Where does Aldo Montano train?

Discussion in 'Fencing Discussion' started by gladius, Jun 15, 2009.

  1. gladius

    gladius Podium

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    Where does Aldo Montano train and with whom?

    In the video interview with Giovanni Sirovich, the recently (Jan 1) appointed CT of Italian saber (M & W) http://www.atleticomtv.it/federscherma/index.asp I found one bit of interesting (I suppose) news: Aldo Montano trains in China with the Chinese national team and its CT, Christian Bauer.

    Montano has always been very close to Bauer, extremely supportive of him, and has given full credit to Bauer for his success in saber in general and for his Olympic gold in Athens in particular. He also has stated that his failures are a consequence of Bauer not being his coach. Since Bauer's defenestration by the FIS and his subsequent migration to China (while Montano is his strong supporter and defender, many others, in Italy and in France are not and are very critical of the French coach methods), Montano has kept in contact and trained on occasion with Bauer and the Chinese team, "under cover" so to speak.

    This time however it is all in the open. Sirovich said in the interview that Montano had asked for permission to train with his former coach and such permission was granted by the FIS, as long as his training periods would not conflict with the Italian national team training sessions. Compromise reached, everybody is happy... :)

    Only fly in the ointment is Montano's physical condition described as "fragile as a delicate piece of crystal." Montano is often plagued with muscular problems, tears, pains etc. However, he is and remains a most exciting sabreist to watch in the world.

    This news made me think about conflicts many athletes, top athletes, have with national coaches and how federations manage such conflicts. This "new" approach by the FIS towards Montano, giving him the freedom to work and train how he, not the CT thinks is best (provided, I assume, that results keep coming) may be a smart compromise when strong personalities collide.

    We have had instances of disagreement between top athletes and national coaches or the DHPP. So far it seems that the USFA has always gone against the fencer in case of conflict even if this meant losing an exceptional champion from the program and possibly the sport. I wonder how the USFA will handle such a conflict in the future, considering that we are in the process to formalize the National Coaches cadre (+ DHPP)?

    Will primadonna athletes with obvious world credentials continue to be the sacrificial lambs in such conflicts of personality with the "system?" Or will the new FIE (with a substantial group of retired fencing champions in its cadre) change the tune and the pendulum will swing more in favor of the elite champions? And if so, what will determine "super elite" status allowing some to be able to pick and choose while others must follow the rules?

    Another example of how difficult situations defy simple categorization and/or fair (for whom?) solutions.

    :rolleyes:
     
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  2. eac

    eac Rookie

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    It surprises me that the Chinese aren't angry about this. If I were China, I would at least try to nail Bauer (who at the moment seems to be an Olympic gold medal dispenser) down to only coaching Chinese fencers.

    Also, excellent post.
     
  3. Jason

    Jason Podium

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    No doubt the Chinese view the opportunity for their athletes to train with Montano as good for them. I would also suspect that Bauer has enough influence there to get an okay for this.
     
  4. Mr.MightyMouse

    Mr.MightyMouse Rookie

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    I thought that he was still training with Sidyak - but what do I know?
     
  5. Redblade

    Redblade DE Bracket

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    With Carmen Sandiego?
     
  6. Grasshopper

    Grasshopper Podium

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    More importantly, where does Hanna Montana train?
     
  7. Grasshopper

    Grasshopper Podium

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    The Chinese already captured Bauer and tortured him for a year in a secret jail. Oh, you wait, that was Jack Bauer in 24. My bad.
     
  8. edew

    edew Podium

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    I don't think this arrangement is to anyone's benefit.

    If Montano beats a chinese, then China will feel that Bauer is not giving 100% to its fencers and letting Montano practice with them "for free" (Montano may or may not be paying Bauer, but I'm pretty much certain he's not paying China.)

    If Montano loses to a chinese, then either the FIS or himself might think that he's being taken advantaged of by the chinese.

    And Bauer might be put in a bad place: if Montano does well, then China might feel he's favoring Montano over the chinese fencers (especially if he's paid bux by China). If Montano doesn't do well, then the FIS might feel that it's a waste of time and effort and whatever knowledge that Montano has is now passed to the chinese. Ancient italian secret and all, you know.

    It's a political lose-lose.
     
  9. Mo

    Mo Rookie

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    It is encouraging that the Italians have enough chutzpah to recognize that an athlete may know what is best for him or her. It is high time that the USFA figured this out too.




    We certainly saw the USFA going against the fencer. Actually, they didn't go against the fencer they just watched while the athlete was being lied to, emotionally abused and generally made miserable by a stubborn coach who could not bend but had all the power. There was no interference on the USFA's part to assist the fencer to prepare for the Olympics.
    They wanted to be fair so they "sat on the fence."
    There was a coach at the club who would have given her lessons but he was not "allowed" to do so by the National Coach who is also the "Head" coach at the club.
    There is still hemming and hawing with the USFA trying to get her to drop the BOI filed for this coach.



    You would really hope so. Maybe the athlete is not a primadona but a sincere fencer who had a goal and wanted to get to that goal. She didn't need help so much from the coach but she sure as hell didn't need for him to scheme against her.


    I would still truly like to see a fair solution for my daughter. It has 7 monthsr since the BOI was filed. She is now being asked if she is sure she wants to keep persuing it.
    "People" are saying she doesn't want to do so. "People" are wrong. She wants to follow it through to the end.
    USFA do what is right.
    Just try it.
    You may be pleased at how well you can sleep at night.
    The Momster
     
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2009
  10. Superscribe

    Superscribe Rookie

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    Is this about your daughter again? I just want to be sure. I caught my self stereotyping you as the kind of person to gripe incessantly about your child's in vague and unclear ways, regardless if it was appropriate or not. I want to make sure I'm not being unfair about my opinion of you.
     
  11. Capt. Slo-mo

    Capt. Slo-mo Podium

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    Well then, shoot, SS, let's talk about your kid's issues in fencing, and see how your experiences qualify you to pass judgment. For instance, tell us about the time:

    1. Your kid's National Coach looked you in the eye and lied to you.
    2. Your kid's National Coach refused to sign their Athlete's Contract, and then lied to your kid about it.
    3. Your kid's National Coach ordered your kid home before a World Cup over a travel itinerary dispute, threatened to not coach them at the next World Championships unless you did so, and then lectured you about how every single FIE point was precious...except for those to be earned at the soon-to-be-abandoned WC, presumably. Oh, and then lied--in writing--to the USFA about the situation.
    4. Your kid's National Coach--in front of reps from the USOC, the USFA and two other sets of parents of US Team Members--launched into an impromptu soliloquy about how important the mother of a 3rd National Team member (and chief competitor to your kid) was to him, how this mother did everything for him, and how, if she wasn't allowed to continue to be the Team Manager of your kid's weapon squad, he would resign.
    5. Representatives of the USOC, after reading documents related to your kid's plight, take only 6 days to relay to your NGB that an internal review is warranted, yet over 7 months later, you still have very little idea what's going on with that disciplinary review process.

    Go ahead. Share. But only, of course, if others will think it's "appropriate." :rolleyes:

    Now, back to the non-thread drift portion of today's programming:

    What would be the USFA's response if a major fencer from one of the Weapon Squads wanted to live overseas and train for part of the year? What if the National Coach objected? Who would the USFA/USOC support, and why?
     
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  12. edew

    edew Podium

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    Back to the thread, didn't Sherraine Schalm (sp?) spend most of her time in Hungary, training, but then was cold-shouldered by them just as the Olympics was approaching? I think the Hungarians milked her for all she's worth and didn't give her much in terms of valuable training.

    That said, I don't think she was particularly intimate with any specific coach in Hungary, in the same way that Montano and Bauer are quite close.
     
  13. zéphirin

    zéphirin Rookie

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    Well, we don't know all the facts and to be fair we've heard only one side in this dispute. However, the proof of the pudding is in the eating and in this case the US, the USOC and the USFA are left without the pudding to taste, one of the youngest most prolific fencers ever, not only here, but the world over.

    Did this have to happen? Of course not! And since it did, is anyone questioning the USFA for either "sitting on the fence" or not doing its best to avoid the conflict and find a compromise solution which would have kept Becca Ward as an active competitor and the most successful saber fencer we ever had (notwithstanding the successes of Zagunis and Jacobson). Her disappearance from competitive fencing after the Beijing Olympics came after the most prolific season (World Cup) of any fencer (yeah, she won the WC also). This was not the case of a fencer retiring after a disappointing season. It was an abrupt retirement of a peaking champion.

    Who benefited from all this? In US fencing, nobody, not even her coach with whom she apparently had some serious issues. And what about the USFA? I can imagine the yearly (or is it quarterly) pilgrimage by the USFA to the USOC to ask (beg?) for funds (more than last year, pleeease...):

    The scene is at the USOC office of the person overseeing fencing:

    USFA HP bigwig: (after the customary small talk) "...we're doing great, our fencers travel all around the world chasing points and it costs us nothing since they pay for all this and we still can't get our papers in order or figure out how much we owe to whom from last year. Not our fault mind you. That was all "evil" Nancy's doing... So we're saving money you see? But we still need more funds to keep going and get ready for London..."

    USOC liaison for fencing (poor soul sounding happy) : "really? Good news then! Are our fencers winning/placing at the top of as many world cups as last year before the Olympics?"

    USFA HP bigwig: (squirming and starting to feel the heat) "Well, it's is not easy to compare an Olympic year with the year after, you see... so it's hard to tell..." (actually I really can't tell you, you dumbwit! cough up the money or we won't have any more meetings like this in the future...hmm, I better keep looking at another job with that college or else I'll be up the creek without a paddle...)

    USOC liaison for fencing : "I don't get it... We had last year the youngest crop of champions with the 3 women's saber fencers and that young girl... what's her name... Becca something...? Isn't she continuing to win as she did last year?"

    USFA HP bigwig: (starting to sweat bullets) "...she's ...not... competing this year. She went to college you see..." (hopefully this will be the end of these dumb questions...)

    USOC liaison for fencing: "College you said? But of course! I bet any college in the country would want to have her in their team. How did she do in the NCAA championships? Didn't she get a full athletic scholarship?"

    USFA HP bigwig: (painful pause...minor relief) "...she won and yes, she did get the full athletic scholarship... at Duke..."

    USOC liaison for fencing: "Well then, why am I not surprised! But wait, you didn't answer my question. Why is she not competing in the World Cup?"

    USFA HP bigwig: (feeling totally miserable and continuing to perspire profusely) "I'm afraid she is not going to fence competitively. Some problems with the national coach or something... We could not keep her..."

    USOC liaison for fencing: (raising his voice and standing up leaning forward toward the USFA rep) "What is it that you said? You could NOT keep her? You could NOT solve the problem between her and her coach? What did you try to do? Wait'n see who'd call uncle first and enjoy the show? How can you afford to lose such a champion, a very young champion, from your sport??? What is it that you do all day long? Clipping travel coupons? Come back next time with more positive news and we'll see then what funds will be left for your sport...

    Meeting's over... The USFA HP bigwig steps outside and frantically checks his/her cellphone contact list under U for university... and unenmployment office.




    Obviously this is fiction. This would never happen here (really?). But I bet anywhere else in the world this would be an accurate description of such a meeting. What would the Italians or the French or the Germans do in a similar situation? But of course, what the heck do THEY know that we don't...
     
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  14. oiuyt

    oiuyt Podium

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    I believe Justin Tausig (epee) lived and trained in Paris for a decade or so while he was on our national team.

    -B
     
  15. nahouw

    nahouw Podium

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    Yes he did. And Maya Lawrence (epee) has been living in Paris for the last several years.
     
  16. ravlik

    ravlik Made the Cut

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    Bang bang, my baby shot me down.

    If you got robbed don't give all credits to the robber, leave about 50% to yourself. People have hard time going over their illusions. All lies and unfairness did not happened in one day. Someone just had no guts to say 'No' when it should be done first time. I myself was in these shoes many times.

    Even teammates in you own country team could use you, what better to expect from others? I think a sportsmen at high level perfectly aware about it and hope to get more benefits from training in China than loses..May be Aldo will spot what secret mushroom Chinese athletes use to increase mmm concentration...

    How USFA could affect training abroad? If there is no written requirement like "live 70% of the year on US territory to qualify for national team" or "train with the prescribed coach" then just earn you points and go. At least all what I have heard and read about team selection in USA support it. I do not know how it works in Italy, may be they approving because do not have means to stop.

    Aldo will have mach less means to respond in the case with him and Chinese than Mo in the case with US National Coach.When I get completely miserable I think that my options are still much better than say of a gladiator in the Ancient Rome. I need to use them.

    There is no bad publicity :) If one more reader became aware about "stones on the road" it worth 10-50 annoyed regulars. I ,for example, see appropriate connection to the subject, because described US fencer was not able to find a place to train. Your respond Mo though sound too emotional, doing this hurts in the fight and has adverse effect on the health.
     
  17. gladius

    gladius Podium

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    Aren't we a bit disingenuous here? Were Tausig and Lawrence dependent on the USFA funding to travel and train (USOC stipend which I believe for Becca was in the order of $5,000/month)? Personality conflicts aside, I believe the issue of control by the national coach had an important financial component and consequence for Becca. I don't think this was the case for the two epee fencers mentioned above.

    And even in the case of Aldo Montano, this is possible because of the top Italian fencers only he and now Margherita Granbassi are "financially independent" earning a fairly decent living on their own, outside fencing (Montano as a Reality TV celebrity/sponsorship contracts and Granbassi as TV "journalist" and sponsorship contracts, like the one with Tissot as reported by Fencingfuture http://www.fencingfuture.org/cntnt/rus/rus_fond/rus_news/n1190.html ).

    Montano trains in China on his own dime. If he continues to be on the top of the FIE rankings it would be difficult and stupid to exclude him. He does have an obligation to train with the squad for the team events though, so he is not free to move to China like Maya to France...

    Granbassi is very happy to work with her coach Giulio Tomassini, who is also the coach of Valentina Vezzali. The foil CT in charge is Stefano Cerioni, and they seem to get along...

    In a dispute between a national coach and a top athlete it is expected that the national federation and its leaders act as mediators and come up with a compromise acceptable to both. However, just for the record, one of the reasons why Bauer was fired by the FIS was that, other than Montano and maybe very few others, he did not get along with many top saber fencers, WS in particular. Facing a "revolution" by the top elite saber fencers, the FIS went with the fencers (of course there were other reasons as well, but the athletes rebellion was the proverbial straw).

    The same happened to Andrea Magro, foil CT, when after Athens the top Italian MF rebelled against him and he was reduced to control WF only.

    CT and National Coaches are important, very important to the success of the program (= medals count) but without top elite athletes there are no medals, so the choice is really no choice in the end for any federation with competent and responsible leaders.

    :blah:

    PS: In case of Montano's earnings outside fencing the figure of 1 to 2 million euro a year has been mentioned. No mention of how much Granbassi makes with her extra-curricular career, but I would not be surprised if it is close to 1 million euro a year...

    :cool:
     
  18. vivoescrimare

    vivoescrimare DE Bracket

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    Largely irrelevant, but just out of curiosity - isn't/wasn't Sanzo a relatively successful lawyer? Or is he more or less retired and being discounted?
     
  19. whtouche

    whtouche Rookie

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    This is interesting to me. I had heard that Tarantino had a ton of money, from something or other, and was easily "financially independent"; and I also have heard that Pastore is a judge.
     
  20. Mr.MightyMouse

    Mr.MightyMouse Rookie

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    Does not Montano co-own a restaurant in Rome, have a modeling career, not to mention his Family's quite large shipping business?
    I do also remember seeing quite a few Granbassi/Nike ads in Europe - nothing to hurt one's eyes or anything like that?
     

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