Tommaso D’Orsogna: Bringing home the bacon for granddad
TOMMASO D'Orsogna believes his performance in his team's gold-medal win over the Americans in the 4x100m freestyle relay at the Pan Pacific Championships was due largely to the belief his late grandfather showed in him.
Tommaso D'Orsogna Sr migrated to Perth from Italy at 14, in 1933, before opening his own smallgoods business, the T. D'Orsogna Family Butcher in West Perth, in March 1949.
D'Orsogna Sr passed away earlier this year, but the business he and his brothers started from scratch is now a market leader in Australia and is about to celebrate its 65th anniversary.
The family will have more cause for celebration when D'Orsogna arrives back in Perth with a gold medal, as well as a bronze from the 4x100 medley relay from the Gold Coast Aquatic Centre.
"There'll be some big celebrations in the D'Orsogna family for many reasons," D'Orsogna (pictured) told APN after joining with James Magnussen, Cameron McEvoy and Matt Abood to take gold ahead of the Americans in the 4x100m freestyle relay.
"He (grandad) was always a big supporter of my swimming, and to him I was always his champion regardless of where I finished.
"He was a man that came from nothing. He set his sights on building something for himself, and that was what he did."
D'Orsogna, part of Australia's "Stilnox Six"- a bonding session that went wrong at the London 2012 Olympics - said the results at the Commonwealth Games and the Pan Pacs showed the Australian team had well and truly moved on.
"It hasn't really been a huge change - the media like to throw around the words like 'toxic', but ultimately it was just a few minor things," he said.
"The fact is we've got Michael Scott front-lining the high performance, and Jacco Verhaeren as our head coach.
"There's been a huge change of the leadership - the CEO Mark Anderson and the president John Bertrand, and now they're working so closely with Daniel Kowalski at the Swimmers' Association.
"With all those things it's been a bit of a flush-out of the bad blood and in with the new.
"Things are looking really good for the next two years."
Australia finished with 10 gold, eight silver and eight bronze on the Gold Coast, trailing only the world No.1 US team (14 gold, 12 silver, 14 bronze).
The star of the meet was American 17-year-old Katie Ledecky who won five gold medals and broke her own world records in the 400m and 1500m freestyle.