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Roma 2022 Masters: REICHELT and MANNOCCI, the German banker and the Italian philosopher

Hans Reichelt and Massimo Mannocci are emblematic of how swimming is good for the body, the mind and above all how it makes life vibrant and better.

Eighty-six-year-old Bavarian and former banker the first one, seventy-six-year-old Roman from Fregene and former philosophy professor the other one . Both have grown up on 'bread and swimming' since childhood and in these 10 days they will compete, first in open water swimming and then between the lanes, but always with a smile on their lips, an optimism to be envied and a desire to growl that is still contagious.

Reichelt speaks perfect Italian, adores Italy and has always come here on holidays and beyond: "I started swimming at the age of five, in the small lake of Jena, in the heart of Thuringia, and then I never stopped. I also tried to do it at a competitive level, but then my studies in economics and my job in a bank forced me to cut back on my training for a while, but I never gave up swimming completely." Around Hans, as he speaks, younger Masters athletes approach to listen to a story of passion that has lasted 80 years . "When I was 45 years old, I discovered the world of masters swimming and resumed more serious training. Two hours a day, seven days a week: during the week as soon as I left the bank, around 5 in the afternoon, and at weekends in the morning. Once I retired, I no longer had any time problems: now I alternate between lake and pool without any problems. Competing in Italy for me is great, but it's not the first time. In the past I also took part in the summer world championships in Riccione. The love and passion for this sport helps me keep the head young and alive , which then also commands the body. The more I swim, the more I want to swim."

Italy's Massimo Mannocci is unstoppable when he talks, just like a good Roman. Born in Trastevere, a famous district in Rome where he has lived for many years, he then moved to Fregene, a few kilometres away from Ostia. This is his sea. "I started swimming when I was 4 years old. I jumped into the waters of the Lake Albano and it is as if I never came out. As a youngster I swam for Lazio Nuoto. I stopped as soon as I enrolled in Philosophy at University and then during the first years of teaching. I started again, too, and always with undiminished passion, thanks to the masters. I used to teach and train: wake-up at 4:00, train at 5:00-5:30. and at 8:00 ready to enter the classroom. That was my routine until retirement. Now it's all more regular, of course, and less hectic. I do around 40 races a year and train six days a week because I leave one day to rest and above all to be with my wife, who has always supported me and put up with me." Swimming is as an elixir of life for Professor Mannocci. "I am 76 years old and I feel the strength and energy of a young boy. Now we compete for fun , more than for competitiveness. Certainly no one wants to make a bad impression. The secret before a race? Don't feel the pressure, I never check the starting order, and eat well the night before. I usually eat rice and vegetables and I do great in the race."

Photo Andrea Staccioli / Deepbluemedia / Insidefoto Use of photographs is only permitted for publications registered for editorial purposes. Credits must be mentioned.

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