I could turn my hobby into my profession. I am a lucky person.
Maria Canins, cyclist and cross-country skier born La Villa, has achieved legendary status among sports fans, and with good reason. She, a calm and down-to-earth personality, has achieved unparalleled results in her sporting career. About herself she says: 'I have been able to turn my hobby into a profession, I could travel the world, meet many interesting people and enrich myself culturally. Who can consider themselves luckier than me?
Do you have a nickname? The flying mummy
Do you want to tell us your date of birth? 04/06/1949
Where do you live? In La Villa (Alta Badia)
What are your sports? Cross-country skiing, road cycling, mountain biking
What are your most important successes? There are many of them, so let's mention just a few.
In cross-country skiing: 15 times Italian cross-country champion, victory at the Vasaloppet in 1985, 10 victories at the Marcialonga Fiemme and Fassa.
In cycling: victory in the Tour de France in 1985 and 1986 and in the Giro d'Italia in 1988, six times Italian road cycling champion.
Which moments and feelings of your career do you like to remember? I love to remember them all. All the races and all the moments of my sporting life were just equally important.
How do you spend your days now that you are no longer into racing? I like to be out in the mountains and I still like to do sports.
What is your favourite quote? Why do you like it? My hobby is my profession. I am a lucky and happy person.
How do you deal with difficult situations? You have to remember that in everyone's life there are good moments, but also some difficult ones. Being out in the fresh air and doing sports helps me cope with the less good moments. Sport is a great psychologist.
What sacrifices did you have to make to succeed as an athlete and achieve your incredible results? Were they worth it? Sport is never a sacrifice, it's a great opportunity. How many of us can say to be lucky enough to have turned a passion into a profession? I have, and I have always been happy about it.
How has your attitude influenced your sporting performance? I have always felt lucky to be able to do sport, and to do it at a high level. I have never aimed to be "somebody", but I have achieved my results step by step, with perseverance and always keeping my feet on the ground.
What has life as an athlete given you? It has given me a lot. I have been able to travel the world and meet many new people, including very important people. Travelling has enriched me culturally and helped me broaden my mental horizons.