Name: Silvia Zennaro
Years in the sport: 22 (started at 6 years old)
How did you get started in your sailing?
My dad loves sailing so he taught me when I was really young. I sailed with him when I was 2 years old and at 6 we sailed together at first regatta and we won. After that, he bought me an Optimist and I started sailing alone.
Goals for this year?
My goal for 2018 is the World Championship in Aarhus (Denmark) in August. It’s really important because there we can take the spot for Italy for the Olympics in Tokyo 2020.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
Maybe sailing laser again.
I think that Lindsey Vonn could be my favourite athlete because shes failed many times and then becomes stronger every time.
What has been your biggest challenge as an athlete and how did you overcome it?
When I was 18 I had a problem with my knees, I thought that I had to stop. I saw a lot of doctors until I found a solution, I fixed my problem and then I could sail again.
The best advice that you have been given?
The best one is that you can rely only on yourself and don’t give up (NEVER), even if you are disappointed from someone or something.
If you were not an athlete, what would you be doing?
I think I pharmacist. I just graduated on the 20th of October!
I like reading and I love travelling (to visit not for competition haha).
I read a lot of books but I can’t say what is the best one.
What does a typical day of training look like?
If you want to perform at sailing you have to have a really complete physical preparation. So usually you train 2 or 3 times for day doing a session of strength or circuits, 3 hours on water, and a cardio session like running, cycling or rowing.
Anything people be surprised to learn about you?
Even if people were scared about a storm, sometimes is really fun to sail during them because of strong wind and big waves to surf!
What is the funniest thing has happened to you/others while training?
Sometimes happens that you capsized, but if you think or you heard about some shark you became really fast to turn the boat and go up.
Any pre-competition rituals?
I don’t have a ritual!
Best movie and tv series?
Best movie: ME BEFORE YOU, and Tv series: Game of Thrones.
Favourite food while training?
When I train I like a good steak, but my favourite food is pizza and tiramisù (Sadly I don’t get to eat them very often!)
Results you’re most proud of?
I won one World Championship in 2011, but it wasn’t an Olympic class.
Participating in the Olympics in Rio 2016.
I won one gold and one bronze medal in two important international regattas this year.
What inspires you?
I am inspired by my passion for sailing, from enjoying and from my will to improve myself.
Do you have a saying or motto you live by?
Never give up!
What do you enjoy most about your sport?
When it’s strong wind and the boat is faster.
Advise that you have for someone starting the sport?
It’s an amazing sport because you are in the middle of nature, in the middle of the sea. You have to understand where the wind is going to arrive. When you are out and doing this you feel complete freedom!
What is the most crucial part of your training?
When it’s too cold or too hot. You can’t repair much and you have to train.
Anyone you would like to thank?
I want to say thanks to my Family and Friends, to my coach, to Italian Sailing Federation, to Fiamme Gialle and at all the people that give me a lot of motivation and that believe in me.