Oskar Catoggio

Oskar Catoggio elite athletePlace of birth: Melbourne, Victoria.

Nicknames and how did you earn it?

Usually it's just Osk or to a small group of mates, Staunch. The latter is a hard one to explain as it comes from some questionable adventures: it was kind of a joke but I ended up getting stuck with it.

Please list your sporting career highlights:

Being able to race overseas in Canada in 2013 during Crankworx, the largest mountain biking competition in the world, was pretty special. Even though I had crash during my finals run I was still pretty happy to manage 24th at an international level in my last year as a junior

At what age did you start seriously training and competing in your sport(s)?

I raced my first race in October of 2008 with very little experience on one of the hardest tracks in the state. It was certainly an eye opener and since then I've taken racing a lot more seriously. I started training seriously at the end of 2012 and have been through a few set-backs since then but I'm hoping I'll be able to put down some solid results this coming season.

What (and/or who) got you started in the sport?

I remember building jumps in my mate's backyard with him out of bricks and old doors to jump on our BMXs at around age 10, and naturally we progressed from there to bigger and better bikes. He introduced me to downhill at around 14 and even though he lost interest after a couple of years, I had become addicted by then.

Are other family members involved in sport?

My brother is an avid golfer with a scholarship to Huntingdale Golf Club, it's a pretty big contrast in choice of sports, but each to their own.

Who has been the biggest influence in your sporting career?

I'd probably have to say my mate Jack O'Hare. He's probably the most stoked on life out of anyone I've met and has always wanted to ride and be around bikes. He's been a sort of coach to me as he always finds a way to be one or two steps ahead, but he still pushes me to do new things and try to keep up with him. He's dragged me to races and tracks all over the country and even internationally so without him, I wouldn't have been anywhere near close to where I am today.

Who has been the biggest influence in your academic life?

Even though it's incredibly indirectly, my dad. He dropped out in year 10, took up a carpentry apprenticeship and slowly built his own company. Even though he's successful, I worked for him during my gap year to be able to afford my racing/overseas travel. Having to start work every morning, outside in the dark, in the middle of winter while freezing was definitely a huge motivation to continue my studies.

Do you support any other sport and/or teams?

I enjoy watching most extreme sports such as skating, surfing, snowboarding, etc as I used to/still engage in them from time to time. I still love to have a kick of the footy with the boys seeing as I played most of my life and have a soft sport for Carlton, but I don't pay as much attention to AFL anymore.

How do you relax? Do you have other life interests outside of your sport?

One of my hobbies is photography, I've been shooting since 2011 and have contributed to a few magazines. Apart from that, just hanging out with mates, going on adventures/camping, going to gigs, pretty standard things really.

What is one thing that might surprise readers to learn about you

Sometimes I don't know when to shut my mouth and it gets me into trouble occasionally.

What is your favourite food?  Movie? Music/performer?

It's hard to beat my Italian grandmother's lasagna, or any of her cooking for that matter really.
I'm not really a huge movie person as strange as that sounds, I barely watch any films so I might have to pass on that one. I'm into metalcore/hardcore music but also a big fan of old school hip hop.

What was the best advice you were ever given?

"When you're old and look back on your life, what are you going to remember?" Not exactly advice per se, but it's always a quote I think back to when making decisions. If I'm ever unsure about a choice, I'll try and pick the option that will make for the best story or the better option to look back on. I'd rather be broken and in pieces at 70 and be able to look back the brilliant time I had than be the fittest one in the nursing home with a boring last 60 years.

Do you have a saying or motto that you live your life by?

"Don't take things too seriously." Obviously there's a time a place to put in effort, hard work and dedication, but so many people spend way too much time focusing and obsessing over small, insignificant things. They're either missing the big picture, or wasting too much energy on something trivial.