Birthdate4 Apr 1998
Place of residence
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Rising Star - June 2017
Caterina di Fonzo found out about rowing as a seven-year-old when she went to the local rowing club to use the swimming pool. Three years later di Fonzo took up rowing improving to the level of Italian junior national team member. Di Fonzo started off in the pair and in 2016 became the junior World Champion. Di Fonzo then accelerated into the senior national team racing in her country’s women’s four a year later.
I discovered rowing… in 2005 when I went down to my local rowing club but only as a member so I could use the swimming pool. While I was there I saw people going out on the lake in boats, this made me very curious. In September 2008, the trainer of the junior team asked me if I would like to have a go at rowing. I immediately accepted and after the first time I went out in a boat I was hooked.
If I was not rowing, my sport would be… cycling, because I have always liked riding my bike. I go to school every day by bike - it is only a five-minute cycle but it wakes me up and I enjoy speeding along.
What keeps me rowing is… a very hard question to answer. There are so many reasons but I think if I had to choose it would be the atmosphere - the atmosphere that there is at the races, at training camps and even in the club. The atmosphere that brings people together, that gives friends for life. I think it is so wonderful to see so many people so passionate about what they do and I think that is one of my biggest drives, passion.
The result that I am most proud of so far… has to be the World Rowing Junior Championships in Rotterdam in 2016 where I won the women's pair with my partner Aisha Rocek. It was the most rewarding race that I have ever done because we were rowing against the best in the world and I pushed myself and Aisha to our limits.
I like to row in the pair because… it has been a boat that I have been rowing in for some time now, with different people but always trying to make the boat go at its best. I think that the connection that you have in a pair with your partner is probably the strongest of all the boats. Knowing their movements, the way they think and the way they race is key.
The qualities I most appreciate in my teammate are… her determination, that also pushes me to do even more so that we can get better together and reach levels that I don't know even exist! I also appreciate how much fun we have together. When we train together we always have fun, we are serious when we have to be but there are also a lot of laughs that make things so much easier. We get along very well even though sometimes we get on each other's nerves but that's only because we are ALWAYS together.
My least favorite training session is… four times 4000m on the erg during the winter. Any session on the erg in general is not my favorite thing to do.
My favorite training session is… maximum 1000m in a boat. Because it is a fast-training session and we race against people from the club and it is fun to see who wins.
On the erg, my best score so far is… 7:30 over 2000m.
My sporting heroes are… Helen Glover and Heather Stanning. I look up to them because of the grace with which they row even when putting so much power into ever stroke. One day I would like to be able to row against them and see whether I'd be able to keep up with them.
A typical day… starts off with waking up at 7:15, getting ready, having breakfast and going to school. School starts at 8:00 and finishes at 13:00. After school I come home and have lunch, most of the time with my mum, my sister and my boyfriend. After that I have to study for school or if I don't have any homework (not normally) I have a nap. Then at 16:30 I get ready to go to training in Como which is where I live or at a lake (Pusiano) that is about 15-20 minutes from my house. I train for about two hours to two and a half hours. Then I have a shower, come home and have dinner, most of the time after dinner I have to continue studying until late hours in the night for the next day. But when I can, I look at my phone for some time or maybe watch TV. I normally go to bed around midnight.
My non-rowing friends think… I am a bit crazy. Lots of them don't understand what it is like to have such a big passion and what you will do to continue doing it even if it means missing out on a few things.
I balance schoolwork with training by… studying and working when I have time - all of the time that I have during the day and as long as I can into the night. It is hard but you can manage to balance everything.
Outside of rowing, I… have my school friends when I want to have a night out or even just to talk to. I also have a boyfriend who rows as well but at a lower level.
In my fridge you will always find… mayonnaise. I love mayonnaise with everything I eat.
If I could have dinner with any three people in the world… they would be my boyfriend and my two best friends. Because I am very attached to them and if I had the chance I would always choose them.
If I was an animal I would be… a marine turtle because I would like to be able to carry my home around on my back and could always take around the things that mean the most to me. Also because I would have the will power to swim for miles to reach where I need to go, which is my mentality in life: to reach my objectives I have to go the extra mile.
The best thing in life right now is… being able to spend my free time with my boyfriend and my family, because they are the most important things in my life.