Olympic Bronze Medalist Noe Ponti Leaves NC State, Returns Home to Switzerland

Braden Keith
by Braden Keith 31

September 26th, 2021 News


Swiss swimmer Noe Ponti, the Tokyo 2020 Olympic bronze medalist in the 100 fly, has decided to leave North Carolina State University after a month and return to his training base in Switzerland.

In a post on his Instagram account on Sunday, Ponti explained his decision. While he said that he arrived in the United States riding the high of his Olympic success, he began to experience mental fatigue.

He says that mental fatigue has created “several problems in the management of daily life,” and that after speaking with his team in Switzerland, his family, and the NC State coaching staff, he decided he needed to return home.

He will now resume training in Ticino in southern Switzerland with his coaches Massimo Meloni and Andrea Mercuri.

In spite of his early departure, at least one of Ponti’s NC State teammates posted a message of support – fellow freshman Sam Hoover shared Ponti’s post on Instagram with the message “Love you always bro” and “see you down the road.” Another freshman, Arsenio Bustos, echoed that comment in his own post.

The 20-year old Ponti is a better sprint butterflier internationally, though his 1:55.05 in the 200 long course fly indicates that he would have been a substantial contributor in that event this season for the Wolfpack.

Ponti’s best times, long course meters:

  • 100 free – 49.95
  • 200 free – 1:47.76
  • 50 fly – 23.39
  • 100 fly – 50.74
  • 200 fly – 1:5.05
  • 200 IM – 1:59.72

Without Ponti, the Wolfpack will still have another freshman Aiden Hayes as the front-runner to absorb the butterfly legs of their medley relays. He was already 45.47 in high school. Arsenio Bustos (46.51), the incumbent on the 400 medley relay Noah Henderson (45.83), and the 200 medley incumbent Luke Sobolewski (46.07) leave the Wolfpack with a still-deep butterfly group, but with Ponti they were the best in the nation even as a young group.

While Ponti was drafted by the Tokyo Frog Kings in the International Swimming League draft, he isn’t eligible to join the team because he was not in the draft pool. The Frog Kings’ draft choice was in error, and ultimately resulted in a forfeited pick.

On Sunday, Ponti wasn’t ready to commit on whether he might find his way back to the NCAA, but said he was keeping his options open.

“Right now my number one priority is to understand and process everything that has happened to me in these last months. From there I will decide what to do with my life and my swimming career.”

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ACC fan
2 years ago

With ROCKtober just around the corner this was probably a good move. God speed Noe!

2 years ago

Hope he didn’t get a Wolfpack tattoo.

Chas E
2 years ago

He was definitely in the ISL draft pool. Article is incorrect.

2 years ago

Guess he didn’t want to finish fourth

Sam B
2 years ago

he should have given it until December to really know what he wants

NC Fan
Reply to  Sam B
2 years ago

@SamB I think that was his main point. He needs to figure out what he wants and the best way to do that is in a good headspace and not 4000 miles away from home in a country he’d never been to in an environment where everything was different.

2 years ago

I heard he was going to Indiana after he takes a break.

Ledecky will go under 8 minutes in the 800
Reply to  Guerra
2 years ago

I am now fully convinced that you are either Lily King or Ray Looze himself


I think SwimSwam staff knows who he is, as a comment one of the writers once had on him implied he is someone associated with the IU swim team. I wouldn’t be surprised if he is one of the assistant coaches.

Ledecky will go under 8 minutes in the 800
Reply to  HJones
2 years ago

Although I feel like the assistant coach of a power 5 d1 swim team would be smart enough not to spam-advertise their team on every single SwimSwam article and have bigger priorities

Last edited 2 years ago by Ledecky will go under 8 minutes in the 800

I also feel like the assistant coach of a power 5 d1 swim team would be smart enough not to spam swimswam with antivaxx posts and Klete Keller support posts

Steve Nolan
Reply to  HJones
2 years ago

Who would be the funniest possible person?

My vote is Hafnaoui.

Reply to  Steve Nolan
2 years ago

Mark Spitz

Tommy Schmitt
Reply to  Steve Nolan
2 years ago

I’ve got my money on monsieur Miller


I googled ‘ray looze goat guerra’ and his facebook comes up where he makes similar posts to here except with hashtags lol

Reply to  Murica
2 years ago

LOL Ryan Guerra

Reply to  Guerra
2 years ago

If he goes to IU he will transfer after one year

Steve Nolan
Reply to  Swimmer
2 years ago

So you’re saying he’d last significantly longer than at NC State, bold take.

2 years ago

Noe, take care of your mentals and your chicken. NCSU will be there when you’re ready. Go Pack! 🐺

Reply to  Breezeway
2 years ago

Who downvoted the Beast Mode? No better words were ever said at NFL media obligations: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eGrTAF-KIc0 .

2 years ago

Not the best fly group in nation

Reply to  Swim
2 years ago

Doesn’t really matter

About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder/co-owner of SwimSwam.com. He first got his feet wet by building The Swimmers' Circle beginning in January 2010, and now comes to SwimSwam to use that experience and help build a new leader in the sport of swimming. Aside from his life on the InterWet, …

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