Skip to main content

“I would like to start by saying that choosing to come to America was a decision made thanks to my parents who allowed me to daydream about the States and helped me to realize my ideas, also thanks to Jesica and Elitza who gave me maximum support in everything through Sportlinx360.”

This is how the interview with Carolina Bologna, volleyball player born in 1997 and Student-Athlete at West Virginia Tech University, begins. Let’s start right away with the questions to learn more about his experience in the stars and stripes.

From your arrival to today, what are the aspects that have most impressed you about the United States, both in terms of nation, daily life and especially in the academic field? “Since the day I arrived, many things have changed, from the environment in which I find myself to the people I meet. I was most impressed by the frenzy that there is in this country, people go left and right without ever stopping, from morning to afternoon; We Italians, however hectic, allow ourselves longer breaks, maybe a coffee and a chat.”

From study to sport, what has been the impact with the team and in the league? “The first day I met my team I was very well received, it was immediately noticeable that there were no problems or prejudices between me and my teammates. I also had the great fortune to start such an important adventure with an Italian girl with whom I am still very close, since we grew up together with this experience. In terms of training, on the other hand, at the beginning it was a bit strange to see the differences: I am used to doing a lot of technique during training in Italy, while here a lot of attention is paid to cardio work, weights: it is a training methodology that pays particular attention to the athletic aspect.”

Combining sport and study: how difficult is it? “Let’s start from the assumption that in Italy, I never thought I would have the opportunity to go to university “full time” and at the same time dedicate my days to volleyball. I see my friends coming into class at 8 a.m. and leaving at 5 p.m. with no breaks or other time for studying. In the States, I became aware of the fact that only if you give importance to your interests, you can find time to practice them. Let me explain. My workouts, weight sessions, and physical therapist appointments are all organized around my class schedules. For example, my typical day during the championship starts on Monday morning at 6 a.m. with technical training until 8 a.m., after which I have classes from nine to noon. I have time for some study and then have two classes again, and finish my Monday with a weight room. In the evening, of course, I collapse into bed without a second thought!”

This is an experience that will surely stay with you for life. Analyze your adventure so far by telling us the three moments that you consider most important, beautiful or exciting! “There are so many beautiful moments: from the first meeting with my friends to the first victories to the long trips to Florida, Washington DC and Chicago. One of the most satisfying moments is the victory with my team at this year’s Tournament, along with the award ceremony for First Team All Conference. Not to be forgotten there are also the many and very long trips with my team to play in Indiana, Ohio, Kentucky etc.. Honestly, there are many “photographs” of this exciting journey that continues that I will always carry with me.”

What do you think could be the added values of this path? “I think this is an experience that not only gives you new values, but most of all makes you grow, opens your mind and enriches you. I learned a lot with this adventure, I learned to understand new cultures, I learned to respect the ideas of other classmates, I learned new languages and discovered new cities. I am lucky enough to attend a school with many children from all over the world, so I also have the opportunity to learn about different cultures and compare myself with them. I am convinced that it has enriched me not only as a sportswoman, but above all as a person.”

Would you advise other guys to follow the same path as you and why? “I would recommend such an experience to anyone, anyone who has the strength to overcome a bit of homesickness and wants to meet new people and new places. Sport and study are taken very seriously and this is a fortune for us athletes, we have to take advantage of it!”