Olympic sprinter Santo Condorelli has officially begun the process of switching to Italian sporting citizenship, his father told SwimSwam on Friday. Though he formerly represented Canada internationally and was a member of the USA Swimming National Junior Team, Condorelli has Italian ancestry on his father Joseph’s side, as that side of the family is from Sicily.
To establish his change of affiliation, Condorelli will need to reside in Italy for 12 months before his first official representation. He’s already had the required year-long break since he last represented Canada since his last time representing them was in Rio.
The official FINA rule:
“GR 2.6 Any competitor or competition official changing his affiliation from one national governing body to another must have resided in the territory of and been under the jurisdiction of the latter for at least twelve months prior to his first representation for the country.”
Condorelli, whose mother is from Ontario, was one place shy of a medal as he placed 4th in the 100 free at the Rio Olympics. He swam his lifetime bests in the 50 free (21.97), 100 free (47.88), and 100 fly (51.83) at that meet. He was also a finalist as a member of Canada’s 400 free relay. In addition to his Olympic appearance, he was also a medalist in the 400 mixed medley relay and a finalist in the 100 free at the 2015 World Championships.
He first declared his intent to represent Canada internationally when he appeared on the psych sheets at the 2015 World Championship Trials.
With the switch to Italy, Condorelli should play a major role on the relays. The Italians already have a very talented squad with sprinters like Luca Dotto, who became the first Italian man ever to break 48 in 2016. Notably, Condorelli’s best time of 47.88 is already faster than Dotto’s Italian Record of 47.96, so this is a big boost for the Italians and makes them a much bigger threat for the relay podium in 2020. Condorelli is now training under Claudio Rossetto, who also coaches national teamers Dotto and Ivano Vendrame.
So far, Italy’s only Olympic relay medal was the 800 free relay bronze in 2004, but that could change with Condorelli on the roster. The Italians have also been more competitive in recent years, earning a bronze in the 200 free relay at the 2015 World Championships.