Fausto Desalu: “Sports? Always a challenge with yourself”

“For me, sport is a challenge with yourself, it’s good to compete with others, especially the strongest, but the challenge is always with yourself. We have to improve every year: in sport, in life, at school”. This is enough to say the winning character of Fausto Desalu, 28 years old born in Casalmaggiore to Nigerian parents, Olympic champion at Tokyo 2020 with the 4x100m relay with Marcell Jacobs, Filippo Tortu and Lorenzo Patta. It could only be in the #CarattereVincente project with which Parmacotto Group wants to promote a balanced lifestyle. “Our values ​​coincide: love of the territory, healthy food. I live 20 minutes from Parma and cooked ham has always been part of my diet”.

And what else is on your table?
“I love Italian cuisine. I eat everything. During the race, I have to be careful. I have a diet of pasta or rice, tuna and eggs because I’m not a big cook. In the afternoon, dried fruit, protein bars or a cooked ham sandwich. In the evening I eat very little: proteins, chicken, vegetables, fish as an alternative, generally salmon which is easy”.

What should he eat and can’t he stand?
“I try to eat vegetables. It’s not that I don’t like it, but it doesn’t come automatically. I should eat more fish.’

The thing you have to give up?
“I’m not very greedy. I eat the Elvezia cake (sweet from Mantua with almonds, editor’s note) which I only eat once a year, on my birthday, and the Linzer cake (sweet from Austria, editor’s note) which I eat in the mountains where I likes to go on vacation.

What does it mean to have a winning character?
“Everything around us is a challenge, but without comparing ourselves to others. We are not late if others arrive at a goal first, we have to follow our schedule. We have to ask ourselves: what have we done to improve? The winning character is born from defeats, failures. Character is forged that way. If there is an obstacle, we have to understand where it comes from and how to overcome it”.

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How are his trainings?
“I train from Monday to Saturday: for three days 4h30 with the track and the gym, all together to have more time to recover without a break in between, the other days technical racing and acceleration, on Saturday it’s is the heaviest training day. This year there are the world championships in Eugene at the end of July in the USA and then the European championships in Munich at the end of August”.

Favorite distance?
“200 meters because I have more time to correct any error at the start: that’s where I can express myself best, where my race is more fluid”.

What really changed after the Olympic Games?
“I repeat it the day after the final: nothing has changed. I’m with friends from before. However, I am more aware of my abilities, more want to dream, less afraid to think big without fearing the judgments of others and the challenges that I set for myself. I want to run even more”.

Can a moment like Tokyo repeat itself?
“It was no coincidence. The others were not mistaken on the day of our victory in the relay. We achieved the fifth best performance in the world of all time, the second in Europe”.

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Cinema or television?
“Cinema and television. I like science fiction and Marvel movies. The first film in the Lord of the Rings saga is my favorite film: The Fellowship of the Ring. I saw it for the first time when I was 8 years old and it was the first year that I went to the mountains with the parish. Walking in the mountains, I expected to see an elf, a hobbit, an ogre emerge. For me the mountain is a magical place, I like being alone in the mountains and it reminds me of my childhood. I am reborn in the mountains, I was certainly a mountaineer in my previous life”.

Books?
“I like to read psychology books on how to use the brain. I would like to use it 100%. And also books on how to find your inner peace in a frenetic society. Especially for sports. A athlete must train the mind before the physical, it must be free from fear, anxiety or uncertainty. If a mind is relaxed, the body relaxes and goes accordingly.”

Music?
“I always have headphones, the music relaxes me. In the competition I listen to rock and metal, to relax the films”.

What will he do when he grows up?
“I find it hard to imagine a future without athletics. I would like to train. However, good athletes do not always become good coaches.

Has sport made a difference in your life?
“I’ve always wanted to leave a mark. Don’t live an anonymous life, stick a dagger in the ribs of time and sport helps me achieve this. I’ve always dreamed of being remembered, but I didn’t think of the world of sport where I arrived by chance. I started playing football at 8 for three months, they wouldn’t let me play and I was disappointed. When I was 13, I started athletics”.

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The rest is history. Where does he keep the medal?
“Safe”.

Other stories from vanity lounge you may be interested:

– Gianmarco Tamberi, a bronze medal also for Ukraine

– Marcell Jacobs: “I proved that the gold of Tokyo was not a coincidence”

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