Issue #165

Federica Botter

Cuore di Guerriera

January 23, 2001, athlete and javelin thrower. Always been involved in sports, she started as a volleyball player and then moved on to athletics and javelin throwing when she started high school in Lignano Sabbiadoro, Italy. Federica immediately achieved excellent results and in her second year of athletics she joined the first national team for the EYOF European Olympic Festival in Hungary in 2017. From there it was a succession of blue jerseys, including European championships u18, u20, u23, and European Cup, but also difficult moments such as changes of coaches and injuries. Federica arrived in Los Angeles at UCLA in January 2023 to continue her studies in a master’s degree in Management and Leadership, after graduating in Italy in Tourism Sciences. At UCLA she is part of the track team and immediately achieved excellent goals such as breaking the school record in her first competition, which she continued to break up to the current record, placing 7th in the nation and earning First-Team All American at the NCAA national championship. In June 2023 she participated in the first senior national team at the European games in Poland representing Italy, then at the European u23 championships in Finland and at the World University Games in China. Her current personal best is 58.72m, scored at the prestigious Pac12 competition in Colorado in May 2024, winning her second consecutive title. Federica is the fourth Italian all time in the women’s javelin throw lists, preceded by important names and athletes who have marked the history of javelin throw in Italy. With the plan to continue training in Los Angeles and fulfill the dream of the LA 2028 Olympics, Federica will give her all to participate and stand out at the European championships in Rome in June 2024, and the World Championships in Tokyo in September 2025, but will also try to get closer to the standard for the Paris Olympics in August 2024.

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What do you do in your life (work and fun)?

I am a student-athlete at UCLA in Los Angeles and I throw the javelin. At the moment I consider it my job, although here in Los Angeles I have worked at a sports media agency and still in event management at UCLA. I am finishing my master’s degree in Management and Leadership and in my future, in addition to being an athlete, I would like to work in the world of sport, events and entertainment. I love keeping my self active, being outdoors, traveling and doing a lot of sport. I like playing beach volleyball and beach tennis, riding jet skis and spending time in the pool or on the beach.

What made you leave Italy and chose Los Angeles?

I have always been fascinated by Los Angeles and its landscapes, such as palm-lined streets, long beaches and beautiful views. When I started doing track and field I discovered these opportunities for good athletes to come to the United States on scholarship, so I wanted to take advantage of them. For me in Italy it has always been difficult to both train and study because of the limited facilities, opportunities and support for student-athletes, even though I have always pursued both paths with excellent results, but it was starting to be very limiting and I felt I needed a different type of support and environment around me. I also have to say that I love warm and good weather, so it wasn’t difficult for me to choose where I wanted to go, although it wasn’t easy at first given the very high academic level of UCLA. I immediately found a beautiful environment and lots of support, everything is organized and finalized. If you’re good, you go far. Also, UCLA’s color is blue, like my Italian national team, so it has always been a special place for me.

Please share your best memory in the City.

I have many fond memories of Los Angeles, both sporting and non-sporting. I was lucky enough to have great friends along the way, who I met in Los Angeles or who came to visit me from Italy, with whom I was able to do many things, see beautiful sunsets and create unforgettable memories. In my sports career, my best memory is a competition called Pac12 that takes place every May and last year it was in East Los Angeles. I had come from difficult weeks in which I was struggling with the javelin, but in this race with the penultimate throw I improved my performance by almost 4 metres, throwing 57.81m, obtaining an excellent result which allowed me to win the race and place in first place in the rankings in Italy. Even though I was working hard, it was a result that I didn’t expect at the time, and I was so happy that I ran to hug my coach. It was a unique emotion that I hope to experience again soon.

What made you choose this specific location and outfit?

The landscapes and palm trees of Beverly Hills are one of the reasons why I choose Los Angeles. This environment gives me a sense of peace and freedom, and every corner never ceases to surprise me with its beauty. I chose this dress because although I love sports and training, I love my femininity and I love wearing heels. I will also use this dress for my master’s graduation ceremony, so it has a special meaning for me. I have a love/hate relationship with the javelin. It is thanks to my sport that I was able to come to Los Angeles and UCLA, which was my dream, but at the same time it takes up most of my time, requires dedication and continuous attention, and often years or months pass before I see an improvement even if minimal, in fact there are many times that my shoulder hurts when my technique is not good, and this makes me understand that I need to slow down. For these reasons I can say that I consider the javelin as a friend, which accompanies me on my growth path as an athlete, woman and person in general.

Your thoughts about this project, ITALIANY.US

I like this project very much, I think it is a beautiful memory both for me and for those who will have the opportunity to see it in the coming years. It makes me happy to see how many Italian peers I have here, that have left their lives, their comforts to come to the USA to follow their dreams and ambitions. It makes me think that I’m never alone, even though Los Angeles often makes you feel that way, but it’s as if we were a big family around US. It is also nice to see how, although we all do different jobs and have different lives, we are driven by the same desire to emerge, to make our dreams come true and not to stop at the obstacles and difficulties we find on our path.

How would you describe being an ambassador of the Italian style/culture abroad?

Anyone who knows me knows that I am really proud to be Italian and I also love competing for my national team and I would never change it. Living in Los Angeles has perhaps ‘Americanized’ me a bit in terms of some habits, such as having dinner early at 6pm, eating avocado toast with salmon for breakfast, or walking just a little during the day, but despite this I am convinced that in everything else I’m a true Italian, and I’m happy when my teammates say things like ‘you’re very Italian’ when they observe the way I talk, act or joke. I also love Italian food and I always go find new real Italian restaurants to see what’s the best, and I like to connect with the chef/owner and all Italians in LA. I feel that wherever I go, I want to leave my mark, which, although I travel a lot and interact with people from all over the world, will always remain linked to my Italian style and culture.

  • Beverly Hills, CA


  • Time

    360 mins

  • Shots


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A visual celebration of Italians working, living and loving in NY and in the US