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Athletes

Ona
Carbonell
SpainSpain, ESP
Artistic Swimming

Biography

Further Personal Information

Date of birth
05 June 1990
Family
Partner Pablo Ibanez
Residence
Barcelona, ESP
Languages
Catalan, English, Spanish
Higher education
Design, Fashion Design - School of Design [ESDI]: Barcelona, ESP

Sport Specific Information

When and where did you begin this sport?
She took up the sport at age 10, when she switched from gymnastics. Her first club was CN Kallipollis in Barcelona, Spain.
Why this sport?
She thought it was a good way to combine the artistic component of gymnastics with swimming.

General Interest

Nicknames
Mermaid of Barcelona (rio2016.com, 03 Mar 2016)
Memorable sporting achievement
Winning silver in duet at the 2012 Olympic Games in London. (Facebook page, 05 Dec 2018)
Sporting philosophy / motto
"The main thing in elite sport is knowing what limits you can overcome with effort and dedication. It's a lesson that you can also apply to your everyday life. But sport also teaches you other valuable lessons like discipline, responsibility and teamwork." (proad.csd.gob.es, 01 Jan 2013)
Awards and honours
In 2013 and 2017 she was named Catalan Female Athlete of the Year in Spain. (beteve.cat, 24 Jan 2018; onacarbonell90.com, 2014)
Other information
HIATUS
In September 2019 she announced that she was taking some time away from competition and would not compete at the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo. She wanted to spend more time with two members of her family, who were experiencing health issues. "My first participation at the Olympic Games is ingrained in my memory. It was in London in 2012, and it was one of the most special moments of my life. It was a little girl's dream that came true and I also was lucky enough to repeat the experience four years later in Rio de Janeiro. Nevertheless, this year, at the start of a new Olympic challenge, I'm faced with a different personal situation. After much meditation with my family, and carefully talking and assessing the situation with my coach and later with the rest of my team, I've decided it's time to take a step aside." (marca.com, 07 Oct 2019; elpais.com, 21 Sep 2019)

SYNCHRONIZED WITH COACH
She claims the Spanish artistic swimming team at the 2019 World Championships in Gwangju, Republic of Korea, was the best she has ever competed with and that a lot of the credit goes to the coach, Mayuko Fujiki. "For a long time Mayu was like a mother to me. She's the coach I've been with the longest in my life. She has evolved a lot and has absorbed all of the good things from different schools in Japan, the United States of America, Spain and China. She is very demanding, but with her you're always calm because you know the path you are going to take is the right one. As an athlete that is good, you suffer, but you know that it's for something, everything is calculated. She helps a lot with the choreographies. With Mayu we speak the same language. I feel very supported by the team, for me it's the best team I've been with because it's a team in every sense of the word." (efe.com, 11 Jul 2019)

BOOKS
In 2016 she released a book titled 'Three Minutes, Forty Seconds', in which she talks about her life as an athlete in her first 16 years in the sport. The title is a reference to the length of her duet routine at the 2012 Olympic Games in London, where she won a silver medal. In 2019 she published another book titled 'Elena Sirena' [Elena the Mermaid], which is a series of short stories for children related to her life experiences. "I've had an artistic swimming summer camp and lots of girls aged six to 17 years old come from all over the world. They love to listen to my stories and this book is a nice and educational way to say, 'You're not alone, sport isn't easy, but it's great'. I'm already working on a second book." (elmundo.es, 26 May 2019; sport.es, 14 Sep 2016; elpais.com, 14 Sep 2016)

DESIGNER
In 2017 she launched a line of swimsuits and bikinis with a sportswear company. She has also designed her own competition swimsuits for the world championships, European championships and Olympic Games. In addition she has worked as a model for Spanish designer Antonio Miro. (efe.es, 11 Jun 2017; revistaspgo.com, 01 Sep 2016)

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