Martino Gorretti is an Italian lightweight rower, current 2019 World champion and a dual Olympian. He has represented Italy at the World Rowing Championships and World Cups from 2005 until 2019. He is a five-time world champion at senior level and has won three titles in Italian lightweight eights. In 2019 Martino won the lightweight single scull world title. He also finished 4th in the Olympics in Rio 2016 and at London 2012. We met up with Martino at Henley Royal Regatta 2019 and he said:
I’m from Mandello, a small town on lake Como famous for the MOTO GUZZI motorbike factory. I was having a dream when i was 15 and to became an NBA player. Unfortunately I was not tall enough, but my coach was telling me that I was tough and that I was a worker… I was not thinking back then that this was a compliment.
I’m 34 years old and a professional rower from Fiamme Oro (italian Police). I live travelling from Italy to the Netherlands, because my girlfriend is also a rower, from the Dutch team.
I started rowing late, when i was 18 because i was not good enough for NBA. I first started because in Mandello, we have more than 10 Olympic medalists and more than 30 world champion medals since 1900 or so, and for a small town like Mandello is a lot. Rowing is the SPORT to do at least once, and I was good at my first try so i’m still here.
What is your best result and proudest achievement?
I think this World Championship gold medal (pictured above) in the single sculls and my first IRONMAN, because i have achieved both by myself.
What has been the toughest/challenging race you have done? And why?
For sure my 2nd IRONMAN. I was not mentally prepared, and it was a difficult period in my life. I understood a lot about the power of my head… because i’ve finished it anyway.
What athletes have inspired you?
In rowing, Rob Waddell (NZL), but also Chris McCormak was one of my idols, not for a specific reason
What advice would you give to anyone who would like to start with rowing?
First learn the technique as good as you can, as that is the key to enjoy it fully, in a sport which is about feeling and not about power.
You can follow Martino Goretti on his Instagram profile below.