Giorgio Di Centa
Di Centa at the 2007 Tour de Ski in Prague.
Giorgio Di Centa (born October 7, 1972, Tolmezzo, province of Udine) is an Italian cross country skier who won two gold medals at the 2006 Winter Olympics, including the individual 50 km freestyle race. He is brother to Olympic gold medalist cross country skier Manuela Di Centa.
Di Centa began cross county skiing very early in a family in which his elder brother Andrea was also a professional skier. At the age of 16 he became a member of Italy's junior team while also skiing for the Carabinieri sport team. He became a member of Italy's senior team in 1995. He finished 8th in the 30 km event at the 1998 Winter Olympics.
After a silver medal at the 2005 FIS Nordic World Ski Championships in the double pursuit and a silver medal at the 2002 Winter Olympics in the 4 x 10 km. Di Centa, who had never won an individual race in the cross country skiing World Cup, arrived in great shape for the 2006 Winter Olympics in Turin. He would finish a disappointing fourth in the 30 km double pursuit, losing a medal at the finish to fellow Italian Pietro Piller Cottrer. The two were also key players in the strongest Italian relay team ever, winning gold in the 4 x 10 km race.
Di Centa's greatest victory was in the 50 km race where he defeated Russian Eugeni Dementiev by 0.8 seconds, the closest 50 km event in Olympic history, eclipsing Thomas Wassberg's 4.9 second victory over Gunde Svan (both Sweden) at the 1984 Winter Olympics in Sarajevo. The medals ceremony for the 50 km occurred during the Closing Ceremony where Di Centa's sister, Olympic medalist Manuela Di Centa, presented him with the gold medal. He won a bronze medal in the 15 km + 15 km double pursuit at the FIS Nordic World Ski Championships 2009 in Liberec.
For the 2010 Winter Olympics, a picture of Di Centa in competition during the 50 km event at the previous Olympics was used as a pictogram for the cross-country skiing events. In September 2009, it was announced that Di Centa was named flagbearer for the opening ceremony for the 2010 Games.
- "Giorgio Di Centa – Biografia" (in italian). giorgiodicenta.it. Retrieved 20 October 2012.
- Giorgio Di Centa at the International Ski Federation
- NBCOlympics.com profile
- Giorgio Di Centa at Sports-Reference.com
- Media related to Giorgio Di Centa at Wikimedia Commons
| Flag bearer for Italy