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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
Spain
Occupation
Athlete, Student, Writer
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.
Club / Team
CN Sabadell: Spain
Name of coach
Ariadna Mestre [club]; Mayuko Fujiki [national], JPN
Training Regime
She trains for up to nine hours a day at the High Performance Centre in Sant Cugat del Valles, Spain.

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)
Ambitions
To compete at the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo. (elperiodico.com, 08 May 2018)
Other information
TAKING A BREAK
She took a break from the sport in 2018. Although she continued training she did not enter any major competitions, which allowed her time to take part in other activities such as making an appearance on a reality television cooking show. "I had talked about it with my coaches for many years but I couldn't find the right moment. The fact of not having a major competition is a mental rest. You get rid of that pressure of getting results and winning medals. I have taken a deep breath, I've recharged my batteries and now I have to do my best." (as.com, 30 Dec 2018)

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." (sport.es, 14 Sep 2016; elpais.com, 14 Sep 2016; elmundo.es, 26 May 2019)

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. (revistaspgo.com, 01 Sep 2016; efe.es, 11 Jun 2017)

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