12 February 2022


Lignano Cadet European Cup 2022


The 17 years old Michela TERRANOVA (ITA) gained today her first gold medal in -52kg category at the Cadets international circuit in home soil.

Coming from the small, dreams island of Ischia, close to Naples (Italy) today she was clearly in a mission for gold. After a hard final with her teammate, Gaia MASSIMETTI (ITA), she gave space to emotions.

About two years ago her mother was diagnosed with breast cancer, at that time Michela was fighting in the U15 class and wanted a medal at the national championships to dedicate to her mom: she won the competition. Since that day Michela and her mother have fought together, in the hospital and on the mat.

My mom’s illness gave me an edge. I have been as close to her as possible and she has given to me the strength to push ahead on every occasion. During the pandemic I did not give up, I trained three times a day and all that efforts I made are now being paid off, little by little.

In the meantime, her mother has also recovered and continues to cheer on her daughter.

Anyway, judo is a family business for the Terranovas. Living on a small Island with ca. 60.000 inhabitants and all in all 50/60 judokas, it is not easy so, especially during the pandemic, Michela could only count on her brother Rocco,

Periodically we take the ferry to the mainland to make randori on a higher level. Throughout this period my point of reference has been my dad, Rosario, who has always believed in me and I am very happy that he was sitting at my edge today.

At the end of the competition her father let his emotions flow as well,

I am moved, not just for the gold medal, but most of all for the strength and determination Michela conveyed to her mother all the time, they’ve fought together.

Author: Cinzia Valle


Author: Thea Cowen