An exceptional talent: Noè Ponti

Noè Ponti, swimmer and ambassador for the Ascona-Locarno region, has become quite a celebrity since his achievements at the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo (held in 2021). This young man from Ticino, born and raised in Gambarogno, loves to travel and explore the world. However, his love for his family and the land of his birth always lures him back to Lake Maggiore, where he lives and trains.


“First and foremost, my roots are in Ascona-Locarno,” says Noè. This likeable athlete, who, at the tender age of just two and a half years, already swam unassisted, competing in races by the age of six, has strong ties to Gambarogno. He grew up here: his family (an important part of his team, supporting him in various ways, such as communication, management and social media) live in Quartino, and everyone knows him.

However, he now spends most of the year either abroad or away from his home canton, Ticino. As well as competing in many national and international competitions throughout the year, he also goes to several different training bases. This suits Noè very well, as he loves to travel. Of course, after spending a lot of time away from home, he yearns to come home and return to his familiar surroundings. And what does he miss the most during his longer absences? “I appreciate a bit of everything: the varied yet mild climate, the landscape, a certain calm and tranquillity, family and friends, the fact that people here know me, support me and make me feel at home... and the food, of course!” Naturally, when it comes to food, Noè never holds back, as he needs the energy it provides. A normal training day includes two 2-hour sessions in the water and another session in the gym. No wonder, therefore, that he calls the CST (national youth sports center) in Tenero his second home, having spent most of his time here since he was a child.

CST Tenero

As for his free time... Noè is self-confessed film buff. Whenever he gets the chance, he loves to watch a good film, listen to music or meet up with his friends. Ascona-Locarno offers plenty of opportunities for hiking, spending sunny days at a lido or exploring the region. “As ambassador, I aim to promote tourism and culture in this, my region, and to convey positive values through my presence and actions.”

This is what makes Noè Ponti so special: a down-to-earth guy who, despite his success, remains sincere and true to himself. His imposing posture and broad shoulders certainly attract attention, yet he comes over as being a bit shy. However, when he flashes his mischievous smile, it soon becomes clear that this first impression is deceptive. The youthful ease with which he faces things makes him all the more likeable. He loves to share a joke with his trainer Massimo Meloni and chat briefly with his fans of all ages while in and around the pool. But when it comes to sport, that's a different matter: it is serious. “You have to be talented to be a success in swimming. But a natural talent is not enough. You need ambition, the willingness to work hard and a lot of perseverance,” says Massimo. And he knows what he is talking about: Massimo is Head Coach at Swiss Aquatics and runs the Tenero training base for young athletes coming from all over Switzerland and even abroad. Noè appreciates his chance to train in Tenero. “It's a great advantage,” says Noè, “to be able to train just a few kilometres from home and so continue to enjoy the many benefits of Lake Maggiore.”

Noè's tip

“I like going to popular events and visiting famous places: there is a reason why they are so renowned. However, people should also take the time to explore some of the more remote, less frequented areas.” Some of the events he regularly attends are the Moon&Stars and the Locarno Film Festival. He also loves exploring the towns of Locarno and the Gerra lido in Gambarogno.

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