After entering Vincenzo Felicetti’s name into a popular search engine, we can find a lot of material in Italian from which you can conclude that he is referred to as “the athletic icon”. Even though he is 73 years old, many people younger than him might envy him for his good shape, fitness and energy. He has many achievements, including in 100, 200 and 400 meter runs – both individually and in the relay. Including many world championship titles. There are many medals and cups in his house in Calabria. He is now retired. Before that he worked in Italian telecommunications.
He has about a hundred victories in Italy, 23 European titles and 6 world champions to his name. He has set several records in his sports career.
– When I look at it all, sometimes I can’t believe that I have been able to achieve so much. It seems impossible to me. In Italy no one has made a career like me. No one has as many titles and medals as I do. According to the statistics, I am in the top ten master players in the world. I hope I can run again. My feet are bothering me, Vincenzo Felicetti emphasizes.
Before that, he played football for six years. He is still a die-hard supporter. His beloved team is AC Milan. But his real passion turned out to be athletics, which he has been training for 33 years. On his Instagram profile he writes about himself: “Sono il numero 1 dei master” (I am number one among the masters).
He has visited Europe and much of the world
Thanks to sports – as he himself emphasizes – he began to travel. He got to know all of Europe and the world. He has competed in Russia, Greece, Spain, Bulgaria, Romania, Slovenia, Yugoslavia, Norway, Finland, Sweden, as well as India, China, Japan, Australia, America and South Africa.
– It’s a nice adventure. Only the family is more important than sport. I mean sports, but in the sense of active participation. I don’t mean watching him in a bar or attending conventions. It’s a lifestyle. Taken seriously, the results deliver, Vinzenzo emphasizes.
In 2006 he published a book on masters in athletics in Italy. It contained information about the federation, leagues, as well as the profile and achievements of players (photos, newspaper clippings), including his own. Kataegoria “masters” is a competition for participants over 35 years old. Events include track and field, road and trail running. The participants are divided into age groups of five years. In international competitions, the first age group is 35-39 years. He prepared it for 3 years.
Due to covid many competitions could not continue. That’s why Vincenzo decided to travel through Italy in a motorhome. He was often seen in the parking lot at Jarocin Sport. He attracted attention with the slogan “Abbi Cura di Te. Lo sport la tua medicina” (Take care of yourself. Sport is your medicine). He started his journey in early September 2020. He had traveled eight thousand kilometers for more than a month.
Out of love he decided to change his life
Usually Vincenzo visited Poland on the occasion of international or world master competitions. On the occasion of one of the trips, he met a player from our area – Jan Tomczak† However, this was not the reason why he decided to change his life and move to Poland. The reason was his love for Agnieszka, a girl from Jarocin, whom he also met in the Czech Republic, in the city of Lovosice. Later they kept in touch via messenger, Facebook and by phone. Finally, he invited her to go on vacation together in Italy.
– We got to know each other better. And that’s how love was born. Agnieszka has a wonderful family – she says happily.
It was for her that he decided to leave Calabria and start a new life in Poland. He says of her that she is “good, great”. He was already married before that. He is divorced. He is a father and a grandfather. His daughter lives with her family near Milan. As he emphasizes, his family is very large. Now he bought a house kadziaku† On December 3 last year, the couple welcomed into the world Massimo, the apple of Vincenzo’s apple. The boy’s baptism took place on Easter. A wedding and a wedding are planned in July.
That he has become a father again, according to him, is a miracle. Something that seemed impossible to him.
– I couldn’t even imagine having a son. I am really happy and calm. The baby makes me feel younger. It is a great joy for me. I’m very happy. I don’t look to the past, but to what tomorrow will bring – he emphasizes.
Agnieszka takes care of the baby, so Vincenzo cooks every day. His specialty is, of course, Italian cuisine, which he considers to be the best in the world. On Sunday, he eats a Polish dinner prepared by his fiancée. He liked, among other things, Polish dishes dumplings, meat, potatoes.
He states that Italy – because of the climate, the weather and the beautiful cities with many monuments – is a good place, but only for holidays, but not for everyday life. In his opinion, life is better in Poland, which is quieter. And more religious than Italy.
After the wedding he will be able to compete in Polish colors
Vincenzo is happy to be able to ride in Polish colors next year. It also plans to create a museum in Kadziak. However, he is counting on the help of the local government. He also wants to organize meetings at schools. He speaks Italian and English. At home they speak the second language. However, he also started to learn Polish. He already knows the basics.
– I don’t have much time for this. I have changed my life. I bought a house near the forest and moved. I work in the ground. The house is big and the garden too. They require a lot of work. Jan it helps me a lot. Even with a small child there is a lot of work to do. But slowly, calmly, I will learn – admits Vincenzo.
In Italy he lived in Calabria. He has a great house there overlooking the sea. But, as he emphasizes, he was not happy there because he was alone.
– There is a stadium, swimming pool, gym. Jarocin is fantastic. Young people can play sports. In Calabria I had to train in the street because the stadium is closed and overgrown with tall weeds. I’m ashamed to talk about it. Just like about the things that happen in our country. There is a mafia, corruption, crime – he admits.
For the championships he trains with Jan Tomczak even three times a week. Jarociniak urges him to go to the world championship in Canada in March next year. Vincenzo, however, is more skeptical. His condition is currently not at the highest level. He has problems with his foot, especially his toes. She uses the help of an orthopedic surgeon and a physiotherapist. He is fine, but has to cut back on physical activity for the time being.