Youth in Focus - January 2014
Hailing from Italy's southern city of Naples, Giovanni Abagnale took up rowing when he was 14 years old. Abagnale's high school teacher encouraged him to row but before that swimming and basketball was Abagnale's chosen sport. "I chose rowing as a sport because it makes me feel alive," says Abagnale. "When I row I'm fine, I'm in my world." Abagnale does not just feel alive, he wins medals and at all three World Rowing Junior Championships that he has been part of Abagnale has medalled. At the 2011 and 2012 World Rowing Junior Championships Abagnale won gold in the men's eight and then last year he took silver in the men's four.
Abagnale is an Italian rower to watch out for.
My first international race ... was in Turin, Italy in February 2011, a 6km race in the junior men's eight. We represented Italy and we won.
The best thing about racing at the Junior Worlds is ... getting to know people from around the world and other lifestyles and ideas of life.
I am motivated by ... seeing the senior World Champions race. I want to race against them because they are the best, the top. That motivates me the most.
I am studying ... management of tourism businesses in Naples.
A typical day is ... I wake up at 5:30am and I go to training. I finish at 8:30am and I come back home where I have breakfast and then I study. In the afternoon I go to training. In the evening I stay with my friends and when it's possible with my girlfriend.
If I was an animal I would be ... a jaguar because it's fast, powerful and agile.
My dream crew would include ... Agostino Abbagnale.
Before I race I always ... listening to music and stay with my crew and talk with them.
I like being tall because ... it may be useful for rowing.