Biography of Ona Carbonell, Spanish swimmer, captain of the Spanish synchronized swimming team. She is the woman with the most medals in the history of the swimming world championships.
Childhood and family of Ona Carbonell
Ona Carbonell Ballestero was born in Barcelona, on June 5, 1990.
Her older brother, Max Carbonell Ballestero is two years older than her. The two are very close.
Ona Carbonell’s parents are doctors. Jordi Carbonell is a rheumatologist. Montserrat Ballestero is a traumatologist.
The family used to spend the summer in Menorca, since the parents and the two brothers liked being near the sea, swimming and taking a boat trip. When they returned from the boat rides, Ona often returned by swimming alongside the boat.
Ona Carbonell starts in swimming
When she was 10 years old, having practiced rhythmic gymnastics, Ona Carbonell enrolled in the Kallipolis Swimming Club.
This club contributes and has contributed a large number of swimmers to the Catalan and Spanish teams. Its swimmers have participated in Olympic games, world championships and European championships.
The Kallipolis club has been uninterrupted swimming champion in Spain for forty-seven years. (Kallipolis is a Greek city name, which means “beautiful city“)
When Ona Carbonell was a child, her parents found her sleeping in the “spagat” position, a leg opening in which the legs are extended in opposite directions forming an angle of 180º or even more between them.
This children’s detail reveals Ona Carbonell’s decision to excel in the sport she intended to practice at a level of excellence.
From the age of 14 she was part of the “Spanish National Synchronized Swimming Team”. Ona Carbonell trained at the High Performance Center, in Sant Cugat.
First world competitions of Ona Carbonell
At the age of 17, Ona Carbonell began to win medals in synchronized swimming competitions, worldwide.
At the 2007 World Championship, she won a silver and a bronze medal.
The following year, at the 2008 Junior World Championship, Ona Carbonell returned to Spain with a bronze medal and two silver medals.
In the same year, this time at the 2008 European Junior Championship, Ona Carbonell was already among the greats in swimming and won two gold and three silver medals.
Ona Carbonell was already unstoppable. Her great physical qualities, great will power and a strong training were crowned with a gold medal and two silver medals in the 2009 World Championship.
At the 2010 European Championship, she won 3 silver medals. Ona Carbonell competed in a duo accompanied by Andrea Fuentes.
At the 2011 World Championship, the young Ona Carbonell won 4 bronze medals.
Ona Carbonell competitions in 2012 and 2013
Ona Carbonell participated in the London 2012 Olympic Games, in the two synchronized swimming olympic events.
In the duo modality, along with Andrea Fuentes, she won the silver medal; in the team mode, Ona Carbonell won the bronze medal.
Also in 2012, at the 2012 European Championship, Ona Carbonell won 2 gold medals and one silver medal. This time she had Andrea Fuentes as a teammate.
At the XV World Swimming Championship, held in Barcelona, in 2013, Ona Carbonell competed in free solo.
Their performance was developed accompanied by the same music that Montserrat Caballé and Freddie Mercury delighted everyone at the 1992 Barcelona Olympics.
The famous soprano Montserrat Caballé supervised the choreography. On this great occasion, Ona Carbonell won the bronze medal.
For the technical duo and free duo modalities, in this 2013 World Cup in Barcelona, Ona Carbonell and Margalida Crespí won a bronze medal in both modalities.
Ona Carbonell competitions in 2014 and 2015
In 2014, as a consequence of Margalida Crespí’s hip operation, Ona Carbonell swam with Paula Klamburg at the European in Berlin.
The Spanish swimmers won 2 bronze medals and 2 silver medals. It was definitely clear that Spanish athletes were among the best in the world in swimming.
At the Kazan World Championship 2015, Ona Carbonell had two teammates: Paula Klamburg and Clara Camacho.
2,651 athletes from 190 countries participated in this championship, held in Russia, in the six water disciplines: swimming, synchronized swimming, open water swimming, jumps, high-altitude jumps and water polo.
Ona Carbonell and her companions were awarded bronze and silver medals. A great merit if you consider the very high level of European and Asian competitors.
Ona Carbonell wins in recent years
- 2 silver medals in the World Championship 2017 in the modality of technical only and free solo.
- 1 bronze medal in the World Championship 2019 in the special routine modality.
- 2 silver medals at the 2019 World Championship in the technical only and free solo mode.
The success in Ona Carbonell’s sports life lies in her physical skills, mental stability, family support and the iron discipline that is imposed in training.
The 23 medals hanging in her room represent the highest level that Spanish swimming has reached thanks to Ona Carbonell, her family and her swimming club.
Ona Carbonell’s life also moves around art. Design and fashion are of great interest to her and she has hinted that they may be her profession in the near future.
Other awards that Ona Carbonell has received
In 2013, Ona Carbonell received the Silver Medal of the Royal Order of Sports Merit.
The Elda Footwear Museum awarded her the award for the Best Women’s Road in Spain 2018.
Ona Carbonell showed that she wins in everything she sets out to do, when she won the famous Spanish television contest “Masterchef” in 2018, defeating the famous and popular actress Paz Vega in the final.
Ona Carbonell retires from professional swimming
In September 2019, when she was 29 years old, the most honored athlete in the history of Spanish swimming, announced her withdrawal from synchronized swimming.
Her desire to be a mother and to be able to dedicate more time to her family decided her to make this difficult decision.
She retired after having accomplished the feat of taking 23 medals at world swimming championships.
Ona Carbonell is one of the most outstanding young Spanish women who have triumphed internationally in swimming. Among them, it is worth highlighting Gemma Mengual, Teresa Perales and Mireia Belmonte.