Alessandro Gottardis

Coach (Italy)
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Alessandro is from Italy and says he "was born between the mountains." From ages 3 to 28 he was a skier, competing all over the Alps. He reached high levels in giant slalom and super giant, but at 28 he developed a back problem and had to put his ski career on hold. It was only after surgery that a doctor recommended swimming above all else. And so the adventure began!

A self made swimmer, Ale swam every day in the pool and eventually was bored. So he decided to attempt an open water experience, signing up for a Lugano Lake Crossing in Switzerland. It was so fantastic, he did it again - twice! In 2007, he completed a Messina crossing in Sicily and while there heard about San Francisco's Alcatraz crossings.

Meanwhile, Ale became a lifeguard, swim instructor, and then coach of the Italian Swim Federation. He trained children and young adults from 7 to 20 years, and is very proud of his little champs. In 2012 he met Pedro, completed his first Alcatraz, and discovered cold water swims. Since he lives far away from the sea, he trains in a lake near his home - and is lucky because it has similar conditions to the San Francisco Bay. In summer, the temperature is around 16°C and  in winter, 7/8°C.

Alessandro's Training Tip
"If you really want it, you can do it!"