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Federico Ghelli Athlete Ambassador

by Alexandra Parren

Ironman Italy triathlon athlete

Federico is an Italian athlete who has achieved some amazing feats. He talks to Sundried about his journey.

Have you always been into sport?

I can't remember a year of my life so far without sports. I started swimming when I was 2 years old, but after a few years I realized that football was my biggest passion. I played it for 15 years with the hope of becoming a pro. Obviously, it didn't happen but I'm happy with what I achieved on the pitch.

I also played tennis, did boxing for a year and ran cross country and track and field while in college.

Two years ago, I decided to get into triathlon and now I'm fully invested in it.

How did you first get into triathlon?

When I moved to Milan for work in 2018, I decided that I had to find some type of challenge to keep myself active while having a full-time job. So, I decided to register for an Ironman, without any prior experience in triathlon. Then, I joined a local triathlon club, researched for a few training plans, and started training, mostly by myself. In September of 2019, I took part in my first triathlon race ever, Ironman Cervia, which I completed in little over 10 hours.

What has been your favourite race to date and why?

Definitely my first Ironman. Seeing my family and friends cheering for me all day long and celebrating with them at the finish line gifted me a feeling that I will never forget.

What is your proudest achievement?

When I became the youngest Italian in history to hike the entire Appalachian Trail; 3,525km from Georgia to Maine, in the United States.

Have you ever had any racing disasters?

Fortunately not in a race, but two months before my first Ironman I was hit by a truck while riding my bike. I hurt my hand in the accident, but luckily enough I was able to recover in time for the race.

How do you overcome setbacks?

Constantly reminding myself that life is not perfect and bad things can happen along the way. The most important fact is to not let those setbacks get the best of us, but instead keep focus on the main goal and keep pushing hard to achieve it, no matter what.

What advice do you wish you'd been given when you first started out?

That triathlon gets addicting!

What are your goals?

Qualify for the Ironman World Championship in Kona.

Who inspires you?

Not one person in particular, but whenever I see someone reaching a result that moments before was thought to be unreachable. It reminds me that limits exist only if we impose them to ourselves.

Why work with Sundried?

I appreciate the way Sundried promotes well-being, as well as promotes initiatives that actively support social causes. It's not just about the quality of the products, which are organic and sustainable, but also the impact Sundried is trying to make in the market and for the environment.

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