The president of the International Padel Federation Luigi Carraro, during the first, historic day of the padel tournaments at the European Games 2023, met the journalists present to emphasise how this adventure in the “biggest European sporting event after London 2012”, as emphasised by the organisational leadership of EG2023, is representing a crucial step for our sport.
“For us it is an indescribable emotion,” said President Carraro, “and such a historic day. For padel to be part of an event organised by the European Olympic Committees for the first time is an achievement that seemed unimaginable just a few years ago. Today it is a reality. No fewer than 24 nations present, 128 athletes, a great show on the court. Our sport, which was considered a ‘game’ not so long ago, today has confirmed to be a sport with a capital ‘S’. This is a first step, but we aim at many other things”.
Asked about the goal of becoming an Olympic sport, Carraro did not hide his ambitions, although he emphasised that proceeding step by step, showing the potential of padel, is the right way to reach certain goals: “The goal is first of all to put on a great show here in Krakow and to show the Olympic world and the audience around the world our potential. If we get a good result here I believe that afterwards we can aspire to do something more,” continued Carraro who underlined how harmony is a key element on the relationship with tennis and not only “we want to get along with all the other sports, we have very good relations with all the colleagues of the international federations, respecting the autonomy of each discipline we want to collaborate with and get along with everyone”.
On the domination of the various rankings by the Spaniards and, in the world, also by the Argentinians Carraro opens a window on the future through the Krakow Games: “Here we will see that the gap is getting smaller and smaller. We must focus on young people and work hard. Events like these will also allow athletes to become more economically independent, in addition to the technical and cultural exchange on the sporting level, which can only improve the players. In this way, I believe that in the upcoming years we will have many new nations that will aspire to win events like this,” explained the number one of world padel, who then added, also talking about the big news of the EG2023, the Mixed tournament. “The Mixed one? It is something in which we believe a lot,’ concluded the Fip number one. ‘Together with the European Olympic Committees, but also in all our dealings with the IOC, it is something that we like a lot. Mixed is a beautiful spectacle, we will see it here, and it will be the first of many more opportunities”.