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Maria Laura Orrú

Hard as steel, sweet as honey. Fast as lightning, kind as a nun. Clever as a fox, funny as a cartoon. While racing you might think she's like Milla Jojovich in "Resident Evil" and you might be correct; without skates she's a lovable girl that can't possibly have any enemies. Unfortunately, she listens to very bad music. And it's a difficult task to have her topless, too...

When and how did you start skating?
It was just by chance. When I was 6 years old, I got my Achiles tendon cut with a piece of glass, so the doctor told my mother, after I was cured, to do some sport to restore the tendon. She signed me to classic ballet. Yeah sure... me a classic ballet dancer? One day, while I was playing football (another of my favourite sports) a neighbour asked me to try skating… And that was it.

Ocular pierching: ouch!

Who are your skating idols?
Well, I don’t think “idol” is the right word to refer to a human being. Also, being a “church girl”, the word does not sound comfy to me… So lets say I have “sport heroes”, that managed to teach me many things. From my childhood Alessio Gaggioli has been a role model (and now he’s virtually my personal trainer). I wished to skate like him, and achieve his level. I learned a lot from his advices, but he also showed me the way to never give up, to believe in myself. Gregori Duggento has always been an exemplary athlete, ready to adapt in every situation. I admire him very much.

I also learnt a lot from Massimiliano Presti, but to me the skater that better “reads” the races is Francesco Zangarini. We have been racing together for years now, and he is certainly impressive. Finally, I think that every skater can’t forget Chad, a living skating legend that showed us all how to improve… Even if I was never able to imitate him!

Drunken in Berlin (Polletti NOT included)

china show

gold...   gold...   goldgoldgold...   gold?  gold! 

In 2004 you got a silver and a bronze, last year in China you finally got your deserved word tittle, but our impression is that you could have bring home a larger bounty... Do you agree or are you happy with that?
All in all I’m happy. I was able to do a whole season of hard training maintaining my peaks, and I reached my main objective, which was a world title. I made many little errors, but I’ll avoid them in the future.
But it was really hard, believe me: I’m studying and during the spring I had a lot of exams, just when training gets harder. But somehow I managed to pass them so I’m up to date with my academic career.
In 2004 Worlds Martignon did not allow you to race in your favourite sprint races, and I distinctly remember your rage for that stupid misjudgement. You paid him back in China, did you?
I made so many sacrifices to reach that stage, that it was really disappointing to miss such an opportunity. The National Coach has to decide, and it is my duty to comply. But it was nice anyway: after a year retired from the international scene it was a good comeback. And in Suzhou I was able to confirm... that I was right!
What skates are you using now?
Having no sponsor, I use whatever I feel suits me. Recently, I changed to 100 mm, after years skating in 84 mm.
You started a good season on last year's WIC, but then you almost vacated it. How come?
Well, the idea was to concentrate on the WIC, but then the studies and my objective to conquer the world title got in the way. Nevertheless, I want to thank the people at InLion Girls that gave me the opportunity to race at a professional level.

Will you be in the 2006 WIC? What do you think of it as a whole?
I don’t know yet. But I'd really love it! Last year was my first, and from what I’ve seen, it’s a wonderful way to promote skating. Those events add value to our sport, and I hope they' re the launch pad for our sport to get the international recognition it deserves.

Oi! Hands off! Dirty ol' Boy!

Tell me your dream team: Who are the best 5 skaters in the world?
Hey, that’s an impossible question! I can't tell you names, really, but in my opinion a team has to be fondly close! Even if you take the 5 best possible athletes, if there is no congeniality, no understanding between them… they will fail. It’s like in cycling races: the team has to work for the “leader”, even if at a certain stage of the season one of the team mates is in better shape than the leader himself. That’s why I believe the Salomon team will be difficult to beat this year: those guys really know each other well!
What’s your next objective?
I have an objective, yes… But I’ll do one step at a time, as I always do. I have a long staircase in front of me, and every day I try to climb one more step. And I won’t stop until I reach the top!

How do you see yourself in 10 years from now?
I hope to see myself as a good engineer (that’s what I’m studying for), married and perhaps with a baby boy skating around the house… For the rest, I don’t know, I haven’t learned to foresee the future yet. Ten years is a lot of time, and I really hope to see speedskating in the Olympic Games someday, and the top athletes being paid as much as they deserve (not like us, nowadays). But more than anything, I hope it remains forever a clean sport, with no doping!

T-shirt reads: "God exists... And I'm a Virgin"

How about posing topless for our coming sexy calendar?
No way! But I could do it privately just for you, though …
Oi! Church girl, did you say? Yeah, sure... go on with the show, baby!
(Note: those pictures will never be published... here)


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