Tiziano Gravier (I.G. @tizianogravier) is a young Argentinian Olympic athlete who has learned that dreams may come true if you work hard and stay focused on your goals.
In this exclusive for Vanity Teen, we talked about some of the most amazing experiences of his life: being the flag bearer of Argentina, his homeland, the teachings he has been learning while growing up, and the life lessons we all can take from skiing, one of his biggest passions.
I invite you to keep reading to feel the empathy this young guy exudes and get inspired to keep working on your dreams while we look for the best of life.
Some lessons learned while growing up
VT: How did you start your journey as a professional athlete?
TG: I started skiing when I was three years old, in a ski club in Bariloche, Argentina. Later, I started competing when I turned eight years old, and as I grew older realized I really liked sports.
I was also a very sporty boy, and I realized I was kind of good at it (laugh). Then, the first time I got the chance to represent Argentina in an international race was when I was twelve. And when I turned fourteen, I realized I really loved what I was doing, so I decided to train more and more.
Thus, for three years in a row, my biggest goal was going to the Youth Olympic Games in 2020 held in Lausanne.
VT: I presume that one of the biggest accomplishments in your life, or at least one that you cherish the most, has been being the flag bearer of the Argentinian selection during the winter’s Olympics. How was that experience?
TG: Obviously, being the flag bearer during the Olympic Games was a huge opportunity and a very big honor because I realized that I was there and trained really hard, so I could have enough merits to do so. It was a big prize for me and an honor to carry the flag of my country.
VT: Besides sports and international competitions, you also go to college. How do you manage those activities knowing that both of them demand great commitment?
TG: That it’s true because besides being on the Argentinian National Team, at this moment, I am studying at Universidad de San Andrés, located in Buenos Aires. I’m studying Business Programming, which is quite fascinating and I like it.
The university has a sports program that allows me to go on my sports trips when I need to. And, yes, both activities are really demanding, but I love them both, so I give my 100% on each of them and always have to organize my time to make it possible.
VT: Valeria Mazza, your mother, is one of the most well-known women in the world, but to you, she has always been your mom. When you were a kid, did you know what your mother’s occupation was and the influence she has in the media? What was it like knowing that aspect of her life and realizing that she is still a global icon?
TG: As I grew older, I started to realize the kind of icon that my mom is around the world. I always see her as my mom, but since I was very little, I was in situations where people were taking photos with her, and sometimes cameras were going around her, and I somehow got used to those situations.
When I was younger, I did not like it at all and was kind of jealous. I did not understand why people wanted to take pictures with my mom. But, as the saying goes, times went by, and I got bigger, so I started to understand things better; but I will always look at her as my mom, and the rest is just for other people.
When ski becomes a metaphor for life
VT: Which simple things make you feel happy?
TG: Nowadays, I spend around seven to eight months away from home traveling because of skiing, which I really enjoy. But something that really makes me happy is the time I can be with my family because traveling takes me away from them. So, when I go back home to Buenos Aires, I really enjoy being with my friends and seeing them again, just living life at home is really pleasing.
But I also have really good friends from the Argentinian National Team, so, when I am skiing around and hanging out with them, and training hard, which is really pleasing.
VT: Which plans do you have for the future?
TG: I see myself in the future still skiing, competing, and trying every day to be a better version of myself. I also have three more years of university, I expect these will be similar to my life currently.
VT: Every one of us has to deal with stressful situations. Therefore, please, tell us how you cope with pressure and anxiety?
TG: I have been working with a sport psychologist for the last three years, which is great because besides training my mind for stressful situations when I ski, it is also great getting to know myself better.
So, that is a great way in which I have been dealing with anxiety and moments of pressure, but also studying helps me to get my mind away from skiing, and it is always helpful to talk with my friends and family.
VT: Of your learnings from slalom, which do you think young people could use as a metaphor that could be useful in life?
TG: In skiing, we do not only train technical, tactical, and physical skills but psychological skills.
And we also have to train in adaptability because every day is a new day, and the conditions for skiing change from day to day due to the weather, climate, cold, and visibility; so most of the things can change at any time; so, we have to adapt ourselves to any condition, and I think that is a good metaphor for life because we have to learn that in some days the one who is able to adapt better to the conditions can be the winner without necessarily being the best racer.
This is also really important: training hard, knowing that every day is not going to be a great day but remembering that you have to give your 100% each of those days.
Choosing the snow as a form of hope
The Argentinian writer Julio Cortázar once wrote: “The water delicately chooses the snow, which encourages it in its most secret hope, that of fixing for itself the forms of everything that is not water, the houses, the meadows, the mountains, the trees.”, while listening to Tiziano Gravier answering the questions for the interview, this passage came to my mind as a reminder that we all have dreams and some options to achieve them.
This young athlete is full of hope and aspirations and is giving his best to fulfill his plans, most of them in the snow. So, we would love to see him conquering all of them with that honest smile he always has on his face.
We also believe that the best is yet to come for him, and we look forward to celebrating all his future achievements.
Meanwhile, let us remember his words as we face every day giving the best of us. As well, let us keep in mind that some days might be better than others, but our spirits cannot be bent or torn apart. Let us stay focused on the beauty that life has to offer. Let us choose hope.
Tiziano Gravier was captured by the lens of Photographer Oskar Cecere (I.G. @oskarcecere) in exclusive for our Fall/Winter ’21 Issue.