13 January 1969 |
Vinadio, Cuneo, Italy
|Height||158 cm (5 ft 2 in)|
|Ski club||G.S. Forestale|
|World Cup career|
She started to ski at the age of three in the Piedmontese mountains of her native city. She made her debut at the FIS Nordic World Ski Championships in 1987. The next season she joined the main national team of Italy, and then participated at the 1988 Winter Olympics, held in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. In 1989, she won a World Cup event for her first time, in Salt Lake City, and ended that season second overall.
At the 1991 FIS Nordic World Ski Championships, she won a bronze medal in the 15 km trial, and a silver in the 4 × 5 km. The 1992 Winter Olympics in Albertville brought the first gold medal for Belmondo, in the 30 km specialty. At the 1993 FIS Nordic World Ski Championships, she won golds in the 5 km + 10 km combined pursuit and the 30 km, and a silver in the 4 × 5 km before an injury to her right hallux required a surgery, and caused a 4-month absence from competition.
After a second operation, Belmondo participated to the 1994 Winter Olympics in Lillehammer, gaining just two bronze medals; after this disappointing performance she decided to continue skiing, against the advice of her physician. The 1996–97 season was one of her best since the surgeries, when she won three silver medals (5 km, 15 km, 30 km), all were behind Russian Yelena Välbe though she tied with Välbe in the 5 km + 10 km combined pursuit event. In the 1998 Winter Olympics in Nagano, Japan, she won a third place with the 4 × 5 km, and an individual silver in the 30 km. The bronze medal in the relay was remarkable because the Italian team was 9th as Belmondo started her anchor leg. The 1999 FIS Nordic World Ski Championships saw Stefania Belmondo win two gold medals (5 km + 10 km combined pursuit, 15 km) and a silver (4 × 5 km).
In her final year of competition, 2002, she won a gold medal, as well as a silver and a bronze, in the Winter Olympics. She concluded that year's World Cup in third place.
At the 15 km (9 mi) pursuit event world championships in Trondheim 1997 the organizers had to resort to Photo finish to determine who between Stefania Belmondo and Yelena Välbe had won the race. Eventually the gold medal is awarded to the Russian and the Italian Silver for just 2 cm (0.8 in),  both athletes are still cred the same time.
At the 2006 Winter Olympics in Turin, in her native region of Piedmont, she lit the Olympic Flame at the opening ceremony. During the 2006 Winter Olympics, Belmondo had a series of webpages on the 2006 Turin Winter Olympic Games website regarding her reaction and emotions during the games.
|Italian Sportswoman of the Year
Manuela Di Centa
1980 USA men's ice hockey team
|Final Winter Olympic Torchbearer
Catriona Le May Doan, Steve Nash,
Nancy Greene and Wayne Gretzky