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Athletes

Tania
Cagnotto
ItalyItaly, ITA
Diving

Biography

Further Personal Information

Date of birth
15 May 1985
Family
Husband Stefano, daughter Maya [2018]
Residence
Bolzano, ITA
Languages
English, Italian
Higher education
Nutrition - University of Houston: United States

Sport Specific Information

When and where did you begin this sport?
She began diving at age six in Bolzano, Italy.
Why this sport?
Her parents were divers and initially tried to encourage her to take up another sport. "When I made the first real dip in a swimming pool at age six, it seemed to me the most natural gesture in the world. Just like I was born to do that. Yet my parents had gone out of their way to help me choose another sport. They enrolled me in tennis lessons, they tried to make me fall in love with skiing. But I just wanted to dive. I wanted to imitate what they had done, my father and mother, and at the same time I was having fun like crazy."

International Debut

Year
2000
Competing for
Italy

General Interest

Nicknames
Fragolina (Athlete, 31 Jul 2007)
Hero / Idol
Russian diver Dmitri Sautin, Chinese diver Fu Mingxia. (Athlete, 31 Jul 2000)
Injuries
She suffered a muscle strain in late March 2013 in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, forcing her to miss the Italian championships the following month. (raisport.rai.it, 11 Apr 2013)

A motor scooter accident in May 2011 resulted in a hairline fracture to her right fibula and a fracture in her left wrist. (taniacagnottoweb.net, 14 Jul 2011)

She tore a ligament in her ankle in 2004. (Athlete, 31 Jul 2007)
Awards and honours
In 2009, 2013 and 2015 she was named the European Female Diver of the Year by the European Swimming Federation [LEN]. (FINA Aquatics World Magazine, 01 Mar 2010, swimswam.com, 02 Dec 2013, 07 Jan 2016)
Milestones
She became the first female Italian diver to be crowned world champion when she took gold in the 1m springboard at the 2015 World Championships in Kazan, Russian Federation. She was also the first female Italian diver to win a medal at the world championships, following her bronze in the 3m springboard event at the 2005 edition in Montreal, QC, Canada. (daospa.eu, 2015; SportsDeskOnline, 07 Dec 2018)
Famous relatives
Her father Giorgio Cagnotto is a coach and represented Italy in diving. He competed at four consecutive Olympic Games between 1964 and 1980, winning two silver and two bronze medals. Her mother Carmen Casteiner also represented Italy in diving, and competed at the 1976 Olympic Games in Montreal. (taniacagnottoweb.net, 14 Jul 2011; SportsDeskOnline, 11 Mar 2020)
Other information
RETIREMENT, RETURN AND SECOND RETIREMENT
She initially retired from diving after the 2017 Italian championships in order to start a family. She gave birth to her first child, Maya, in 2018, but was convinced to return to training in December 2018 by her Italian teammate Francesca Dallape. In August 2020 she announced her retirement for a second time after she became pregnant with her second child. "I said that around September [2020] I would decide whether or not to continue on my way to Tokyo [2020 Olympics]. It was a really difficult choice. On the one hand the desire to participate in my sixth Olympics as a mother with the great dream of carrying the Italian flag, and on the other hand the desire to expand the family. Yes, this time I chose life, family and shortly after destiny wanted to give me a new life inside of me. I am already happy for my choice." (corrieredellosport.it, 07 Dec 2019; gazzetta.it, 05 Dec 2018; quotidiano.net; 05 Dec 2018; quotidiano.net, 12 May 2017; corrieredellosport.it, 09 Aug 2020; Instagram profile, 09 Aug 2020)

SCOOTER ACCIDENT
In May 2011 she was struck by a car while travelling on her motorised scooter to training in Bolzano, Italy. The accident resulted in a deep cut below her right knee and a fractured bone in her left wrist. Further scans revealed a hairline fracture in the fibula of her right leg, but no damage to the meniscus or cruciate ligaments. The damage to her wrist required surgery and several pins. Due to the accident she had to forego competing at the Grand Prix events in Rostock, Germany, and Bolzano, Italy. She returned to training two weeks before the 2011 World Championships in Shanghai, People's Republic of China, finishing with the bronze medal in the 1m springboard event. (taniacagnottoweb.net, 14 Jul 2011; dotswim.it, 05 Jun 2011; japantimes.co.jp, 20 Jul 2011)

MONTREAL REPEAT
Her bronze medal in the 3m springboard event at the 2005 World Championships in Montreal, QC, Canada, came 29 years after her father Giorgio had won a silver medal, also in the 3m springboard event, in the same city at the 1976 Olympic Games. The bronze was also the first world championships medal won by an Italian female diver. (Gazzetta, 23 Jul 2005; arenawaterinstinct.com, 27 Aug 2014)

BOOK
In 2018 she published a book called 'Oro, Argento, Tania' [Gold, Silver, Tania] in which she tells anecdotes about her career. "I did not want it to be an autobiography, but a lighter, enjoyable book. It is made up by many chapters in which I expose aspects of my life that had not been deeply known up until now." (vanityfair.it, 25 Jun 2018)