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It started from Poggibonsi, a Tuscan town, and landed in Florida.

This is Elena Ciulli’s journey, thousands of kilometers away from her home to realize her dream of playing in the United States and above all to graduate in Strategic Communication and Marketing at the Florida Institute of Technology.

A story, an experience, a continuous emotion that he told us in this interview.

Let’s start at the end. You have just graduated, what are your feelings and what are your future prospects? What do you expect now?

I graduated a few weeks ago and I think I still have to fully realize that my experience in the States has come to an end. I look back on these four years already with a bit of melancholy, but at the same time with satisfaction and contentment: now is the time to turn the page and move on.

Professionally speaking, do you think that an experience like this can give you more opportunities in the world of work? How has the American experience improved you?

Absolutely yes. The experience of the American College undoubtedly adds a plus to my personal and professional baggage. Living this kind of reality made me discover sides of my character that I didn’t believe existed and gave me the opportunity to grow living one of the most beautiful experiences of my life.

Let’s get on the court and talk about volleyball. What has been your sporting impact in the United States and what differences have you noticed with Italian volleyball?

U.S. volleyball is undoubtedly lived in a more serious way than in Italy: the life of an athlete is comparable to that of a professional athlete. In fact, I had the chance to use incredible facilities and train every day with a professional staff.

For you, volleyball is a family affair. What does all this mean?

At home we eat bread and volleyball: my father played in Serie A and in the Junior national team so it was inevitable – and almost impossible – that my brother and I and I would not inherit this passion. Volleyball has always been an integral part of my life and I find it hard to imagine myself without a ball in my hand.

If you had to talk to a boy or girl who decides to have the same experience as you, what advice would you give him?

I would tell him/her to embrace this opportunity without a second thought: you never feel 100% ready, but experiences like this are life-changing and not all kids have the opportunity to do that.

The American College Volleyball Showcase is back, organized this year by Sportlinx360 in two editions: women’s from 13 to 15 July, now in its fourth edition and for the first time ever also the men’s, from 15 to 17 of the same month at the Palazzetto dello Sport in Frascati. You also lived the Showcase, you started from there, what was the experience?

The showcase I did the summer before leaving was of fundamental importance to me. I had the opportunity to experience first-hand the reality of American college sports, talking to coaches and comparing myself with girls from all over Italy. Needless to say, the few doubts I had were easily resolved thanks to the professionalism and dedication of the Sportlinx360 team.

To conclude, tell us about the best and most exciting moments you will always carry with you, on or off the court!

What I will always carry with me are the bonds built and the places visited in these four years. I’ve met people from all over the world, I’ve learned languages I didn’t know, I’ve seen places I didn’t even know existed… I can’t be grateful enough to Jesica and Elitza for helping me achieve my biggest dream.