Bronze Olympic Medalist Bianca Farella has played all over the world this spring as part of the Canadian National Rugby 7s team. She's shooting for gold next year in Tokyo, and we're stoked she's taking Rumble along for the ride. As one of our 2019 Rumble Ambassadors, Bianca impressively balances discipline and dedication to her sport with her love for west coast living. We caught up with her to find out more about what it takes to be an Olympic-level rugby athlete, and how she finds time for everything else.
Q: You seem like the kind of athlete that could kill it in any sport, so what first drew you to Rugby?
A: I first started playing 15s Rugby (15 players a side) because there is a place for anyone on the field. I found my spot on the wing because of my speed, and as I improved, I realized that I wanted to play 7s (7 players a side) because of the fast-paced, quick, and powerful nature of the sport. What truly drew me to the sport though was the family-like atmosphere I experienced on every team I was ever part of. Rugby has such a unique culture that other sports don’t have.
Q: Have you had any injuries?
A: What athlete hasn’t! I had two shoulder reconstructive surgeries, a broken nose, and a broken hand.
Q: How do you train to get ready for the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series or the Olympics?
A: We have speed and weight training 3 times a week, and skills (rugby practice) every day. The schedule varies depending on the time of year, how close we are to competitions and other things. Ahead of big tournaments, it is often necessary to get a few games in prior to the actual competition, which allows us to solidify our game-plan.
Q: Do you have time for any other sports or activities when you’re off the field?
A: After a hard week of training I really try to rest my body and lay low. I am usually too sore or tired for anything physical, but I can’t escape Vancouver Island’s beauty so I try to get out and about as much as a I can.
Q: What does work/life balance mean to you as an athlete?
A: Life balance means so much to me! Leading up to the 2016 Summer Olympics, rugby had taken up 110% of my life. So much of my thoughts and energies were put into our bronze medal finish. I would often find myself lost in thought about rugby even if I was about to go to bed, or if I was out with friends. Right after the Olympics I realized that I needed a hobby, so I decided to enroll at the University of Victoria and take courses towards my undergraduate degree. Attending classes at UVic helped me immensely with life balance. I felt like I was able to enhance my educational skills, skills I will use during and after my athletic career.
Q: How do you handle the pressures of competing on a world stage?
A: It definitely takes a toll, but experience helps a lot. By now, I know what to expect when we arrive at tournaments venues, but the game is growing so much globally that the pressure sets in earlier than it used to. If I do feel some pressure I like to remind myself that I am playing this sport because I enjoy its challenges and because I have a lot of fun!
Q: In just the past few months, you’ve competed in Colorado, Dubai, Australia, Japan, and next month, France. Where would you go next, if you had the choice?
A: I really want to visit Africa. Luckily, it has been announced that we will be playing in South Africa in the fall!
Q: What’s the craziest thing that’s happened to you or a teammate on of these trips?
A: Nothing too crazy has occurred, but let’s just say there are a lot of inside jokes.
Q: What is it about Rumble that made you want to become a Rumble Ambassador?
A: It is important for me to be part of a local company that values health and fitness. Rumble is the epitome of those two values. As well, the supershakes have been part of my nutrition routine for a while, it helps that their flavours are delicious too!
Q: How does Rumble fit into your routine and goals?
A: I have my Rumble Supershake wherever I can! I enjoy a quick shake in between sessions and also between training and school. My nutrition goals are important in my sport. Having proper protein consumption is important for my goals, Rumble helps with that.
Q: Do you have a favourite flavour?
A: Dutch Cocoa is my favourite!
Q: After the 2020 Olympics, what’s next?
A: Who really knows! After a gold medal in 2020 (you heard it here first!) I plan to take more classes at UVic and continue with my undergrad.
Q: You’ve already won an Olympic medal - what else is on your bucket list?
A: A gold medal in Tokyo at the 2020 Olympics would be the cherry on top of my athletic career.