Rising Star - November 2014
At the age of 18 Chiara Ondoli had already made Italy's senior national team. Ondoli was selected for the women's four and raced to eighth at this year's World Rowing Championships in Amsterdam. Ondoli worked her way into this position after getting in a boat at the age of 12 and making it into the junior national team four years later. In 2012, Ondoli found her first international medal success with a bronze in the junior women's eight. She followed this up a year later by winning at the 2013 World Rowing Junior Championships in the women's quadruple sculls. As Ondoli continues on the fast track to success she took a few minutes out of study and training to be World Rowing's Rising Star for November 2014.
I row because… I love the feeling of flowing water under my boat and I like staying in contact with the nature. But I row especially because I think rowing is not only a sport, but a real and proper lifestyle and I have learned so much from it.
If I wasn't rowing my sport would be… I guess it would be volleyball, because before starting rowing I played volleyball for six years and then I decided to go on with rowing.
My favourite boat to row is… the four and the quadruple sculls. But I believe that rowing in an eight and having the chance to be part of a well-combined crew, fast and perfectly synchronized, is just something really fantastic.
A typical day is… divided between training sessions, study and sometimes helping my parents in their garden.
My favourite regatta venue is… outside of Italy it is Lake Galve in Trakai (Lithuania), where I won a gold medal last year during the World Rowing Junior Championships and also because of the castle which makes it a very memorable place. Here in Italy the most beautiful venue for me is the Idroscalo in Milan.
The rowing athlete/crew I am most a fan of at the moment is… of course the Kiwi men’s pair, they are the best.
What I most liked about junior competition was… the strong spirit of cohesion and the friendship in the team established since the pre-competition camp and training sessions, and the funny sensation felt while racing for the first time in international competitions.
The coolest thing I find about under-23 competition is… this year the coolest thing was having the opportunity to race in my own country, in Varese, which is my native province.
What I learned most from competing at senior level is… the importance of always being focused, working hard and keeping attention at every single minute because this can make the difference. I can say that participating at the World Rowing Championships in Amsterdam this year was a wonderful and fantastic experience for me.
When I am not rowing, I… like to relax on the sofa and watch TV with my little sister and I love so much going out with my friends or having a drink with them.
I study…English language for now. Because my dream is to go to the USA so I can row and attend University there.
My favourite food is… being an Italian girl, I obviously love all of the Italian food, but I really like sushi too.
My non-rowing friends think I’m… a canoeist! Because here in Italy rowing is not a really well known sport and many times it is confused with canoeing.
In ten years’ time I will… I don’t really know. I would like have a good career in work and at the same time in the sport.