Through various photographic languages and narrative styles, Athleta Issue 02 travels in sport by visiting both known and unknown places, starting from a small synthetic field in Piraeus, Athens.
Here, where democracy was born, in the city-state that was the nest of European cultural history, a football draws a path of encouragement in the lives of some of the boys from the Skaramagas refugee camp.
Here, where Athleta embeds its etymological roots, here where the ancient Olimpia stood, the myth tells of a woman blessed beautiful and pained, virtuous and tireless. Atalanta, the hidden model of the modern champion, relives in the pages of this issue through the indian ink of the illustrator Alfred Basha.
From myth to history, from one sacred place to another, the culture of sport becomes a cruel short film dated July 23, 2004. The plot is that of a child who wanted to be Hinault and challenged the cycling emperor: Filippo Simeoni against Lance Armstrong . A semicolon against a monumental anthology.
In Romagna, however, there is a child who wants to be Valentino Rossi, so the bicycle becomes a mini-moto, and the weekends are spent at the circuit of San Mauro a Mare with his dad. Here the riders are under 10 years old, but they go as ferociously as the older riders, and speed doesn’t frighten because it’s a category of the soul.
Much slower is the time in the smoky billiards halls of the London suburbs, or the dragging wait for the waves of the Pacific Northwest Coast. And then, there are other stories from completely different arenas: the adrenal of monster trucks, the eternal Stars and Stripes passion for baseball and the dramatic Plaza de Toros.
Once again the glory is fleeting, but the images remain, like how the colours of belonging and ‘match worn’ jerseys remain, a real treasure for football relic hunters.