Short track beginnings
Fontana started short track when she was four-years old, after following her brother into the sport. As a child she also roller-skated in the streets.
Fontana broke out at the 2006 Torino Olympics at 15-years old. As a part of Italy’s bronze medal winning 3000m relay team Fontana became Italy’s youngest-ever Olympic Winter Games medalist.
In addition to Torino and PyeongChang, Fontana also competed in Vancouver and Sochi.
In Vancouver, she won a bronze in the 500m, making her the first Italian woman to win an individual short track medal.
She had a strong showing in Sochi, winning three medals: silver in the 500m, bronze in the 1500m, and bronze in the 3000m relay.
Fontana is an 11-time world medalist with one gold, five silver, and five bronze. Those medals placed her second overall in 2015 and third overall in 2011 and 2012.
In PyeongChang, Fontana tied China’s Wang Meng’s record for most short track medals earned by a women with six. With three more competitions in PyeongChang left Fontana has the potential to set a new record in 2018.
Fontana uses a starting position that looks different than the one utilized by most other skaters.
She says she adopted it during the 2009/10 season. It is the same start she used when she competed in inline skating.
“I was trying to do something different, so I tried it and it worked,” Fontana said to NBC Sports research.
“I was pretty tired mentally. My body was ready to race again but my mind was not. It was hard for me. After the 2014 Olympic Winter Games in Sochi I had some doubts about whether to keep skating or not,” Fontana said about her sabitical from skating in 2015/16 to isu.org.
Off the ice
After Fontana retires from speed skating, she says wants to become a personal trainer.
Fontana is coached by her husband, Anthony Lobello, a former short track skater who competed for the U.S. at the 2006 Torino Games and for Italy in 2014.
Facebook: Arianna Fontana
How to watch Arianna Fontana at the 2018 Games
Fontana has three more competitions left in PyeongChang:
1500m heats, semifinals, and finals: Saturday, Feb 17, 5:00 a.m. ET
1000m qualification heats: Tuesday, Feb. 20, 5:00 a.m. ET
3000m relay finals: Tuesday, Feb. 20, 6:29 a.m. ET