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Athletes

Ana Marcela
Cunha
BrazilBrazil, BRA
Open water

Biography

Further Personal Information

Date of birth
23 March 1992
Family
Partner Diana
Residence
Rio de Janeiro, BRA
Occupation
Athlete, Serves in the Navy
Languages
English, Portuguese
Higher education
Physical Education - University of Santa Cecilia [Unisanta]: Brazil

Sport Specific Information

When and where did you begin this sport?
She took up swimming at age two and began open water swimming at age 14.
Why this sport?
There was a pool at her school.
Club / Team
Universidade Santa Cecilia [Unisanta]: Santos, BRA
Name of coach
Fernando Possenti [personal], from 2017
Training Regime
She trains at the Maria Lenk National Training Centre in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

General Interest

Hero / Idol
Brazilian Formula One driver Ayrton Senna. (bandnewsfm.com.br, 21 May 2019)
Injuries
She underwent surgery to remove her spleen in October 2016 due to an autoimmune disease she was diagnosed with earlier that year. She took two months off from training and returned to full training in January 2017. (uol.com.br, 21 Oct 2016; swimswam.com, 17 Jul 2017)
Superstitions / Rituals / Beliefs
Before major international competitions she like to invent a new hairstyle. (uol.com.br, 26 Mar 2016)
Sporting philosophy / motto
"When you have clear goals, it is easier to train and swim behind them. Therefore I believe in taking it step by step." (sesisp.org.br, 09 Sep 2014)
Awards and honours
In 2019 she was recipient of the Braz Cubas Honour Medal of Merit from the city of Santos, Brazil. (anamarcela.com.br, 16 Oct 2019)

She was named Female Open Water Swimmer of the Year in 2019 by Swimming World Magazine. (swimmingworldmagazine.com, 02 Nov 2019)

In 2019 she was inducted into the International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame [IMSHOF]. (sportv.globo.com, 27 Mar 2019)

In 2010, 2014, 2015, 2017 and 2018 she was named Female Open Water Swimmer of the Year by the International Swimming Federation [FINA]. (swimmingworldmagazine.com, 16 Oct 2018; fina.org, 02 Dec 2017)

She was named Female Athlete of the Year by the Brazilian Olympic Committee [COB] in 2015 and 2018. (anamarcela.com.br, 18 Dec 2015; ativo.com, 19 Dec 2018)

In 2019 she was named Open Water Swimmer of the Year by the Brazilian Olympic Committee [COB] for the eighth time. (olharolimpico.blogosfera.uol.com.br, 02 Nov 2019)
Famous relatives
Her partner Diana Abla has represented Brazil in water polo international competitions. (globoesporte.globo.com, 15 Aug 2019)
Ambitions
To win a medal at the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo. (Go Outside YouTube channel, 17 Jun 2019)
Other information
CHALLENGE
She says she would like to cross the English Channel. "I have a dream as an open water swimmer, to cross the English Channel, one of the most demanding challenges. You, alone on the sea, with only a boat at your side, it is a challenge. It demands a different mental and physical training. It is you against yourself." (Go Outside YouTube channel, 17 Jun 2019)

FURTHER PLANS
She plans to establish the Ana Marcela Institute, with which she wants to help people in need in the same way as her idol, late Formula One driver Ayrton Senna. "He was an idol for all of us. Maybe I won't be as big as him but I hope I can help people with my own name." (bandnewsfm.com.br, 21 May 2019)