Sofia Goggia

(Italy) : Defying the Downhill

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asketball, uSA

Season 3


Sofia grew up wanting to do everything her older brother, Tommaso did, so when he took to the slopes, she begged her Mom to let her join. At 6, she forecasted her future: she wanted to be a famous ski racer who would win World Cups. Flash forward to today, and she’s crowned the ‘queen of speed’ with 3x World Cup Downhill title wins and 2x Olympic medals including the first for Italy in her discipline (downhill). That said, Sofia wants her episode to focus on her comebacks, and how she’s responded to countless injuries including what she describes as the most challenging time of her life: the 23 days between her debilitating crash in Cortina and taking home silver in Beijing 2022. You read that right… She could barely walk, yet she won silver in the Olympic downhill, the fastest event on skis.
When asked about what moment (skiing or not) she’s most proud of, she cites two moments: her Olympic gold, and her continuous growth; “The thing that makes me most proud of myself is when I see that I’m becoming a better person.” Her goal is to leave a mark on everything she does and everyone with whom she interacts. “I want to make a difference, and it’s not only skiing but everything I do. It is good to leave a piece of you in everyone you meet.” She cites her incredible support team including her sponsor, Red Bull, as well as friend and mentor, Lindsey Vonn (see quote in podcast graphic) for helping her get to where she is today.


As Sofia looks to the future, she’s eager to rewrite history in the Cortina 2026 Games.
Contributing Expert: Pete Sharland (Digital Editor, Eurosport)
Thank you to Dino Cattaneo for making this episode possible.

Contributing experts include:

  • Jennifer Bird (Sue’s Sister)
  • Coach Dawn Staley (Sue’s Former Teammate & Coach, Hall of Famer & Head Coach of the South Carolina Gamecocks)
  • Marina Mabrey (Professional Basketball Player, Dallas Wings)-Zoe & Alex Bird (Sue’s Nieces)

Audio included from the following sources:

  • Women Hooping’s YouTube Channel: ‘Sue Bird Hits Final Shot In New York To Clinch Win, Crowd Gives Standing Ovation Saluting Her Career’
  • WNBA’s YouTube Channel: ‘Best Of Sue Bird’s 3,000 Assists’
  • WCNC’s YouTube Channel: ‘Tokyo Olympics | Sue Bird’
  • Uninterrupted Love Is Manifesto from
  • CNN’s YouTube Channel: ‘WNBA players strike balance between athletics and activism’
  • 60 Minutes’ YouTube Channel: ‘Sue Bird on going public with her relationship with Megan Rapinoe’
  • March Madness’ YouTube Channel: ‘Best of Sue Bird and Diana Taurasi in the Final Four for UConn’
  • ESPN’s YouTube Channel: ‘Marina Mabrey drops CAREER-HIGH 31 PTS as Dallas Wings clinch playoff berth! | WNBA on ESPN’
  • Seattle Storm Official’s YouTube Channel: ‘Sue Bird | Press Conference | Sue Announces Retirement’


Madeleine (Maca) and Tanya are close friends who play for the Australian beach handball team. They both juggle full time jobs: Maca is a lawyer and Tanya a teacher. Tanya also has ulcerative colitis.

Sam Mewis grew up flipping over rocks in the woods of Massachusetts hunting for salamanders, while Lynn Williams grew up on a pecan farm with her “huge family of non-farmers” in Clovis, California. Flash forward and the two are inseparable. According to Sam & Lynn, they’re in a “very serious platonic friendship.” As former roomies who dominated the field together, gone through injuries and covid together, and yes, even podcasted together, they’ve seen each other through it all. As huge fans and supporters of their podcast, SNACKS, we thought it would be fun to have the duo onto Flame Bearers together. So this episode is a bit different than our normal ones, but we’re going with it! This week, soccer superstars Sam & Lynn talk about their upbringings, time in and after Tokyo and getting in front of the mic.

Liu Jiayu’s nickname is ‘Birdie’. It’s what her friends and family call her, and she’s had a soaring career as a snowboard pioneer, inspiring an explosion in popularity of her sport and a brand new generation of Chinese boarders.

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