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Friday, July 20, 2012

Olympic athlete has ties to Annandale

Olympic athlete Giuseppe Lanzone, not only one of the best-looking competitors in the 2012 London Olympics, he also has a strong connection to Annandale. The member of the U.S. rowing team, spent his summer breaks here with his parents, while attending the University of Washington. His parents still live here, off Little River Turnpike close to the beltway.

Lanzone, 30, will compete in the “men’s eight” rowing event. “Rowing was something I was always interested in, and I was lucky enough to have the right coach and support of my parents to pursue it,” Lanzone told the Annandale Blog. 

The 6 foot 4 inch athlete is signed to the Wilhelmina model agency and has been chosen as a “brand ambassador” by Ralph Lauren to model both the 2008 and 2012 Olympic collections. When not rowing, he likes to surf, sail, and cook.

In 2011, his team in the “men’s four” competition finished fourth in the 2011 World Rowing Championships, won the bronze medal at the Rowing World Cup, and reached the finals at the Henley Royal Regatta. He won the silver in the four at the 2010 Rowing World Cup. His team finished ninth in the four at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing.

His official rowing biography lists his home town as Annandale, although he currently lives in Orinda, Calif., near San Francisco.

Lanzone, grew up in the small town of La Punta near Lima, Peru. His family moved to Northern Virginia when he was 15. He attended McLean High School, where he played football and joined the rowing team in his junior year.

Lanzone went on to row at the University of Washington, where he won two Pac-10 Championships as a member of the varsity men’s eight and came in second in two Intercollegiate Rowing Association Championships. After graduating in 2005 with a degree in communications, he became a U.S. citizen and began training for the world championship team.

In 2010, he was named the 2010 U.S. Rowing Male Athlete of the Year.

During the Olympics, the men’s eight heats are scheduled for July 28, the “repechage” (a race allowing the fastest losers to qualify for the finals) is July 30, and the final race will be Aug. 1, 10:30 a.m. (5:30 a.m. U.S. time). The rowing competition takes place at Dorney Lake, 25 miles west of London.

He offered this advice to blog readers:  “If you want something bad enough and you are willing to put the work into it, it could become possible.”

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