Judo, Maria Centracchio: “I have fibromyalgia”

The athlete of the Fiamme Oro, Olympic bronze medalist in Tokyo, wrote a touching message on social media: “Months of tiredness and uncertainty, pain and exams. Now I will have to learn to live with all this”

“A copper wire that becomes silk”. Maria Centracchio begins like this. Her Instagram profile page is already full of comments a few minutes after the publication of a courageous, intense post, like her career as a judoka awarded an Olympic medal. “For a few months a persistent tiredness has taken over, a fatigue at every slightest effort, all accompanied by severe pain in the whole body and difficulty in carrying out even the simplest daily activities peacefully. After the most varied visits, the most diverse opinions and related uncertainties, we have come to give a name to all this: fibromyalgia “.


After the bronze in the -63 kilos category in Tokyo, the 28-year-old athlete from Molise delle Fiamme Oro, was no longer competing. The injuries that had marked her approach to the Games forced her to a rest period and an elbow surgery, followed by a long rehabilitation. A routine that Maria, the protagonist of a sports fairytale with her unexpected and exciting medal in Japan, was used to living with for years. This time, however, there was something different than the bruises, sprains or fractures that a high-level judoka can face while fighting on the mat.

living with pain

It is she herself who tells on social networks the onset of the syndrome that attacks the muscles of the body and affects about 2 million people in Italy alone. “I have always relied on my physical prowess, on my never getting tired, on regenerating myself after each blow: my outfit during meetings has always been one of my greatest strengths, something I would have sworn I could count on at infinite. Today, however, something has changed … From now on I will have to live with my new way of “feeling”, I will have to learn to dose my efforts and to direct my energies in the best way for my body. There is something very funny in all this but, among all the stories I could tell myself, I like to think that my body was so good that it held on and moved the “hand of pain” only after allowing me to realize my dream; that it was so master that I learn how to get up after each fall, so as to make myself sure that I will also be able to face this challenge as I always have: head up and chest out. I’m lucky to have special people next to me, who support me anus and support at all times: my boyfriend and my family first of all, my friends and my sports group; it is thanks to them that everything is easier and it will be day after day. I know I’m not alone in all of this and it’s beautiful. “

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About David Martin

David Martin is the lead editor for Spark Chronicles. David has been working as a freelance journalist.

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