When Dino Quattrocecere started skating at the age of 10 in 1983, his dream was to represent his country at the most significant sporting event, the Winter Olympic Games. In just 11 short years, those childhood dreams would become a reality. He would become the first male to represent South Africa at a Winter Olympic Games in Lillehammer, Norway, in February 1994.
Having just been re admitted into the world of international figure skating in 1992, nobody thought it would be possible for an athlete from a predominantly Olympic event. He secured automatic qualification for the games at the World Championships held in 1993 in Prague. He received an all-over World ranking of 18 at these Championships, providing him with a spot at the Games the following year as one of the top 30 in the world eligible to compete. He would also be the first representative of an all-inclusive, multi-racial team representing South Africa at a Winter Olympics event.
They were made to feel like national heroes and departed on the 3rd of February 1994 for their trip to the Olympics. Carried by the National Carrier SAA, they were given a special Captains welcome on the flight, and their Olympic journey had officially begun.
Their arrival at the Olympic Village was a special event as each Nation had a set time upon arrival to raise their country’s flag in the village and play the National Anthem. South Africa was very much during its transformation and still deciding on a new flag and anthem. This would not be a stumbling block for the small team and would carry the white flag with the Olympic rings and the ode to joy as our Anthem. It was a very proud and special moment as their flag was raised, indicating the official arrival of Team South Africa at the Olympic games of 1994.
Treated like superstars in the Olympic Village, they were made to feel extremely welcome. They had their own South Africa house, and it was decked out with all the bells and whistles that Olympic athletes must come to expect from the Olympic village. Team kit sponsored by Reebok was received; he felt like he was a part of history. It would also be his 21st birthday at these games on the 13th of February, and Reebok provided a fantastic party for him to celebrate the occasion. At this party, he would have the extreme honor bestowed upon him of being told that he would be carrying the flag at the opening ceremony and the parade of athletes.
The 12th of February was this momentous occasion, and he was filled with absolute pride as he entered the complete white stadium holding the South African Olympic flag up high. The opening ceremony felt like a dream, and it was possibly the highlight of his competitive skating career.
The rest of the Games were pretty much a blur. Official practices took place twice daily. He was in the best shape of his life and skating very well. That was until two days before the short program where he managed to pick up an injury to his left front tendon on his foot. He was advised not to compete because the swelling was so intense. He was not going to be told by anyone that after working for 11 years of his life, he would not be taking this opportunity to represent his country. He was granted special permission from the IOC to have a cortisone injection directly into that tendon before skating. Boots were laced, and he managed to fulfil his lifelong dream. Admittedly, it was not his best performance. After the free programme, he walked into the mess hall and received a standing ovation from all the athletes participating in other disciplines. Not understanding what was going on, he explained that they were standing because he never gave up. He was having the worst skate of his career, but he kept trying to the very end. It was at that point that he realized what the Olympics were all about. Regardless of whether medals are won or lost, it is all about being there and competing. He had qualified as one of the 30 best athletes in the world, he had represented his country with honor and pride at the biggest sporting event on the planet, and no one would ever be able to take that away from him. Dino was placed 24th in the Olympics. He took a break from competitive skating and then came back to win the South African National title from 2001 through to 2003.
Dino skated for 16 years before becoming a coach. He received the gold medal in 2001, 2002 and 2003 South African Figure Skating Championships. He is undefeated in all local competitions through all divisions. He is the 7times SA Senior Men’s champion and represented South Africa at Junior Worlds Figure Skating Championships and three times at the Senior Worlds figure Skating Championships.
He has 21 years of coaching, and his achievements as a coach include coaching South African National Championships in the pre-novice girls, novice, and senior ladies. He’s taken skater to represented South Africa at numerous ISU international events. He is a qualified solo, pairs, and synchronized skating coach. Dino is a Senior SA National Technical Specialist and a National Coach.