2016-11-15 16:25:00 CET
We profile one of the most in-form stars of 2016
Daniele Lupo has enjoyed a remarkable 2016.
Going about his business quietly and confidently, his exploits this year have been incredible. In fact, those feats have almost gone unnoticed. Sure, they can easily get lost in the golden headlines of Alison/Bruno, the talk of how impressive the Polish teams have been, or of how consistent Latvian A1 Major Klagenfurt heroes Samoilovs/Smedins have performed on the World Tour.
Together with partner Pablo Nicolai, Italian Lupo can be proud of his achievements this year – and with good reason.
Okay, so there’s no Swatch Major Series medal in the trophy cabinet this year after a 25th place in Hamburg and a ninth in Gstaad, but Daniele’s superb season on the sand was recognized at the weekend in Italy.
In winning the prestigious Winning Attitude Award – an honor to celebrate winning mentality, courage and determination in Italian sport – Lupo beat off competition from Italian sporting greats such as footballer Gianluigi Buffon, Paralympic champion fencer Beatrice Vio and world champion boxer Giovanni De Carolis.
Not bad, huh?
But when you’ve won a silver medal at the Olympics and are the reigning European champion following his and Nicolai’s triumph in Biel – and gone about it with such modesty and commitment – you realize just why.
Even more remarkable is the fact that Lupo is just 25. The potential is frightening.
For Daniele, his career on the World Tour began with a ninth place finish in the Under-21 World Championships in Turkey with Tiziano Andreatta, but it wasn’t until August 2012 that he secured a medal on the international scene, winning silver with Nicolai at the Beijing Grand Slam – aged just 21.
The pair went from strength to strength – earning a stunning fifth place in the London Olympics in 2012. Again – aged just 21.
In the four years that followed, which have cumulated in the silver won on the Copacabana in August, Daniele has finished in the top 10 at international tournaments 16 times in 21 events. How’s that for consistency?
His and Pablo’s European Championship win in Switzerland in May told its own story. They knocked out Spain’s Herrera/Gavira and Brouwer/Meeuwsen of the Netherlands before overcoming Russians Semenov/Krasilnikov to scoop gold.
Only Alison/Bruno – both of whom are 30 and five years older than Lupo – prevented him and Nicolai from securing a unique Olympic and European double.
With even more winning experience under his belt, we don’t think this is the last time we will see Lupo smiling on the sand.