Lausanne, Switzerland


Daniel Grassl (ITA) Beijing 2022 Winter Olympic Games Beijing (CHN) @GettyImages 136850804

 Daniel Grassl (ITA) skates in the Men's Single Skating Short Program during the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympic Games in Beijing (CHN) @GettyImages

Participating in the Olympic Games is the dream of each athlete and when it comes true for the first time, it is something very special, as Italy’s Daniel Grassl can confirm. “These were my first Olympic Games and everything was new. It was also very nice to live in the Olympic village,” the 19-year-old recalled. “Obviously, there were some restrictions because of Covid, but it was very well organized. I got a lot of experience.”

Performing your best comes as the icing on the cake on top of this experience. Daniel delivered three strong performances: in the Team Event Short Program as well as in the Short Program and Free Skating of the individual competition to finish seventh.

Daniel Grassl (ITA) Beijing 2022 Winter Olympic Games Beijing (CHN) @GettyImages 1238338027

Daniel Grassl (ITA) competes in the men's Single Skating Free Skating during the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympic Games in Beijing (CHN) @GettyImages

“I am someone who gets easily nervous at competitions, but I was able to manage my excitement very well at this biggest competition of my season and my career,” the European silver medalist noted. “I was very nervous for the Team Event, because I went in there not just as Daniel, but for my whole team. So my legs were a bit shaky, but I am very happy with how I went out on the ice, stayed focused and did my job.”

Team Italy Team Event Beijing Olympic Winter Games Beijing (CHN)  @GettyImages 1368511604

Members of Team Italy look on in the Men's Single Skating Short Program Team Event during the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympic Games 2022 in Beijing (CHN) @GettyImages

The Italian Skater then was less nervous for the individual competition and set a new personal best in the Free Skating and total score. “I felt confident, because I have worked a lot to reach this goal. I was very, very happy to do my best Free Skating. It was an honor for me to be fourth in the Free and I really enjoyed my programs and just to be there, to skate in the Olympic ice rink.”

The result was better than what he had hoped. “I actually didn’t have any expectations,” Daniel revealed. “I just wanted to go there and to show that I’ve worked a lot in the past four years. My goal was to get into the top ten and I came seventh and fourth in the free. I wanted to use these Olympic Games to get a lot of experience for the next ones that will be in Milano Cortina.”

Probably the only thing that beats competing at Olympic Games is competing at Olympic Games on home ice. This is something Grassl now has his eyes firmly set on and he plans to use his newly gained experience.  “These Olympic Games have taught me a lot, because I learned to always believe in my own dreams. When you really want something, you can get it,” he shared.

Nevertheless, after taking in the Olympic experience in Beijing, the Skater was also glad to come back home. “The first thing I did was to eat Italian food,” he said. “It was hard for me to each Chinese food all the time. Almost every day I only had rice and dumplings.” The next task was to present his training mates at his home rink in Egna with Olympic souvenirs. And then it was back to work as the ISU World Figure Skating Championships are coming up soon in Montpellier, France, March 21 to 27.

“Preparing for Worlds is a bit tough for me, because I am tired mentally after the Olympic Games,” Daniel admitted. “I went back to training straight away. I’ve worked a lot before the Games to be well prepared, therefore it is now difficult to get started again, to do run-throughs of my programs.” He is not planning any major changes to his programs. “Maybe I’ll include a second quad into the short, but I don’t know yet. I still need to decide about that,” Grassl said.

Now the European silver medalist he is gearing up again to skate his best one more time in France. “I am looking forward to being on the ice again at Worlds, do my last competition of the season and perform my programs for the last time,” Daniel concluded.