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Mediterranean Games: City, Region and Government confirm the strong symbolic meaning of the sport event

“Abruzzo has to face a difficult moment of big challenges, and we are accepting all of them because they make us feel alive, strong and they help us to think of the future”, the mayor, Massimo Cialente, declared 

L’Aquila is Abruzzo and Abruzzo is L’Aquila, this is the idea shared and for that everyone wants the Games take place because just now, they: “Represent the dignity of the people of Abruzzo and the will to start again”. During the press conference in Coppito, organized both by Abruzzo Region and by the Committee Pescara 2009, this message was marked clearly: they said that the mayor of L’Aquila Massimo Cialente; the president of Abruzzo region Gianni Chiodi; the extraordinary Commissioner of the Mediterranean Games, Mario Pescante; the Italian representative of the International Olympic Committee Franco Carraro; the secretary general of Coni Raffaele Pagnozzi in front of a large institutional audience formed by the political representatives of all parties.

“Suddenly in Abruzzo all the political and corporative contrasts of bell tower fade. It’s born a common feeling. A very positive future opens in which all parts are called to work”. In this way the president of the Region Gianni Chiodi commenced.

“One of the first phone calls I received – the mayor of L’Aquila Massimo Cialente said – was that of Pescante who assured me L’Aquila would have been the heart of the Games. Abruzzo is in a difficult moment because it has to face big challenges, we are accepting them all because they make us feel alive, strong and they help us to think of the future”.

“Abruzzo will be stronger than it was before the earthquake – Mario Pescante affirmed – the Games are the image of our land and of our will to start again”.

The news of the practicability of Fattori stadium, house of rugby, the sport which more than the others embodies the courage and the ability of revitalization of the region hit by the earthquake, arrived by phone to the mayor Cialente, almost to underline, in a symbolic way, the kindness of this choice, during the conference.

And from L’Aquila the torch of the Games will start that will be lighted in front of the house of student.

To “greet” the torch bearer, which will cross the countries hit by the earthquake before arriving in Pescara, also the children of Onna. Obviously all the sport event will be “reorganized” and, in particular, the opening and closing ceremonies will include several moments regarding the particular circumstance; among the most important important ones the prize-giving of L’Aquila rugby by the president of the International Olympic Committee Jacques Rogge. Besides there will be an homage of thirty minutes entirely dedicated to Abruzzo. The press conference, moderated by Italo Cucci, with the participation of Franco Carraro, member of the International Olympic Committee and Raffaele Pagnozzi, secretary general of Coni as well vice-president of the International Committee of the Games, also give Mario Pescante the occasion, to announce that the Government, allocated further 12 millions of euro for the Games. “It isn’t an addition of money, we reseted a deficit which was created as regards to the initial allocation because of the 18 millions of interests for the opening of the loan”. To these we have to add the fund recently deliberated by Region, 4 millions of euro, which have to be added to the other eight just allocated. “This amount will be used for the purchase of apparatus of International level, Abruzzo will become the capital of the sport activities after the Games” the regional assessore of Sport and Balance, Carlo Masci, declared, who attended the conference together with the colleagues of the Council: Alfredo Castiglione, Mauro Di Dalmazio e Giandonato Morra.

The numbers of Pescara 2009

That of Pescara will be a record edition, 4.115 athletes and 2.170 among couriers and managers, for a total of 6.285 presences. Numbers which are higher than those of the Games of Almeria 2005. With regards to the total for delegations, only for Italy are 847; 705 will arrive from France; 641 from Greece; 616 from Turkey; 345 from Algeria; Libya will be present with 221 athletes, for the first time with 20 women. The participation of the teams of a lot of nations of ex Jugoslavia (Bosnia, Serbia, Montenegro, etc.) is very important.

Athletics is the leader sport with the highest number of Countries represented: 22 of 23. Then, Judo and Swimming (21 Countries) and Weight-Lifting and Target Shooting (20 Countries). These are the Countries and the number of athletes for every team sport (basketball, football, handball and water polo):A seguire Judo e Nuoto (21 Paesi) e Sollevamento pesi e Tiro a segno (20 Paesi). Albania 82; Algeria 40; Bosnia and Herzegovina 28; Croatia 81; Egypt 58; Spain 59; France 87; Greece 111; Italy 111; Lebanon 12; Libya 43; Malta 30; Morocco 42; Montenegro 71; Serbia 69; Slovenia 44; Syria 18; Tunisia 74; Turkey 111.