Bruno Cetraro, with the Uruguayan tradition of rowing, the national pavilion at the opening ceremony and the Olympic dream


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Bruno Cetraro, with the Uruguayan tradition of rowing, the national pavilion at the opening ceremony and the Olympic dream

The rower Bruno Cetraro will participate in their first Olympic Games in Tokyo 2020, where he will compete in a light weight double pair with Felipe Klüver after having won the pre-Olympic in Rio de Janeiro in March. The 23-year-old Montevideo holds the record of being the athlete with the most South American golds in the history of Uruguayan rowing.

Despite being born on March 20, 1998, Cetraro already seems to incorporate and explain with his career several of the clichés or set phrases that those born in the Eastern Republic of Uruguay proudly repeat. And then it is observed that with his partner Klüver they were able to qualify for their first Games without being favorites and going from third to first position in the last 25 seconds in a two-kilometer race.

And you can see that it all started when Bruno’s father watched the sacrifice of a compatriot on TV and found out about rowing, and so the ten-year-old boy’s first class was coincidentally with that same athlete who appeared on television to confirm that Uruguay is the neighboring country; and football, which Cetraro also had to decide as a teenager which sport he should follow.

And if they tell you why he had to study to receive a degree in imaging, not even being a Cetraro rower can escape an expression typical of his sport and reiterated in his country: “One studied another profession also because you cannot live with sports, life goes on and you have to keep rowing”.

After going through the common places, which do not stop losing truthfulness, the details of Cetraro’s trajectory allow us to observe a great present, enormous potential and even historical achievements in a sport deeply rooted in the South American country.

Rowing is the discipline where Uruguay obtained the highest number of Olympic podiums (bronze in 1932, silver and bronze in 1948, and bronze in 1952), even surpassing football. Cetraro is the Uruguayan rower with the most South American golds, totaling six.

This rower, rather than proposing himself, sets himself the challenge of demanding himself every day to the fullest and, in that dream of being an Olympic medal, record the effort in each regatta to stimulate the rest and that there continue to be others who continue in the discipline.

Bruno’s father watched the 2008 Beijing Games on television and when he saw Rodolfo Collazo and Javier García paddle through Asian waters, he thought that his son, always restless and hyperactive, was already very close to finishing his stage in baby soccer, for what would have to look for another activity. He consulted Montevideo Rowing Club and in the first class the teacher could not go, so the instructions were given by Collazo himself.

“One went to try himself because it was what my dad wanted, but after you get a taste for sport… It is a sport sacrificed and giving myself 100% for me is a philosophy of life, that attracted me. By rowing I was also able to travel to the interior of Uruguay, it was a way to get to know the country, competing in Mercedes or in Colonia “, Cetraro commented in July Mixed Zone (UNI Radio UdelaR).

In high school, he went back to playing soccer and the coach invited him to try out at the National University, but rowing had already fallen in love with him for life, apart from the fact that not everything was easy. Measuring 1.71 meters, his potential seemed to be questioned: “They always told me that I was not going to make it because of my height because rowers are usually tall. But that was also a motivation to show that those who said that were wrong, no one is going to tell me how far I was going to go”, He affirmed with all his oriental pride in the aforementioned note.

The Uruguayan even highlighted where he could take advantage of that supposed defect for rowing, and valued that in the double light pair category athletes can weigh up to 70 kilos, so that limit allows them to develop greater muscle mass than a taller person .

“That is compensated by modifying some things in the boats, such as the bolts where the oars are hooked, if you close it, modify some rowing angles and then you can lengthen your row, you make it grow, but that also implies that the row is more heavy and that you ‘level’ it by being stronger; There are people who are born strong or resistant, luckily I had to be strong and powerful, and I was able to take advantage of that for the rowing side”, Highlighted the Montevideo.

In 2013 he had the opportunity to join a Uruguayan pre-team, and in 2014 he defended his country for the first time, participating in his first continental rowing tournament.

The athlete with the most golds in South America in the history of Uruguayan rowing shows, in words and in deeds, his mentality in the pursuit of each goal, which in turn adapts to each instance he faces. He sought to qualify for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, but, according to himself, “it was not up to the task”, so he continued his training and even decided to start the faculty that same year, taking advantage of the certain flexibility of an annual calendar without so many international competitions.

He studied via the internet, he took the exams in person and in the practices he had some delay because he was competing, so the Bachelor’s degree in Imaging lasted five years instead of the four that had been set as the objective. I train, have lunch, go to the hospital to complete the eight months of internship and then night training; that’s how 2020 was for Cetraro: “They were complicated months because you feel the wear and tear, it becomes heavy, but you do it because you can’t live with sports too, so life goes on, you have to keep rowing, you have to be prepared” .

During much of the coronavirus pandemic, training consisted of hours and hours on the rowing machine and virtually competing with his partner, the Mercedarian Felipe Klüver, always under the supervision of coach Osvaldo Borchi. Felipe and Bruno connected when training and competition was constant; be required so that the other goes to more, while receiving a greater challenge.

In March 2021, the young duo with great potential achieved qualification for Tokyo, beating the boats from Chile, Brazil, Mexico, Argentina and Venezuela in the pre-Olympic in Rio. The locals led most of the regatta, but in the final the trans-Andeans went to the first position. For their part, the Uruguayans were faithful to their strategy and gave everything and more in the final stretch, managing to win in an incredibly tight finish.

The Uruguayan indicated that when he passed the goal the emotion was immense because his dream of participating in the Games had already been fulfilled, but he remarked that this also implied imposing new challenges, such as placing himself among the top eight and thus obtaining a diploma, although training it will always be a function of trying to achieve the maximum.

Klüver and Cetraro, who hold the national record in light double par with 6:16, know that rowers generally reach their peak of performance between the ages of 28 and 30 after having accumulated hours and hours of training, resulting in greater capacity. aerobic that adds to the competitive experience. For this reason, Paris 2024 will be the next great goal for this celestial duo, beyond the fact that for that distant goal the intention will be to win each next race along the way.

Cetraro commented that he seeks “to be prepared for any circumstance that arises and to improve as much as possible” and that he would like to continue in this sport and in high performance, due to the demands that this implies on a day-to-day basis. His idea is to go live in Spain, where he could compete in the trawlers receiving a remuneration that allows him to continue training the Olympic rowing.

One also hopes to motivate new people to join this sport and to further incentivize those who are already practicing it; That is not pressure, I like to represent the country, it is a pride, one leaves wanting to leave Uruguay at the top”Declared Cetraro, one of the great hopes that Uruguayan rowing, one of the activities with the longest tradition in the country, can once again be placed in the top positions in the international arena.


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