Go to content

Italian masters artistic swimmer Giorgio Canale: In the name of world and European champion Minisini

At the European Masters Aquatics Championships in Rome, Italian Giorgio Canale will perform in the mixed technical and free duet events paired with his sister Giorgia. Born in Verona where he lives, he is a 47-year-old architect with a long-standing passion for water and artistic swimming. Who knows if he will become the masters king of artistic swimming as Giorgio Minisini was the one for the European championships.

How did your relationship with water come about?
"My mother is a swimming instructor, so basically in my family we were born in the water; my sister also followed a competitive career in artistic swimming."

Did you follow her in training and competition?
"Yes, always, both in training and competition. I used to prepare the musical bases for the whole team. It's a passion we cultivate in our family and it got us all involved. My mother was also my sister's coach, and trainings and competitions were always an opportunity to be together."

When did you decide to get into the water as well?
"Already at the age of 10, I was swimming in the lane next to my sister, then before the quarantine for Covid, we discovered the Masters world and decided to give it a try. So my sister and I, coached by our mother, entered the summer Masters championships in Riccione."

Which sports club are you registered with and registered for Roma 2022?
"We are registered with Team Sport Isola, the club where my mother coaches. I would also like to thank our club that fully supports us in this project that is also like a game."

We are happy that they support you in this difficult time even for the high-cost maintenance of sporting facilities. "They are amazing. They provide us with uniforms, they handle registration for competitions, we receive so much space for training in the water, and we are proud to represent them at Roma 2022."

How often do you train?
"We started considering to increase our weekly sessions after this experience in Rome. At the moment we manage to train once a week and together with our club we are trying to create a masters group composed of men and women."

You train with your sister and your mother follows you, do you happen to have arguments?
"No arguing, no (laughs); my sister often tells me, "finally you understand how difficult it is to have a mom as a coach". She is right, we are always the children and it is not easy to compliment or blame. However, as said, it is just an opportunity to be together as a family and have fun. Let's say we are fulfilling a dream that seemed impossible in the 1990s."

Has the perception towards men practising this discipline changed over time?
"Yes, very much. We know very well that it is a sport that originated in the women's field like rhythmic gymnastics and like dancing even before that. I always give an example: many years ago even for dancers there was a prejudice, but now, thanks also to TV showoman Maria De Filippi, they are considered "cool" and many young people are approaching that discipline. I hope it happens in artistic swimming as well."

Do you think the success of the European championships in Rome will increase the recruitment of new kids? "I'm sure it will. Yesterday, for example, we were training as usual and we saw a group of curious kids. They asked us questions and we were very pleased."

What would you tell a kid who wants to start artistic swimming? "Be prepared to do a strenuous sport."

Speaking of Roma 2022, did you follow the competitions? "I followed all the artistic swimming competitions and many of the diving events. The Azzurri were extraordinary. I had already written to Giorgio Minisini many years ago because I went to see one of the first championships with the mixed duet and sent him many compliments. Now seeing the satisfaction in his eyes gives me joy and the knowledge that there is finally a discipline with male and female athletes. I was also happy to see Paola Celli or Roberta Farinelli rejoicing, who were in the national team with my sister and whom I have known since they were young."

Which events will you compete in at Roma 2022? "(I will compete in the) Mixed doubles, technical and free events."

You have the same name as Italian world and European champion Giorgio Minisini. Do you have the ambition to become like him the king of the Masters artistic swimming?
"I'm honest, I went to spy who will be competing and the competition is very tough. It's ironic this same-name thing. Clearly I would be very proud if I could emulate him albeit in a different context. Giorgio is great. He started on an extraordinary journey and his real strength was that he carried on. I believe in him a lot and his career is still long, I hope to meet him at these European championships."

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on whatsapp
Share on email