102-year-old Valentino Rossi fan beats COVID-19

A Valentino Rossi fan who is more than a century old has recovered from COVID-19

Italica Grondona

A 102-year-old grandmother from Genova has overcome the COVID-19 virus and received a special gift on leaving hospital from her idol Valentino Rossi as a bonus.

On being released from San Martino hospital in Genova before Easter, where it is reported she was being treated for the Coronavirus for three weeks, she received a phone call from the fastest ‘Doctor’ of them all to wish Italica Grondona well

On her answering the phone, Rossi is reported to have said:

“Hello? This is Valentino Rossi. Yes, the rider. I would like to express my congratulations. You are tougher than me, a true racer. If I had your energy, I would continue to compete for 20 more years. I’d like to invite you to a MotoGP race, when the championship will restart, so you can confess to me your secret.”

Speaking after the call, she said shehad expressed the wish to know the Doctor, once I would have returned home,”

Italica is now something of a symobol of hope in a nation was one of the first to feel the shockwave of tragedy that the COVID-19 virus brings with it.

Giovanni Toti, the president of the Liguria Region, said:

“Nonna [grandmother] Lina, as everyone calls her, is a symbol of hope for all of us. Aged 102, she is an example of how everyone is treated, no matter the age or the condition. I wanted to personally call her. She thanked me saying that she has been treated well during her time in the hospital and her words gave me an incredible energy to overcome this difficult time. Life is precious and Italica is an example of a positive and strong person who loves life. With her name ‘Italica,’ derived from Italy, she is a great page of our history and now the world knows her as a Highlander.”