The 2014 World Rowing Championships concluded yesterday, August 31, in Amsterdam, Netherlands. Among the best rowers in the world was one of Clemson’s own, Laura Basadonna of Italy.
A native of Torino, Italy, Basadonna began rowing at the age of 10. A mere five years later, she rowed in her first World Championship, a fifth place finish in Beijing and has been a part of the Italian National Team ever since.
Basadonna enrolled at Clemson in the fall of 2010 and made an immediate impact on the Tigers. During her freshman campaign, she was named to the All-ACC team, an Academic All-ACC selection and was a member of the First Varsity 8+, which was named ACC-Crew-of-the-Year. That boat would go on to finish second at the ACC Championships and 15th in the NCAA Championships that spring.
As a sophomore, the Tiger 1V8 boat finished either first or second in eight of the 12 races, including another second place finish at the ACC Championships. In a race against Kansas, her boat finished with a time of 6:26:08, good enough for the 10th best time in school history at the time.
A Clemson record highlighted Basadonna’s junior campaign. Rowing the seven seat for a majority of the season, the V8 finished with a time of 6:23.4, good for a Clemson record on Lake Hartwell and the fifth fastest time ever for a Tiger Varsity 8+ boat.
As a member of the Italian National Team, Basadonna has won many accolades. From 2008-10, she was part of the U23 Italian National Champion team in the Women’s 4 and in 2011 won a silver medal for Italy in the World Rowing U23 Championships. In all, Basadonna has made eight appearances for Italy at the World Championships.
Basadonna graduated in December 2013 with a degree in Management.
The connection between Italy and Clemson is a strong one. Currently four Tigers, Giorgia Bergamasco, Aurelia Wurzel, Giulia Longatti and Gaia Nencini are natives of Italy while many more have rowed the waters of Lake Hartwell for Clemson throughout the years in addition to Basadonna.