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Tis’ the Season to be Cheesing: Holiday Fun with the Panther Athletes

By Maxmillian Robinson

As the calendar year winds down and we turn to the gift of a holiday season, no matter how you celebrate, time off relieves us from stress and being around loved ones and supporters helps make things easier. That’s why The Delphian asked our Panther athletes how they plan to spend their holidays after a season of competition and hard work. We heard from three of our black and gold players.

“I will be celebrating Christmas and New Years this holiday season,” said junior women's swimming athlete, Skyler Nenadich. “I will be celebrating Christmas over at my uncle’s house because I don’t get to see them that often. That's why this year, it's so important to me. For New Years, I will be with my friends celebrating the night out and about.”

Men's soccer player, senior Filippo Peri, said, “I will be celebrating Christmas over the holiday season. I will be going back home [in Italy] to celebrate with my family.”

Filippo Peri is looking forward to going home to Italy for the holidays and spending time with family. Photo from AU Athletics

Peri is not the only one heading home to Italy. Senior men's soccer player Paolo Marciano said the two most important holidays he’ll be celebrating in Italy are Christmas and Epiphany. “We have a big dinner with family. It is a time of joy, happiness and relaxation. I really love to spend this time with my family after being away for several months in the US,” he said.

Marciano isn't ruling out the idea of trying a new excursion this season. “I love travelling and I would also like to visit a new place for a few days during the holiday time, but I did not organize anything yet.”

Others aren't too focused on the idea of traveling, but instead, having the time to make memories locally.

“The thing that excites me the most is being with my family, friends and cherishing moments with the people close to me,” Nenadich said. “I also love the happiness and [excitement] that comes with the holiday season.”

Many people, including our athletes, plan to use this time away from school and work to sit back, relax and take in the essence of life. This is something we often tend to forget and overlook because of the things we do in life on a daily basis. However, these athletes are not taking this holiday season for granted.

“When I was a child this was the holiday that I was waiting to find out what gifts I was receiving,” Marciano said. “Now that I am a little bit older, I take this moment to relax, spend time with family and friends and recharge to be ready for the new year.”

Nenadich said: “Whenever Christmas comes around, I’m always reminded of the time when I was 12 years old and my parents gifted me with my first swimming club membership. That is where my journey began.”

Skyler Nenadich fell in love with swimming when she received a club

membership for Christmas. Photo from AU Athletics

Peri agreed about not taking this season for granted.

“The most exciting aspect of the Christmas holidays for me is to reunite with my family after four months away from them,” Peri said. “Spending time with them after a long time without seeing each other makes Christmas time even more special for me.”

Peri shared a memory from last year’s holiday. “A funny moment I recall from last year is when my uncle decided to show up at our family dinner dressed like Santa Claus.”

“The event that I love most is Christmas day,” Marciano said. “It is very nice to see all the family reunited for the whole day without any distractions. It is something that brings me a lot of joy and happiness.”

Ah yes, home for the holidays. It’s clear to say, there's no better place to be during his time.

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