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Fiona May

The Gender

“As female athletes, we must not only compete and win, but also be always beautiful. We have to be women in everyday life and men when we train. Sports life is easier both for women and blacks, but everyday life is tougher”.

Fiona May is an unmatched athletic talent and the Italian long jump record holder. She has won several medals and international trophies and she still holds the national record. After a long, glorious career in athletics she was able to reinvent herself in the show business, demonstrating unique, impressive skills. Her disarming smile and irresistibly contagious tenderness make her a one-of-a-kind charity and social spokesperson.


Fiona May was born in England in 1969 and played sports ever since she was a child. Some time after graduating in Economics at the Leeds University she met Gianni Iapichino, Italian pole vaulter and long jumper whom she married in 1994. She acquired Italian citizenship by marriage and that same year she competed in the long jump, representing Italy, at the European championships in Helsinki, winning the bronze medal.
That was the start of a long road paved with successes: a bronze medal in the Athens World Championships (1997) two silver medals at the Olympics (1996 and 2000), two gold medals in the World Championships of 1995 and 2001, one silver medal at the Budapest European Championships (1998) and also one at the Sevilla World Championship in 1999.
She currently holds the Italian long jump record, which she bested seven times, the last time being in Budapest 1998 where she won the gold medal with a 7.11 m jump. She also set the triple jump record and bested it twice, her current best being 14.65 m.
Fiona May was also indoor long jump world champion in 1997 and European champion (of the same event) in 1998, where she also set the Italian indoor long jump record (6.91 metres).
In 2002 she had her first baby, Larissa, followed in 2009 by Anastasia. In 2006, in-between the two pregnancies she decided to leave athletics to venture in a new career in the show business. She participated in several high-audience TV shows and acted in various commercials. Her good acting skills were evident from the very beginning and thanks to them she quickly earned a lead role in the TV serial Butta la luna (throw the moon away) which focused on the issues of racism and immigrants integration in Italy. But Fiona the Champion is not finished surprising us and recently she participated in the writing of the biographical novel Il salto più lungo (the longest jump), which tells her story: how she became a champion, how she decided, for love, to leave her homeland and compete wearing a flag that was not hers. A delicate yet fresh book, dedicated to the youth, straight from a woman that can still amaze herself.

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