1 May 2021
Sad news reaches the rowing world that Italian oarsman Filippo Mondelli has died, aged 26.
The Italian Olympic Committee (CONI) announced on Thursday that Italian rower Filippo Mondelli had died. It was reported in February 2020 that Mondelli was suffering from bone cancer in one of his legs.
Mondelli, together with Andrea Panizza, Luca Rambaldi and Giacomo Gentili, became world champions in the quadruple sculls in 2018, the same year they became European champions. The crew had qualified Italy in the boat class for the Tokyo Games this summer.
The previous year, Mondelli and Rambaldi had become the European champions in the double sculls.
“Italian sport, stunned, mourns the untimely death of Filippo Mondelli aged 26 after a long battle with a bone pathology, the Italian Olympic Committee said in a statement. The Committee’s President Giovanni Malago praised Mondelli as “a great champion, both on and off the water, an example of skill and courage, a standard-bearer of the values that make the sporting world greats.”
On 13 April, Mondelli had been elected to CONI’s National Council.
“It’s a difficult moment for rowing, for me, for his crew mates, friends,” Giuseppe Abbagnale, Italian rowing federation’s president, said in a statement.
In March 2020, Mondelli underwent a five-hour surgery to remove a bone tumor in his leg. “The surgery went well, and the doctor is happy with the results,” Mondelli then told World Rowing.
This was in the beginning of the COVID-19 outbreak and Mondelli said that he had tested negative several times before his surgery. “The situation wasn’t the best, but things are getting better now. We need to be careful, but I am confident everything will be alright. We are a great country,” he said.
Mondelli continued: “If my condition is fine, I will do my best to participate next year in the Tokyo Olympics. It will be hard, but I will give it my best shot. I believe in myself and I know that I will be back, stronger than before.”
Sadly, after a brave fight, Filippo Mondelli lost the battle against the cancer.
Filippo Mondelli, born on 18 June, died on 29 April 2021.