Rising Star - June 2013
A fast five minutes with Mario Paonessa
Mario Paonessa is one of a new generation of talented Italian rowers. At just 21 years old, Mario made his debut at the London 2012 Olympic Games in his nation's men's four. He had found his way there having successfully climbed his way through the ranks of junior and under 23 level competition. This determined Italian is certainly going to be a name to watch for the future, and so he has been named as World Rowing's Rising Star for June 2013.
I row because... it has been my passion since I was nine years old. My father took me to a rowing session – he used to row in the coxed pair and started at smaller regattas. I immediately fell in love with this sport. Since I’m living (and rowing) in Napoli rowing means being on the fresh air and on the sea which I like.
My sporting hero is…well, in every sport you have different sporting heroes, but in rowing it’s probably Giuseppe Abbagnale.
On the erg I listen to…house music.
My favourite training session is…I like everything that has to do with using explosive strength / power.
My least favourite training session is…any kind of winter training. Although, erg is fine- thanks to house music.
My toughest race…maybe not the toughest but the worst one was the final at the World Rowing Championships in Karapiro in 2010. We struggled a lot with the wind and were really disappointed after the race.
My best race…the Olympics. Apart from the Olympic atmosphere, which was very special, we had really good races together as a crew. We had grown and developed together during the months and events before and when I watch the races again now I still think “Wow, we achieved a lot!”
My favourite food is...being from Naples I probably HAVE to say pizza, although I really love sweets. And Nutella!
My favourite hobby (apart from rowing) is...well, being a rower you usually don’t have much free time to do any other hobby and rowing of course takes priority, but I really like apnea diving. I live close to the sea and sometimes I go out on my boat for a diving tour.
My favourite tv programme is…I don´t watch much TV.
2k or 5k on the ergo? Definitely 2k!
My favourite boat to row is…the coxless four.