Manuela DI CENTA

Italy ITA

Cross-Country

  • Olympic Medals
    2 G
    2 S
    3 B
  • Games participations
    5
  • First Olympic Games
    Sarajevo 1984
  • Year of Birth
    1963
Olympic Results

Biography

Manuela DI CENTA

Seven-time Olympic cross-country skiing medallist, Manuela Di Centa went on to plant the Olympic flag on the roof of the world in 2003.

Top of the world

Growing up in the Friuli–Venezia Giulia region of Northern Italy, near the Austrian border, Manuela Di Centa had two dreams. The first was to compete at the Olympic Games - she went on to do so no less than five times - and the second was to complete an ascent of the world’s highest mountain. On 23 May 2003, half a century after Edmund Hillary and Tensing Norgay, she became the first Italian woman to reach the 8,848m summit of Everest. The IOC member duly planted the Olympic flag at the top of the world’s highest peak. After returning to sea level, she donated the equipment from her expedition to the Olympic Museum in Lausanne.

A precocious talent

At the age of four, Di Centa took her first steps on a pair of red wooden skis made for her by her grandfather. Her talent was quick to shine through and by the age of 17 she was already representing Italy in international cross-country competitions. Her maiden Olympic appearance came at the Sarajevo Winter Games in 1984, and she was in action once more four years later in Calgary, but on each occasion finished without a medal. Her first podium finish came at Albertville 1992, where she was a member of Italian team that took  bronze in the 4x5km relay.

High five in Lillehammer

From 13 to 24 February 1994, at the Winter Games in Lillehammer, Di Centa was a permanent fixture on the podium, winning medals in each of the five women’s cross-country events. Starting with a victory in the 15km classic, where she finished ahead of Lyubov Yegorova, she went on to take two silvers in the 15km freestyle and 10km pursuit behind her Russian rival. Next up, came a bronze in the 4x5km relay with Bice Vanzetta, Gabriella Paruzzi and Stefania Belmondo, and then she finished as she had started, with a gold in the 30km freestyle. She left Lillehammer with five medals from five events, and two Olympic titles!

Olympic Results

More results
Olympic Results
Results Event Sport

Nagano 1998

#21
5 kilometres, Classical
5 kilometres, Classical Cross Country Skiing
#23
5/10 kilometres Pursuit
5/10 kilometres Pursuit Cross Country Skiing
B
4 × 5 kilometres Relay
4 × 5 kilometres Relay Cross Country Skiing
Olympic Results
Results Event Sport

Lillehammer 1994

S
5 kilometres, Classical
5 kilometres, Classical Cross Country Skiing
S
5/10 kilometres Pursuit
5/10 kilometres Pursuit Cross Country Skiing
G
15 kilometres, Freestyle
15 kilometres, Freestyle Cross Country Skiing
G
30 kilometres Classical
30 kilometres Classical Cross Country Skiing
B
4 × 5 kilometres Relay
4 × 5 kilometres Relay Cross Country Skiing
Olympic Results
Results Event Sport

Albertville 1992

#12
5 kilometres, Classical
5 kilometres, Classical Cross Country Skiing
#10
5/10 kilometres Pursuit
5/10 kilometres Pursuit Cross Country Skiing
#6
30 kilometres Freestyle
30 kilometres Freestyle Cross Country Skiing
B
4 × 5 kilometres Relay
4 × 5 kilometres Relay Cross Country Skiing
Olympic Results
Results Event Sport

Calgary 1988

#18
5 kilometres, Classical
5 kilometres, Classical Cross Country Skiing
#20
10 kilometres, Classical
10 kilometres, Classical Cross Country Skiing
#6
20 kilometres, Freestyle
20 kilometres, Freestyle Cross Country Skiing
Olympic Results
Results Event Sport

Sarajevo 1984

#=24
5 kilometres
5 kilometres Cross Country Skiing
#28
10 kilometres
10 kilometres Cross Country Skiing
#26
20 kilometres
20 kilometres Cross Country Skiing
#9
4 × 5 kilometres Relay
4 × 5 kilometres Relay Cross Country Skiing