I was born in Aosta on April 21st, 1993 for the happiness of mom and dad. I weighed 3,410 g and I was just over 50 cm long.
ME, A PAIR OF SKIS AND SUSANNA
At the age of three I already had skis on my feet, but they were alpine skis. Soon, the first race. A few months later my little sister Susanna arrived, the most beautiful present from mom Floriana and dad Giancarlo!
THE CHANGE OF DISCIPLINE
I liked alpine skiing, but it was too competitive. I chose, together with two friends, to try nordic skiing, where the environment was calmer. Alpine skiing was however useful to make me become familiar with skis, skills that would have served me in the future. I was very happy, I joined the cross-country section of the Ski Club Gressoney Monte Rosa.
GRANDPA MARIO, ARIANNA AND CROSS-COUNTRY SKIES
I switched to narrow skis, perhaps influenced by my dear grandfather Mario, who was impressed by my physical endurance in summer walks. But also from the magnificent example offered by one of the greatest champions of the history of cross-country skiing, as well as my next door neighbor: Arianna Follis.
THE FIRST COMPETITIONS, ARMANDO AND THE FIRST VICTORIES
In 2003 I participated in the first races. I remember that Armando Chanoine, coach of the local Ski Club, called my father: he was incredulous and impressed by my qualities. In the first races, more than skiing, I ran. But the future was already marked: I won 15 races out of 17.
THE FIRST "TRICOLORE" PODIUM
The first national podium arrived in 2007 in Asiago: I came 3rd. The gold arrived at the Italian Championships in Pragelato in 2009 with a change of pace on the last climb: a sort of trademark for me
THE FEELING WITH THE "TRICOLORE"
Since 2009 I have reconfirmed myself as Italian Champion every year except for 2014, which, ironically, was undoubtedly the best on a global level.
I arrived in ASIVA (Winter Sports Association of Valle d'Aosta) when I entered the U18 category: that was the moment when I realized that I could dedicate myself body and soul to my passion. Marco and André, my coaches, made me grow in this team also from the human point of view.
ABROAD WITH NATIONAL TEAM KIT
My first experience in the international field dates back to 2008 in the OPA Cup in Bois d'Amont, France. The first time with the National team kit was in 2011, despite being only U18, I participated in the Junior World Championships in Otepaa, Estonia: 34th in the 10 km and 7th in the relay.
THE NATIONAL TEAM AND THE CENTRO SPORTIVO ESERCITO
At the end of the season I joined the National Junior Team and among others, I was also trained by an Olympian: Pietro Piller Cottrer. Since 2011 I have been working in the Centro Sportivo Esercito, thanks to which I could have turned my passion into work.
«If you make your work out of your passion you will not work one day in your whole life» – fortunately, my existence is based on this concept.
THE WINS IN EUROPE CUP
In 2012 I scored an important wins for the first time at international level in Arvieux (FRA) and Campra (SUI). The 2012/2013 seasons gave me 4 successes, but I was disappointed by the World Championships, closed in 12th place. However, I was second in the overall OPA ranking.
THE DEBUT AMONG THE BIGS
I debuted in the World Cup, on December 2013 28th in Oberhof in the prologue of the Tour de Ski where I finished 97th . This result helped me a lot because it made me realize how high the world level really was.
A FIVE CIRCLES DREAM: THE OLYMPICS
In 2014, incredulously, I got the ticket for the Sochi Games. I was about to participate in the Olympics, the dream of every athlete. I was 21st in the skiathlon, 30th in the 15km C and 25th in the first 50km of my life. These results paved the way for me so I joined Team A.
AFTER 46 YEARS
Together with Nizzi, Rastelli and Pasini, I interrupted the abstinence from victory of the CSE of the national relay race. After 46 years, we won the team competition at Campo Carlo Magno.
TEAM "A" AND THE WORLD CUP
After an excellent 13th place in Ruka (FIN) I got another Top 15 in Lillehammer. In 2015 at the Tour de Ski in Oberstdorf I got a 7th place in the pursuit with an uphill sprint and I was again 7th in Val di Fiemme: I was actually growing fast.
The victory of my fellow countryman Federico Pellegrino in Davos, the previous week, was for me an extraordinary injection of confidence. His affirmation gave me that hunger to win, that desire to make myself understand that nothing is impossible. I faced the Oberstdorf climb thinking of him.
I got the pass for the World Championship, but the results were not so encouraging. The national relay, very young and which I was part of, closed in sixth place. Then I was 32nd in the 50 km
ON CERTAIN "TRAINS" YOU CANNOT AVOID TO GET ON
March 8th, 2015 in Lahti, Finland was a gloomy day, the overcast sky and the strangely frozen snow despite the temperature was well above 0. The race, a 15 Km C Interval Start, kicked off like all the others: I started with my regular pace that usually makes me lose something at the beginning but that allows me to keep precious energies in the final stint of the race. My greatest luck of that day was to find a "train" during the second lap. That "train" was Lukas Bauer, silver medalist in the 50 Km of Falun, to which I queued for 7 Km, before giving full gas to the end.
THE THRONE, THE WAITING... AND FINLAND MON AMOUR
In cross-country the Hot Seat is sometimes cold, but that day was terribly hot. As soon as I crossed the finish line, they made me go up to the throne, waiting to be ousted by the various Cologna, Poltoranin, Sundby, Northug, Jauhojaervi or by Bauer himself. I was sure I had to get off; I would have been satisfied with a place on the podium. All of them arrived. I was not invited to step down; I had won my first race in the World Cup!
IN THE TEMPLE OF CROSS-COUNTRY AND THE UNDER 23 CUP
The 100 points of Lahti allowed me to rejoin the top of the U23 overall classification at the penultimate race: the prestigious 50 km of Holmenkollen, in which I did not shine. On March 14th, 2015, I won the U23 World Cup GC.
The 2015/2016 season was positive. The wave of Finnish success brought me serenity and awareness of my skills. I got a second place in the Falun Cup and a third place in one of my favorite spots: Oberstdorf.
ONE WAY JOURNEY
It always happens like this, when you think you are on the right track, accidents happen along the way. The 2016/2017 season was the most difficult of my career. The beginning was bad, the World Championships in Lahti, a place very dear to me, went badly, also because I got ill a few days before the event. I cracked on all fronts and ended the season absolutely subdued. The only positive note, a 4th place in the Val di Fiemme during the Tour.
THE RIGHT WAY, THE RETURE AND OBVIOUSLY OBERSTORF
I came back onto the right path in the 2017/2018 season, which I faced with motivation and dedication. Discrete score, with two podiums: 2nd in Falun and 3rd in Oberstdorf of course.
MAN DREAMS OF FLYING
The 2018/2019 season was very important and was one of the best ever made, because the best will always be the one that has yet to come. New motivations, new ambitions and this is how the "De Fabiani 2.0" was born.
DEFAST, THE COMMUNICATION, THE FOLLOWERS
So it was that, to keep up with the times, I found a way to be closer to my fans through communication and social networks. The beginning of the season was positive and with the support of the followers, I created my new hashtag. If the name of my sister Susanna, I chose it myself, my hashtag was chosen by the followers: Defast, a way to be found on social media, in fact. More than a hashtag, a wish, a positive omen.
2019 WORLD CUP PODIUMS
Once again I got a podium in Oberstdorf, at the Tour de Ski, establishing my predilection for that track. I almost broke the bank but Iversen preceded me in a sprint. A big score that nearly arrived a few days later in Val di Fiemme, where I finished second behind Klæbo in the 15 km.
COGNE WORLD CUP
The round in Cogne was highly awaited. A sprint and a 15 km C. I was obviously focused onto the second race. It's a decent year, 2019, in the sprints I almost always hit the qualification. In Cogne then there’s friendly fire, as they say. I get the qualification. I carry on through the heats, first the quarters, then the semifinals. There is a beautiful sun, a fast snow, an outstanding audience, never seen, never heard before. I even reach the final. In an unrepeatable atmosphere, I take the lead of the final uphill. Chicco Pellegrino has a problem with a pole. Despite this we achieve the final straight. His final crushing gives a new victory to Italy and I incredulously close second. It is jubilation, even on a psychological level: I realized that I can be strong even in sprints.
THE WORLD BRONZE MEDAL AND THE TOP 10 IN THE WORLD CUP
The season culminates with the World Championships in Seefeld, where I get fit and motivated, missing the result in individual competitions, but getting my first world medal: Federico Pellegrino and I, we get a historic bronze in the team sprint: a bronze that comes entirely from Valle d'Aosta. In addition to this there’s the 7th place in the overall World Cup classification.
TO BE CONTINUED...
As every year the World Cup season will begin in Ruka(FIN). I can not wait, and you?