Luca Dotto Opens Up About Death of His Mother On Brett Hawke Podcast

Photo Courtesy: Melissa Lundie

Italian swimmer Luca Dotto opened up about the recent death of his mother on Brett Hawke’s podcast as she passed away after a battle with brain cancer. Dotto is currently in Rome so he can remain close to his family.

Dotto got into swimming at age 6 (8:50) as he was influenced by his mother to start the sport after hearing stories from the 1992 Olympics in Barcelona. In 1998, he was spotted by the national team coach to join the swim team at age 8, although he didn’t feel like he could be a good swimmer until he was 15 in 2005. Dotto went over his early years in the sport (14:00) and outlined a typical training week during his teenage years.

Luca Dotto went over why a lot of Italian swimmers don’t venture out to the United States to study under the NCAA system (17:00) and why he personally didn’t take the opportunity to move across the pond.

Dotto had a breakout year at the 2011 World Championships when he won the silver medal in the 50 freestyle behind Brazil’s Cesar Cielo (20:30) when he was just 21. He had also made the final in the 100 freestyle and placed seventh as it was his first World Championships final individually for his career. Leading into that meet Dotto was expecting to have a big meet but didn’t expect to win a medal (23:00).

Dotto and Hawke also argued over whether they limited themselves in their careers by never truly believing they could win gold medals at big meets, arguing that Dotto’s best time in the 100 freestyle was better than Alexander Popov’s (32:00) best, who was one of the best sprinters in history. They talk about the evolution of sprint swimming over the years (34:50) and how the 48 second barrier in the 100 freestyle has become surpassed so much whereas it was untouchable 15 years ago.

Luca Dotto talked about his difficult 2012 Olympics (41:00) where he didn’t make the semifinals in the 100 freestyle with a 22nd place finish and was 13th in the 50 free and out of the final. Dotto also worked as an Armani model (43:00) and he discussed how he was able to juggle that with his swimming career for five years.

Luca Dotto is still active in his career and he offered what he will be needing to do in order to be the best he can be at the Olympic Games (49:00). Dotto was 29th in the 50 freestyle at the 2019 World Championships and was fourth in the 4×100 freestyle relay representing Italy.

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