Lightness, passion, world victories. A portrait of the Italian skier

A silent light illuminates the Questa Refuge. A light that, in the sweet contact with the purity of nature, calms thoughts and tensions, pervades soul and muscles.

A silent and multiform light. The soft, white beam that creeps between peaks and rocks, that skims clouds and mist in yet another enchanted morning in the Piedmontese Maritime Alps. The powerful, full-bodied amaranth dart that colors irises and aquatic reflections, that softens a harsh millenary scenery, and then turns into the straight line of an orderly and endless sunset.

Marta Bassino internalized that light, she learned to know it years ago, when skiing was just a daily game, when world cups and international competitions represented an unknown future in the quiet life of Cuneo.

Marta Bassino has been shaped by that light. The refined lines, the calm confidence, the effective lightness: everything in her skiing seems to draw inspiration from the places that have marked and continue to mark her existence, from the mountains that have outlined and continue to outline her inner landscape.

“The mountains, my mountains, are among the values that our parents have been able to transmit to us. From a very young age they have accustomed us to hikes, to the contact with nature, to the wonder of a flower, of the colours that surround us. They taught us to feel good about ourselves with a few simple things. The ‘Casina’, which is a few kilometers away from the Questa Refuge managed by my younger brother Marco, has always been our first shelter. There we all feel at peace and happy. There time stops and you really have the chance to be with yourself, to isolate yourself, to unplug, to regenerate thanks to the beauty of the environment. Nothing is needed there: a small stove to heat water, a light to read a book and absolute silence. Phones don’t work, and that’s the best thing…”

Overlooking the calm mirror of Claus Lake, the Bassino family lets out a deep affection, cultivated among ancient paths and vertical slopes, among crowded plates and walkie talkies, among smiles and local jams.

These visual slides enclose Marta’s journey, a human and sporting journey that began with fraternal emulation on the snows of Limone and continued under the directives of a father-master who was never pushy, who was always dedicated to the sporting act and the visceral passion linked to it.

“My family has always been everything. If I am the person that you see, it is thanks to them, to the teachings and values that they have been able to transmit to me and to my two brothers. They showed us the basics of everything: humbleness, respect, love for nature and for small things, passion for sport and then the will, determination and desire to compete, but always with a smile. Values that have influenced my personality and, consequently, my approach to life and sport. The memories of me as a little girl with skis on my feet are many and strictly with a pacifier in my mouth. I was almost two years old when I took my first steps on the snow, with the sole desire to follow and emulate my older brother Matteo. We followed our father, a ski instructor, along all the slopes of Limone and, between a bite of snow and a roll, we started to make our first turns. Today skiing is my job, as well as my passion. But thanks to such important values I am able to live everything in a different way: with a fair and constructive approach, the one that allows you to grow, maybe sometimes falling, but that makes you always get up with a smile and with the awareness that everything remains a beautiful and great Game”

A game that in Marta has found an atypical interpreter from a morphological point of view. If compared to her statuesque international colleagues, in fact, the skier born in ’96 seems to wear a different kind of armor, she seems to change direction thanks to the wind blowing, more than to the violent muscular work.

Far from powerful quadriceps and hyper energetic movements, the apparent thinness of the downhill skier from Cuneo enchants eyes and senses, curves and trajectories, giving life to unique movements. Marta’s skis seem to glide lightly and delicately, almost like a fairy tale, they seem to skim the ground driven by an ethereal combination of technique and physical harmony.

In a perfect 2021, illuminated by the world gold medal in the parallel slalom in Cortina d’Ampezzo and by the domination in the giant slalom World Cup, the skier from Cuneo has definitely evolved into the ‘Princess of the Snows’ and the ‘Steel Feather’: nicknames-manifesto that define her soul and character, style and authority, physique and nature. Epithets ready to populate the future of Italian skiing.

“2021 was my year. An intense, magical year made up of a thousand emotions. Emotions that I still struggle to describe today. I had many difficult moments in the past, but I believe that the attitude linked to this great passion helped me to always look ahead, keeping in mind what my goals and desires were. I have to say that in my general vision 2021 was still a starting point. I am still me, with my approach and my goals. Today I know what I can achieve, of course, but I’m always aware that what you get at the end of a path is only the result of many steps taken in the right direction. Just like when you walk in the mountains to reach the highest peak.”

Marta’s life has also been told in ‘LA FAMIGLIA’, a beautiful and intimate documentary produced by Salomon. A visual masterpiece that we recommend you to see.


Marta Bassino
IG @martabassino

IG @riseupduo

Text by Gianmarco Pacione

Thanks to @salomonalpine