Personal Background

Name: Robert Bonomo
Date of Birth: September 22, 1993
Height: 6’4”
Hometown: Toronto, ON
City of birth: Toronto, ON
Residence: Cantley, QC
Language(s) spoken: English

Sport-related Background

National team member status: 2019/2020
Head coach: John Hawes
Swim coach: Fishia Kebede
Run coach: Paul McAneney
Riding coach: Lorainne Lafromboise, Teddie Lafromboise
Fencing coach: Paul Apsimon

Interview Questions

Why you love the sport of pentathlon?
I love the sport of pentathlon for many reasons.

In the sports sense, I have a lot of respect for the pentathlon community and the athletes that are involved in the sport. The ability for athletes to perform five unrelated sports so well has always impressed me, and I consider myself fortunate to have the opportunity to participate in a sport like this.

In the community sense, it has broadened my horizons. Through training the different elements of pentathlon with various singular sports clubs, I have been able to meet many different athletes and coaches, hear their stories, and follow them in their progression in achieving their own personal goals.

Most importantly, pentathlon has humbled me. Pentathlon is a sport that not only challenges your diversity in physical skill, but also your diversity in character and being able to handle different pressures. I thought through my swim career that I had a good understanding of how to handle pressure. It was after when I got involved in pentathlon competition that I realized this wasn’t the case and that I had a lot more to learn. The pressure that each sport provides does not correlate to one another, and it takes a lot of years in the sport to learn how to handle oneself mentally for each discipline.

When you got involved in pentathlon and why?
I was aware that modern pentathlon existed years before I got into it and I always had an admiration for the sport, but I did not have any networks in connection to pentathlon.

It wasn’t until I met Garnett Stevens in my 2nd year of University (2014) that I had made my first connection into the world of pentathlon. We trained together in swimming and became good friends. In 2015 when Garnett qualified for the Pan American Games in Toronto, he invited me to come watch him compete and I think that was the moment that hooked my interest in the sport.

I was so impressed by how an athlete could do five different sports so well, and it inspired me to experiment with the various elements for fun at first. I grew to love the sport, and I decided to begin full commitment to training in pentathlon starting in September 2016.

How often do you train (per week or month)?
Per week about 2/3 swims, 6 runs, 6 shoots, 4/5 fences, 4/5 rides
Of the five sports of pentathlon (fencing, swimming, equestrian, shooting and running), which do you consider your best?
What are your hobbies?
Because work and sport consume most of my hours, I like to unwind and relax whenever I have the opportunity to do so. I enjoy staying at home and watching movies, spending time with friends, going out to eat, and I love to nap.
Do you participate in other sports?
Currently I do not participate in other sports, but I love a good game of golf, tennis, or volleyball if there is ever an opportunity to play.
Are there any other athletes in your family?
My father and mother were not competitive athletes but always lived an active lifestyle and encouraged my sister and I to be active also. My sister Julia swam competitively with me at York Swim Club from 2006 to 2010.
Bachelor of Commerce – Specialization in Accounting (graduated in 2017) from the University of Ottawa
What career would you like to pursue or are you currently pursuing?
I recently got hired to work at the Department of National Defense full time in procurement and inventory management. I am happy to have attained the position as it puts my accounting degree from university to use.
Future goals (in sport & or work)?
My goal as a pentathlete isn’t necessarily a specific result, but rather, I hope to continuously improve in both my sport performance and my mental performance in being able to adapt to the various pressures of pentathlon. I hope additionally to have opportunities to represent Canada at various international competitions as it has always been a dream of mine since I was very young.
What is the greatest challenge you have faced?
I think the most challenging time I have experienced was through my years of university. For five years I was fully committed to training (as a swimmer) and full time studies. Rarely did I ever have time for myself and I was always running low on sleep. The factors that helped me overcome this were a combination of grit and not wasting any moment of time to get ahead in classes or study early for exams.
In the moments when I doubt that I want to continue, how do I motivate myself?
I do my best to put my head down and keep moving forward. Life isn’t perfect, there are always ups and downs for everyone in all facets of life. Usually when we can overcome our weakest moments, it makes us stronger and better than we ever were before in the long term.
How has being an athlete benefited you (positive effects in your life that you would not have had otherwise)?
It has not only provided me a way to stay active, but has also really helped me build character and esteem.
Best movie I have ever seen is?
Contact (starring Jody Foster)

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