Torino 2025 launches its Ambassadors. And there could not have been a better context than the Palavela, dressed to the nines this week for the ISU Grand Prix Final of Figure Skating Final (December 8-11), which saw Italy shine with the three medals collected in the international event: gold among Juniors for Nikolaj Memola, bronzes in the Seniors for Sara Conti/Niccolò Macii (pairs) and Charlene Guignard/Marco Fabbri (dance). This was an event in which the Organizing Committee of the World University Winter Games took to the ice as the FISG (Italian Ice Sports Federation) Main National Partner.
Presenting the young Ambassadors at the press conference preceding the event’s final gala were Alessandro Ciro Sciretti (president of the Torino 2025 Games and Edisu Piemonte), Riccardo D’Elicio (president of CUS Torino and vice president of Torino 2025), Silvia Carrera (Head of Corporate & Communication Torino 2025) and Andrea Gios (president of the Italian Ice Sports Federation). Also present were the two mayors involved with ice disciplines in 2025: Luca Salvai (Pinerolo) and Marco Cogno (Torre Pellice).
The first Ambassador to be presented was Raffaele Zich who, a few hours later, was also the first skater to take to the ice at the closing gala of the Grand Prix Final. Born in Vietnam in 2006, he was taken in by a family of Italian engineers: mother Paola Pirinoli teaches at the Politecnico of Torino and father Riccardo at the Polytechnic University of Milano. And the young Ice Club Torino skater’s adoptive grandfather, Rodolfo Zich, was rector of the Politecnico in Torino from 1987 to 2001.
“I am honored to be part of this project and to be Ambassador of the 2025 Games. Torino is my city, where I grew up as an athlete and where I am growing as a student. My parents and grandfather are university professors and they passed on to me the value of study, but also the passion and dedication for sports”, said the talented student of Edoardo De Bernardis and Renata Lazzaroni.
In 2025, Raffaele will be a university student and will fight to win a place in the Italian delegation that will compete in this very facility in search of great success just as they did in 2007.
Along with Zich, the Organizing Committee’s choice to spread the message of the Games on ice around the globe has fallen on the up-and-coming artistic duo of Irma Caldara and Riccardo Maglio. The Milanese tandem has moved to Turin since September to be tutored by CUS Torino coach Cristiana Di Natale. “We are so happy to be able to tell the world about this great event for Italy and for Turin”, explains Riccardo. He is echoed by Irma: “In Turin we now feel at home. because we have been training here since this fall. It was great to be acclaimed by the Italian public at the Grand Prix closing gala”.
Pair on the ice, but also off. “We fight a lot on the rink, because sometimes we are very stubborn and way too focused on what we are doing”, Irma says with a smile. Riccardo looks at her and adds, “As soon as we take off our skates though, we make up because we really love each other”. Irma is attending a Bachelor’s degree program in Sociology at Bicocca University in Milan, while Riccardo is a graduate and about to continue his studies.
At the end of the conference, the three young Ambassadors received the Ambassador pin and the official sweatshirt with the Torino 2025 logo, which has been camping in every corner of the Palavela these days.
These were the speakers’ statements:
Andrea Gios (president of the Italian Ice Sports Federation): “The Turin 2025 Games is an event of great value, set in a particular context as that of a city that in 2006 marked a very important stage for Italian and world sport with the Olympic and Paralympic Games. Those Games left a very important legacy of facilities and in the hearts of the people of Turin. We have sports clubs that create athletes and important events, so you are able to give sport a future. The Grand Prix final at the Palavela brought young athletes into the limelight, we are sure that sports humus left by the 2006 Games is fundamental. These kids are the first ambassadors of Italy, in the ice palaces they bring style, fairness, culture, ethics.”
Alessandro Ciro Sciretti (president of the Torino 2025 FISU Games and Edisu Piemonte): “It was the first effective collaboration with Fisg, of which we were Main National Partner of the Final. We are just over two years away from our event, but we have already set out on a path dense with major sporting events. We want to make our territory even more attractive, and the University World Games aims to leave a tangible physical and structural legacy. This is an opportunity for growth for territory and the university and sports system. This event wants to promote the competitive aspect, but also third-level training, and it is essential that these 11 days of competition are not limited to being a sports competition, but enriched by cultural and academic events. It is crucial for us to be presented by an image that represents values, and in this sense, the three Ambassadors we have chosen are the perfect calling card”.
Riccardo D’Elicio (president of CUS Torino and vice president of Torino 2025): “In 2025 we want to represent a city that brings together values of educational and sports culture. In 2007, thanks to the collaboration of the FISG, we had Olympian Enrico Fabris as a testimonial for the Universiade and it was a triumph. With President Gios and good politics, I would like to create conditions to make the Palavela live in the summer as well.”
Silvia Carrera (Head of Corporate & Communication Torino 2025): “We chose young people who can tell and promote the values of Torino 2025. They are the future university students, the true spokesmen of the message. We are working on the approach to the event that awaits us and on this path there is already a big event scheduled right on the ice of the Palavela as the Cinema One Ice show, with the participation of stars such as Carolina Kostner and Beijing 2022 Olympians Gabriella Papadakis and Guillaume Cizeron. It will be a show within a movie-themed show, orchestrated by CUS Torino and ProdeaGroup with the artistic direction of Opera On Ice. The Masters of Ceremonies will be two athletes who won the Universiade right here at the Palavela in 2007 and then took off: Anna Cappellini and Luca Lanotte”.