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Stefania Berton breaks her silence

Stefania Berton rompe il silenzio

A few weeks after the ending of her partnership with Ondrej Hotarek had been announced, the Italian skater has decided to explain what has really happened.

As an athlete member of the Italian Olympic Figure Skating Team and a member of the police sport's group Fiamme Azzurre, I believe it is necessary – besides morally right, especially under a personal point of view – to clarify the real dynamics of a particularly delicate stage of my career, after being advised not to share them publicly in the past month.

As it may happen during the ordinary unfolding of life, my skating partnership with Ondrej Hotarek in the pairs discipline has come to an end – although it has happened against my will and with my deepest sorrow. Under a human point of view, any division brings pain and responsibilities from both sides.

Of course I do not regret the choice I have made in 2009 that brought me to the goal of the 2014 Sochi Olympic Games. I do feel great pride for the historical results that Ondrej and I have achieved and that in my opinion made shine Italian figure skating, besides making happy the fans of this extraordinary discipline. During this journey I have been supported by my family, the Italian Ice Sports Federation, the staff and sport group of the Penitentiary Police that have provided great help. It is also thanks to all of them that our efforts and sacrifices have been rewarded on the ice rinks in the whole world, and with the support of our amazing supporters.

This journey is now concluded: I do not want to comment about Ondrej's recent choices given that I have learned from the press – as anyone else – about these new circumstances. As for myself, I am an athlete on top of her potential and I am thus looking for a new partner. Figure skating has had a fundamental role in my life and I do not want to give it up as I think I can give much more to both Italian and world figure skating. Under a technical point of view, I believe that my future still belongs to pair skating, and keeping in mind this goal, I will try to build a new phase in my career. I therefore hope that on a medium and long term goal I will be able to reach new important results and to skate at the Olympic Games for a second time.

With the deepest gratitude towards all those people who have been supporting me – without judging me - during this difficult time,

Stefania Berton"

Translation by Laura Sciarrillo