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BRAG BOOK: Countryside High standout has his eyes on the Olympics

Rocco Simonelli.jpg
Posted at 10:07 PM, Oct 28, 2021
and last updated 2021-10-29 08:11:42-04

You should remember the name Rocco Simonelli. In fact, I guarantee you'll hear it again in the future.

This Senior standout at Countryside High School in Clearwater is so talented, it's hard to focus on just one of his amazing gifts.

Rocco says, "First with my academics, I've been able to carry a 3.8 all throughout high school. I've been on multiple of our sports teams, including the wrestling, swim and dive team and our track and field team."

He's racking up so many medals and awards, he's running out of space on the wall in his room.

"I've also competed on an international level in another sport that no one really knows about. But I just kind of keep to myself," explains Rocco.

He won't brag on himself, he's too shy and humble. In fact, unless they ask, his classmates probably have no idea how awesome he is. Carolina DeGarmo is his school counselor.

"Last year, he was inducted into the National Honor Society. You know, he volunteers with all our events at school, you know, he's involved, he's out there, but he is very shy, you know, so he's just very humble about all the things that he does. So he doesn't just come out and say 'I'm involved here, I do this. I do that...' he doesn't brag," explains Carolina.

At just 13, Rocco represented Team USA in Taekwondo at the Pan Am Games and the Costa Rican open. He won both a bronze and silver medal.

One of his teammates is Largo native, Anastasija Zolotic, who won a gold medal earlier this summer. She's the first woman to win Olympic gold in Taekwondo.

"I got to grow up with her and see her develop as an athlete and then become the gold medalist that she is. I am hoping to follow in her footsteps, but maybe in a different sport," says Rocco.

He's hoping to make a big splash, just like another Olympian, Countryside High grad and Olympic gold medalist Bobby Finke.

"I hope to see myself there one day, maybe not in Paris 2024. But hopefully 2028 or 2032," says Rocco.

And when he gets there, we'll make sure to remind you.