The mother of Julia Ituma has spoken after the young volleyball player was found lifeless at dawn on April 13 outside the Volleyball Hotel in Istanbul, after an apparent fall from the sixth floor. “She was so strong, she couldn’t have thrown herself out of a window”, her mother said, as reported by La Repubblica.
“I haven’t been able to cry yet”
“Is it possible that her roommate didn’t hear anything? I haven’t been able to cry yet”, Julia’s mother continued, incredulous about what happened, and upset at reports stating that her daughter took her own life.
The first account
The mother is disputing the first report from police, which stated that Julia Ituma jumped from the sixth floor of the hotel where she was staying in Turkey.
Away with the team
The young athlete, who was the top player of the Italian junior volleyball team, was away with her team, Igor Gorgonzola Novara, for the return semi-final of the Champions League.
The last words to her mother
During the last phone call with her mother she seemed dejected at the defeat suffered: “she said to me: mum, we lost. I scored two points, but the team sucked”, according to La Repubblica.
“She was a very strong girl”
But the player’s mother continues to maintain that Julia was “strong, as always. She was a very strong girl, and not just on the pitch. At 17 she was in Serie A, how many of her teammates are still in C.”
Filmed by hotel cameras
On the evening of the events, the hotel cameras filmed the young player as she walked in a corridor and conversed on her cell phone between 10.30 and 11.50 pm, according to the Corriere.
Found lifeless outside the hotel
She was found lifeless outside the hotel at 5.30 in the morning, after having fallen from the sixth floor of the building.
The Istanbul police are still investigating the case, but the initial report claims the young athlete took her own life.
Mourning from the world of sport
Her cell phone could be the key to understanding exactly what happened that morning.
Meanwhile, her team has posted a tribute to the talented 18-year-old.
Her Igor Gorgonzola Novara teammates have been left shaken by tragedy and have bordered a flight back to Italy in light of the events.
“A hope for Italian volleyball”
Many comments from the world of sport and beyond, to gather around the pain of the family and the team for the serious loss suffered. Among these also Mauro Berruto (in the photo), volleyball coach as well as politician, who wanted to remember her in the chamber of deputies as follows: “I have no words, he was a hope for Italian volleyball”.
Stella Nervini pays tribute
“I’ll see you again in every jump, one of those that leave you speechless, I’ll see you again in every roar after a dunk, I’ll always see you next to me in reception, my goodness what a disaster your reception. I’ll see you again in every movie we’ve seen together. I will see you again in your favorite Thegiornalisti album, just the one I hated. You were my thorn in my side and always will be,” the words of Stella Nervini, former teammate of the national youth teams, reported by Eurosport.
The fragility of young athletes
Of course, the possibility that Julia Ituma took her own life leaves room for a lot of questions about the issues athletes who compete at the highest levels face, especially those as young as she is.
A big dream
Julia Ituma had a big dream, to become a top-level volleyball player and she was on the right track to achieve it. Born in Milan in 2004 to Nigerian parents, she arrived at Igor Novara after spending three years at Club Italia, the federal team that competes in the A2 league championship.
A national call up was waiting
At 15 she was 192 cm tall, an age at which she was already able to jump 3.35 meters – a height impossible to reach even for top-level players. She played the role of opposite, after an initial phase as a spiker: the young player was now considered by many to be the next opposite for the national team.
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