom I thank from the heart, together with the Baracchi family, for giving me the opportunity to speak on disability issues related to sport.
The long distance running champion Elisabetta Perrone, the Olympic champion in cross country skiing, Stefania Belmondo, and Damiano Tommasi, the unforgettable Roma and Italian national soccer team midfielder, were also invited.
When I received the invitation my first thought was that my name had nothing to do with the such great and acknowledged champions. Then I realized, with pride and emotion, that the commitment to assist the disabled, the struggle to improve our living conditions, the extraordinary opportunities that sport offers to undertake a path of relationships and social interaction are matters dear to many more people than I thought. Although fraught with fear and a sense of inadequacy, I decided to face all my fears and participate with great joy. When I entered Cinema Italia and saw the crowded venue, I was afraid of not being able to talk for the strong emotion.
Instead, thankfully, apart from the shaky beginning, everything went well, thanks to the kindness and sensitivity of Paolo Ciampi and Massimo Orlandi.
This meeting also provided an opportunity to experience the great strength and great humanity of athletes who, through their deeds, have been able to convey solidarity and nearness and listen to those who have supported them throughout their brilliant careers and continue to follow their noble achievements.
Even today I am surprised how many people continue to follow my “achievements”.
I want to thank you all In the knowledge that only through the union of many forces will we build a better world, fit for everyone.

With great fondness
Salvatore Cimmino