The Audi FIS alpine ski world cup
In La Thuile, Italy, the Audi FIS Alpine Ski World Cup was held from 29 February to 1 March 2020. Here, SYLVIE BERTI ROSSI and RUBEN MONTAGNOLI share their experience as Heartfulness trainers at the event.
In the heart of the Alps, a few minutes from Mont Blanc’s shining glaciers, the Heartfulness team gathered for three days of snow and joy in La Thuile, a town in the Aosta Valley of northern Italy. We were supporting the athletes, teams, and the general public at the Alpine Ski World Cup, as an official partner, in what turned out to be a special time in the history of international ski events.
We provided special support for the ski teams in their hotels, offering the experience of Heartfulness Relaxation and Meditation practices. We were also able to present Heartfulness activities and values through various press conferences and presentations, social activities, and interactions with the public.
Some of the athletes had been practicing Heartfulness for some time. One of them, Frederica Brignone, the winner of the FIS Alpine Ski World Cup 2020, shared her positive experience in an interview published in the newspaper La Stampa on 12 March. She said that thanks to this meditation she had reached a state of grace that made her more conscious.
The shadow of COVID-19 virus threatened to impact the World Cup event one week beforehand, so the organizing committee, along with the regional authorities and the International Ski Federation, opted for a safety protocol imposing a reduction in the number of people in and around the event.
Despite these restrictions, 66 athletes from 24 countries gathered late on Friday afternoon to compete on the most technically challenging ski slope of the circuit of the women’s World Cup. Neither the virus nor fifty centimeters of new snowfall could stop the competition on Saturday morning, when the Austrian rookie Nina Ortlieb won all the races, taking the lead from the local champion, Federica Brignone of Italy. Later, Corinne Suter of Switzerland went on to win the Crystal Globe in the downhill category.
Meanwhile, around 30 volunteers offered Heartfulness practices in the local hotels for both tourists and fans. In the stadium, the Heartfulness Lounge was situated at the finishing line of the course, and VIPs from the corporate world were able to experience what Heartfulness can offer individuals and organizations. Despite the difficult conditions, the adaptability, flexibility, and calm approach of our volunteers exemplified our social media tag for the event, #howwedocalm.
Our volunteer trainers were able to teach Heartfulness practices to athletes, journalists, coaches, physiotherapists, staff, and teams, as well as to members of the organizing committee, thousands of fans, skiers and tourists, and the Heartfulness Corporate Team shared a daily meditation program with VIP guests, including partners and sponsors, helping them to deepen their experience.
As an official partner of the event, we also presented the newly released Italian version of The Heartfulness Way (published by Mondadori) to the media and guests gathered in the Montana Lodge Hotel.
Alain Desvigne, President of the Heartfulness Institute, France, spoke about the link between sport and meditation: “Although at first view, meditation and sport don’t seem directly connected, as meditation is about ‘not doing’ and sport is about perfect action, today the link between meditation and sport is well established. Sporting teams and athletes are turning increasingly to meditation and Yoga to help improve their performance. Indeed they need to increase their focus and emotional balance amidst the pressures of highly competitive environments. Meditation also helps them to integrate all aspects of their busy, often stressful lives, supporting them before, during, and after the race.
“Athletes have to prepare their minds in order to reach their peak performance. Heartfulness meditative practices are easy to learn, and help people develop an effortlessly focused mind. In fact, the goal of meditation is to create a permanent meditative state, whatever the circumstances.
“That brings us to the second step, the race. Meditation is basically a technique which helps to create a state where the mind is focused without effort. You are 100% present in the here and now. If you watched the women who were racing today closely on the screen, the level of presence they had when they were racing is exactly that meditative state. When you race down a slope at 130 km/hour, you don’t have time to analyze. It is the inner stillness with full focus that allows you to grasp the situation.
“And the third step, after the race, we call the recovery period. The body is exhausted. And this is where we find another benefit of meditation: It gives you the ability to reconnect, to recover, to refresh, revitalize and rejuvenate yourself, so as to regain inner strength.
“Heartfulness offers meditation on the heart; and there is a direct link between the inner condition of the heart and our state of mind. As we say, ‘When the heart is at peace, the mind is at rest.’ Heartfulness allows the mind and the heart to be in tune and work together.
“Why are we here, in this context of sport? It’s not only to help athletes reach their peak performance. In fact, the core values of sport are very close to the values of Heartfulness. If you look back at the original spirit of the Olympic Games, it was about creating a peaceful world, a better world, a harmonious world. It was about bringing everyone together. That’s where sport and Heartfulness meet.”
Article by SYLVIE BERTI ROSSI and RUBEN MONTAGNOLI
April 30, 2020
April 30, 2020
April 30, 2020