Water is fundamental for sports and for the future of the planet we live on. We try to focus on this topic with a new series of short stories: today, our Wonnie bottle keeper meets a brilliant supporting character.

2 October 2023

Episode two

In his hands, ice melts in the blink of an eye.
Touched by a skin that has been carved by the wind, by rocks, by years of living on the edge, the solid state becomes gaseous without even noticing it. For a second, those resilient hands shake, with a motion that looks similar to fear.

I’m observing that man on the mountain peak. It’s a sunny day, the sun is high and hot, perhaps a little too much.
At a certain moment he grabs me, with the need to drink. It’s a nervous thirst, a quick sip. He doesn’t speak that much, but I notice that every single word goes towards the surrounding nature. A mysterious dialogue, a secret I’ve tried to discover many times.

‘Glaciers are thinner; when they fall down they look like pieces of skyscrapers…’* Framed by thick hair, his eyes shine, because even if the world is changing, it’s still able to amaze him. For some seconds it’s not a gaze, it’s a question.
How can we change things? How can we protect all the amazing things that surround us? It’s the moment in which I see his humanity: a man who is trying to embrace the mountain, rather than conquer it.

On the top of the mountain, the man sits close to a museum – his museum – an odd piece of reinforced concrete that gets out of rocks trying to explore the panorama. It was projected by Zaha Hadid, an architect who also explored and spoke with the environments she worked in.
It’s a suspended, maybe magical second. He holds me as if he had to embark on a new adventure from one moment to another, just like those who saw him on top of the world many years ago, always protected by FILA equipment.
However, I feel that the next challenge is going to involve us all, to stop glaciers from melting. It’s not going to be easy, it’s not going to be immediate, but we’re all going to have responsibility on it, if we do want to save the world.

The voice comes from the museum’s panoramic terrace: a small group of visitors noticed him and now claims his attention. Beneath the thick hair, his eyes shine, along with the teeth that embellish a kind smile. One final sip and the man walks towards them, towards the mountains at sunset.

*From Gianfranco Piccoli’s interview to Reinhold Messner, la Repubblica, 3 July 2022

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Born in Biella in the foothills of the ltalian Alps, WONNIE is a ski-loving white bear. Because he is from the snow­covered Alps, he is vulnerable to hot weather, and despite his size he has timid personality so he is always blushing. WONNIE is a gentle bear with heart of gold who easily find faults with himself even with small things but never blames others.

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