Home / Author Archives: Elena Ferrarin

Author Archives: Elena Ferrarin

Elena Ferrarin is a native of Rome who has worked as a journalist in the United States since 2002. She is a reporter for the Daily Herald in the Chicago suburbs and has been a correspondent for Fra Noi for more than a decade. She previously worked as a reporter for The Regional News in Palos Heights and as a reporter/assistant editor for Reflejos, a Spanish-English newspaper in Arlington Heights. She has a bachelor’s degree from Brown University and a master’s degree in journalism from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Collegiate running coach Megan Vaccaro

An average runner early in her college career, Megan Vaccaro took her race to the next level in the wake of a family trauma. The most decorated runner in the history of Dominican University says it was a personal tragedy — the death of her beloved father — that sparked her fierce dedication to the sport and her multiple achievements. “Going through college, I learned that nothing is impossible, and if you want something bad enough, you can find a way to make it happen,” 31-year-old Megan Vaccaro says. A native of Oswego and a 2010 graduate of Dominican University, ...

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Baseball exec Mike LaCassa

Data analysis is important in helping players make the leap from the minors to the majors, L.A. Angels exec Mike LaCassa says, but you can’t lose sight of the human element. As director of minor league operations for the Los Angeles Angels, Mike LaCassa says that yes, of course, developing players for Major League Baseball is the goal. “Each time a player moves up a level and especially when they make their Major League debut, it really makes us feel proud of all the work they put in, because none of it comes easily,” the 32-year-old said. But the job ...

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Competitive skater Deanna Stellato

Sidelined for 16 years by injuries, Deanna Stellato returned to competitive skating with a bang, earning a U.S. bronze medal last year and setting her sights on the 2022 Olympics. A highly successful return to professional ice skating after a 16-year hiatus is not something Deanna Stellato ever envisioned. “It’s definitely not something I thought I would do,” says Stellato, 35, who with her skating partner Nathan Bartholomay earned a U.S. bronze medal last year. Stellato, a native of Illinois, competed as a junior until the 2000-2001 season. She had suffered multiple injuries and was having a hard time recovering ...

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Gymnast Christina Desiderio

After almost making the Olympic team, Christina Desiderio transitioned from elite- to college-level gymnastics and she couldn’t be happier. Eighteen-year-old gymnast Christina Desiderio says competing at the 2016 Olympic trials after earning a spot twice on the U.S. national team was by far the highlight of her career. “19,000 people, not a seat empty! Two days that I will never forget,” she says. “I worked for 10 years of my life to try to make it to the 2016 Olympics,” she says. “That didn’t happen, but I got as close to my dream as I possibly could and I was ...

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Boxer-turned-broadcaster Paulie Malignaggi

A former two-weight world champion, Paulie Malignaggi now brings 16 years of boxing experience to bear as a commentator for Showtime and Sky Sports.   Being a professional boxing commentator is all about picking up on the patterns of the fight, the subtle stuff, and assessing how fighters should adjust their approach before it even happens. So says Paulie Malignaggi, who works as a boxing analyst for Showtime and Sky Sports, and who also used to work for Fox Sports 1. “I try to involve the fans and try to make them more cognizant of what’s going on,” he says. ...

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High school hoops coaching legend Gene Pingatore

Set to join DiMaggio and Marciano in the National Italian American Sports Hall of Fame this fall, Gene Pingatore has earned his place in the pantheon through his longevity and stellar record.   Gene Pingatore still can’t quite believe that in November he’ll be among the inductees into the National Italian American Sports Hall of Fame. “I am totally honored and extremely humbled,” he says. “When you think about it, I’m a high school coach. And here I go to the hall of fame with all my heroes who are there — Joe DiMaggio, Rocky Marciano. It just boggles my ...

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Harness racing legend Dave Palone

  With 30-plus years of harness racing under his belt, Dave Palone has amassed an astounding 18,400 wins in more than 75,000 races. Dave Palone has logged about 18,400 career wins in his 30-plus years as a harness race driver. That’s an average of about 600 wins per year, with 700 or 800 wins in his better years. Twelve races a day, four days a week, and voila, you have the sport’s winningest driver. “I’ve done it so many times, I know the horses, I’ve driven most of them, I know their tendencies,” the 56-year-old Palone says. “That’s probably the ...

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Lacrosse laureate Sam Apuzzo

  A team leader at Boston College, Sam Apuzzo netted one of her sport’s top honors while only a junior. Sam Apuzzo, a junior at Boston College, was this year’s recipient of the prestigious Tewaaraton Award, given annually to the most outstanding American male and female college lacrosse players. Apuzzo is the first female player from Boston College to win the award after being a top-five finalist last year. The award ceremony was held May 31 at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, D.C. Lacrosse is rooted in centuries of Native American tradition and “Tewaaraton” ...

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Synchronized swimmer Ruby Remati

  Hooked on synchronized swimming after witnessing a team workout at the local YMCA, Ruby Remati has battled her way to the top of the sport in America. When someone says “synchronized swimming,” do you picture ladies with flowered caps moving languidly through the water? You better not, says Ruby Remati, the 2017 U.S. national champion in the solo and figures categories. “It’s an extremely demanding sport, and it requires a lot of hours of training,” the 15-year-old says. “There are some people who look at is as a stereotype, but there are also a lot of people who find ...

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Women’s lacrosse exec Krystin Porcella

A standout at every level of women’s lacrosse, Krystin Porcella is a leader in the movement to take the sport professional. Star athlete, coach and now general manager — Krystin Porcella has pretty much experienced all facets of women’s lacrosse. Her philosophy is to empower athletes to make the right choices at the right time. “This applies on field and off field,” she says. “If we can develop each player to reach their potential for leadership, we have a whole team of players who have bought into the mission and are focused on the goals.” In March 2017, Porcella was ...

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