Five-time Italian champ Contesti hangs up skates

2009 European silver medalist says he wants to coach, give back to sport

Samuel Contesi always projected a fun-loving, carefree attitude on the ice.
Samuel Contesi always projected a fun-loving, carefree attitude on the ice. (Getty Images)


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(06/18/2012) - Samuel Contesti, the five-time Italian champion and 2009 European silver medalist who began his career skating for France, announced his retirement from competitive skating, the Italian newspaper La Gazzetta dello Sport reported Friday.

"There were no reasons to continue," Contesti told the paper.

Contesti, 29, competed for France from 2001-07, winning two national bronze medals (2005, '07) and a silver ('06).

He moved to Italy after marrying Geraldine Zulini in February 2007 and gained Italian citizenship. He began competing for Italy in 2008, employing Zulini as his primary coach.

In 2009, he became the first Italian man to medal at the European Championships in 55 years, when he took the silver in Helsinki. (Carlo Fassi won gold in 1954.)

"It is just fantastic [to medal]," Contesti said at the time. "This is a beautiful victory for all people that believed in me."

He followed that with a career-best fifth-place finish at the 2009 World Figure Skating Championships in Los Angeles.

This past season, Contesti placed fourth and eighth at his two Grand Prix assignments, seventh at the European championships and 10th at the world championships.

Contesti cited the lack of a permanent training space as one of the main reasons for his retirement.

"There is, above all, the necessity of a fixed base," he said.

He and Zulini's first child, Ennio, was born in June 2009. The couple's second child is expected to arrive in October.

Speaking of his future plans, Contesti said, "I'll teach. I want to return the sport so much that I gave."