From Tuscany to Florida. Elena Ciulli's journey

Sunday, May 30, 2021

Departed from Poggibonsi, a Tuscan town, and landed in Florida.

This is Elena Ciulli's path, thousands of miles away from home to achive the dream of playing in the United States and above all to graduate in Strategic Communication and Marketing at Florida Institute of Technology.

A story, an experience, and a continuous excitement that she told us in this interview.

Let's start from the end. You recently graduated, what are the feelings and what are the future prospects? What do you expect now?

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

Speaking professionally, do you think that an experience like this can give you more opportunities in the business world? How did the American experience improve you?

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

Let's get into the field and talk about volleyball. What was yours sporting impact in the United States and what differences have you noticed with Italian volleyball?

American volleyball is undoubtedly taken more seriously than in Italy: the life of a college athlete is comparable to that of a professional athlete. In fact, I had the opportunity to practice at incredible facilities and to train every day with a professional staff. 

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

At home we eat bread and volleyball: my father played in Serie A and in the Juniores national team so it was inevitable - and almost impossible - that my brother and I and I did 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 were talking to a boy or girl who decides to have the same experience as you, what advice would you give them?

I would tell him / her to embrace this opportunity without thinking twice: you never feel 100% ready, but such experiences change your life and not all kids have the opportunity to do so. 

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

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

To conclude, tell us about the best and most exciting moments that 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 met people from all over the world, I learned languages ​​I didn't know, I saw places I didn't even know existed ... I will never be grateful enough to Jesica and Elitza for helping me realize my biggest dream. 

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