Open water swimmer Ruggero Di Biagio, from Ostia to Dublin and back: “My secret? Training at low temperatures”
They wear a green T-shirt and are ready to jump off the pontoon in the sea of Ostia. They represent Ireland,
where they live and work, but come from different countries in Europe. But this sea has a special meaning
for one of them.
"Returning to the sea where I was born, in the first major international competition after two years of Covid is like the icing on the cake,” says Ruggero Di Biagio, who now lives and works at the Italian Embassy in Dublin, where he moved at the age of 36 after spending his entire life in Ostia.
Be it the warm Italian waters or the low temperatures of the Irish Sea, the 61-year-old open water swimmer, who competes for Aer Lingus Masters, trains every day. "I learnt late in life that I tolerate low temperatures very well. I train all year round in the sea, sometimes the temperatures stop at 2.9 degrees and I swim without a wetsuit, only with the help of gloves and it's amazing. Everyone should try it, it takes a while to get used to, but then the feeling is beautiful,” he said.
Ruggero has a sporting past between swimming and water polo, activities that he suspended because of work, to begin the masters course again as an adult. "At my age you play sport for passion and I feel the benefit. In these two years I have never taken the Covid, will it be thanks to the ‘vitamin sea’? The atmosphere of the masters is beautiful, they are a unique opportunity for people who have never had the chance to compete all the way up, and for former champions who want to come back and compete," he said.
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