Raffaeli, dreams of glory.  From Europeans of rhythm to maturity

The Marchigiana is looking for an individual title that Italy has never won: “I love this sport because it allows me to tell a story”

It is said that, at the Tokyo 2020 Games, Linoy Ashram, immediately after winning the individual gold in rhythmic gymnastics, went to Julieta Cantaluppi and told her: “In Paris it will be your turn”. The reference was to Sofia Raffaeli, who was not even in Japan (the former blue was there to follow Milena Baldassarri). These days the Israeli champion is following the European Championships in Tel Aviv from the stands: she has retired, so she will not be able to meet that talent to which she has predicted a bright future. The 18-year-old from the Marche region of Chiaravalle presents herself to her second continental seniors review – last year in Varna she was 8a – as winner of the 2022 World Cup, from world bronze to circle, from rising star of a sport that in Italy has reached the apex thanks to the Butterflies, but who on an individual level has never found such a promising athlete. With Baldassarri, today Sofia will go on the hunt for a European gold never seen in Italy. And if it is true that the absence of Russians and Belarusians will weigh, it is also true that her talent is so much that the weight of a medal would still be high.

The family

Mamma Milena is an engineer at the University of Ancona, dad Gianni is an architect. Sofia has a younger brother, Pietro, born in 2006, who fencing. “She is a mix of the two parents – says Maila Morosin, the manager of the Fabriano Gymnastics that hosts her -. She has the determination and the sense of duty of the mother and also the professional genius of the father”. Another important figure is that of grandfather Nello. «He has never played sports – says Sofia -, but since I started doing gymnastics he has always brought me to Fabriano. He worked in construction, had just retired. Every day he went back and forth those 60 kilometers, he followed me everywhere. During the lockdown he followed me less, so it was great to find him together with my parents in the stands in Pesaro. He is my first fan. “

The second family

For several years now, Sofia has no longer had to go Chiaravalle-Fabriano and I return every day. During the week she lives at Maila Morosin’s house. And she grows up with Virginia and Lavinia, her two daughters. “Now it’s part of the family – says the manager -. We stay together in the evening, because she stays in the gym from 8.30 to 18, then she has school. Luckily we are helped at home, but they manage the rooms. Every now and then yes. they also put in some sweets. Sofia is a determined girl, serious in her commitments, and this is thanks to how she was raised. There is a strong emotional bond with her, with her parents and with her grandfather, exceptional people “.


Serious, determined, even ironic. Morosin continues: “One day I arrive home, I was still on the phone. I find her holding the ice on her foot, I see the purple and black colors.” What’s going on Sofia? “.” I got hurt, I fell down the stairs “At moments I had a shock.” Come on, let’s go to the hospital. “In the end she had put on a bit of tape, some taping. They had planned it all together with my husband, they wanted to see how I would react, they even filmed me. ”

At school

The first passion is obviously rhythmic gymnastics. A love that blossomed at the age of 6, after she had already tasted the art. “I prefer it for its elegance, for the fact that there is music, that tools are handled, for the possibility of telling a story, of expressing something.” It is said that Julieta Cantaluppi, when she saw her for the first time, he made a bridge and a split and immediately invited her to the gym. 12 years have passed and that marriage still holds. Coach and student seem very attached, they share with the same intensity the love for their sport. mathematics. “Of course rhythmics has to do with numbers – he said -. When you throw a tool or keep your balance, you have to count, calculate. “And then the reading. Who said that the Betrothed are only appreciated when they grow up after having gulped them forcibly at school? Sofia has read them 5 or 6 times, at the suggestion of mother Milena. Ditto for Anna Karenina, who has enjoyed at least 4 times. “But now I read less, I don’t have time.” studying Inexhaustible Sofia.

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