Peppijna Dalli’s interest in sports sparked when she started gymnastics at the age of three. Since then, she tried out basketball, football, volleyball, netball, hockey, rock climbing, orienteering, trampoline and most recently athletics.
However, her heart was always only drawn to gymnastics and athletics. She has competitively participated in gymnastics for 15 years, 10 of which representing Malta as a part of the national team. She competed internationally in many large events such as the Commonwealth Games, European Championships, Small Nation Games twice (two silver medals). In her last competition was her 26th in the World Gymnastics Championships in 2015. These achievements would not be anywhere near possible if it weren’t for her coach and master Mr Albert Chun, who recently passed away in May 2018.
Eve: You have succeeded in gymnastics, then switched to a completely different sport – track and field athletics. Why?
Peppijna Dalli: Although it sounds different, gymnastics has given me such a strong backbone for Pole Vault. The jump for me is purely gymnastics – all I had to fix is the run. I switched because I felt like I reached my peak and didn’t want to look back. Ultimately every athlete’s dream is the Olympic Games, whether it’s in gymnastics or athletics – an Olympian is an Olympian. Their journey will always involve a huge amount of work and many tough experiences that created fire within them. It was time for me to start a new chapter while remaining on the same book.
Eve: What do you consider to be your greatest achievement in athletics so far?
PD: I’ve already taken part in various competitions in these last two years of athletics and there is so much I still need to learn. My greatest achievement so far is winning the European Team Championships (3rd division) in 2017.
Eve: What do you enjoy doing during your time off?
PD: I am a person of many hobbies. Most of all I love sculpting with clay and mod rock, and my dream job is and will always be owning my own gallery.
Eve: What’s the most expensive thing you’ve ever bought?
PD: The most expensive thing I’ve ever bought is most probably a plane ticket.
Eve: If you could have a superpower, what would it be?
PD: I think the ability to control time would be a huge asset when it comes to helping both myself and people I love. Flying would sure make my life as an athlete easier, but then again I wouldn’t work for the achievements myself and hence I won’t appreciate them as much.
To be immortal would certainly be interesting because I would really want to know how everything would change with time. Look at the development of new Olympic sports, new technology (flying cars), new architecture. I feel like we know so much yet so little. However, if I really had to pick a superpower it would surely be the ability to change how people think. So many people disagree simply because they cannot understand each other. Minimising that will help in so many situations.