Lucia Santiago, FINA Press Correspondent from Spain

"After all these years I want to pay a tribute for what sport has given to me. So facing my seventh World Championship and after 15 years in the elite of artistic swimming, I have decided to bet on something different, new and difficult", Ona Carbonell (Barcelona, 1990) announced.
She will present at the eighth leg of the FINA Artistic Swimming World Series, which will be held in Barcelona from 31st May to 2nd June, a new solo technical routine, done with the words of Nelson Mandela. Ona's purpose is not only to put her exercise "at the highest technical level" but also "at the highest human level".

Mandela said that "sport has the power to change the world"."It has the power to inspire. It has the power to unite people in a way that little else does. It speaks to youth in a language they understand. Sport can create hope", he continued.

In an interview, Ona Carbonell talks about sport, values and her ambition of leaving a legacy to inspire next generations.

Q: You will compete in Barcelona, your city. Will it be a special weekend for you?

A: Yes, I am really excited to compete at home. People who are close to me will be able to see me. They usually watch me on TV and obviously it's not the same. I know that in Barcelona we will live some special days and that many people will support us.

Q: Do you feel more pressure and desire to do a good competition?

A: I feel maybe more pressure because it is the penultimate competition before the World Championship and, for me in particular, because I present two new solos. One of them, the technician, is very special. It is very different from what I have done before. It is a great challenge and first impression is important.

Q: What do you expect from yourself?

A: I have an important background behind me, it's true; but at the same time I also intend to give the one hundred percent and try to go for the top. Each competition counts and we want to give a good image. We are working hard.

Q: Where do you find your motivation?

A: I think that I can improve. I still have to learn a lot from this sport. Maybe I do not have the same motivation as a girl that have just entered the national team, but experience is a grade and I take it differently. My motivation is to grow: as an athlete, as a person and to give the maximum to my team and to this sport.

Q: Do you think about the legacy you will leave and the multitude of medals you have already won?

A: The legacy is demonstrated in every second, in every minute, in every step you take. The legacy is not about medals. Obviously, I look for the best result in every competition, but I also think that building a legacy means being an exemplary sportswoman out of the water too. It is important to arrive on time, to be educated, to be humble, to know how to work in a team, to help my colleagues and my coaches... It is my legacy. I have learned values from my coaches. Mayu, for example, tells me: ‘You must be exemplary out of the water'. This is very important. There are many things that I have learnt during my career. We talk about discipline, work or humility. The baggage has also helped me to relativize when things do not go well enough.