Danica Bonello Spiteri: ‘In life you’ll regret what you don’t do, rather than what you try and fail’

 Specialist doctor and International Triathlete Dr Danica Bonello Spiteri tells all in our Q&A

Danica Bonello: Never give up hope, as the moment you are about to give up, is when the miracle is about to happen
Danica Bonello: Never give up hope, as the moment you are about to give up, is when the miracle is about to happen

Sports and Exercise Medicine (SEM) specialist doctor Dr Danica Bonello Spiteri is an International Triathlete, having represented Malta in sports for over two decades, winning various awards, namely 15th place in the Commonwealth Games in triathlon. She also raced at elite level in the European Games. She won gold and a number of age group medals, over various years, and crowned 2011 Sportswoman of the Year and winning the 2012 Sport Malta Award and the 1998 Sportsmanship Award. 

What’s the first thing you do when you wake up in the morning?

Cuddle my little girl, Tiffany who is 19 months old.

What is the best advice you’ve ever received?

In life you’ll regret what you don’t do, rather than what you try and fail.

What do you never leave the house without?

I’m tempted to say my keys and my mobile phone, but I can easily go training without them, especially running. Hence I’d say, I’d never leave the house without a smile on my face.

Pick three words that describe yourself

Determined, fearless, adventurous.

What do you consider to be your greatest achievement?

Having my little girl Tiffany, after a long wait of nine years and various unsuccessful treatments, due to a medical condition I have to live with.

What is your guiltiest pleasure?

I like chocolate and can be lazy at times.

What is the most important lesson life has taught you?

Never give up hope, as the moment you are about to give up, is when the miracle is about to happen. This has been for many things in my life and has led me to achieving and arriving to who and where I am today.

Property and cars aside what’s the most expensive thing you’ve ever bought?

My bicycle! As any triathlete would say. My top bike cost me €6,000. But then again, I own a number of bikes... road bike, time trial bike, mountain bike, both a hard-tail, and a full suspension, indoor trainer bike… and those are just the ones I use regularly as there are ‘older bikes’ in my house. Should I cringe?

What is one thing you wish you knew when you were younger?

The sooner I’d leave the island, the more I’d have discovered and experienced the world out there.

Who’s your inspiration?

My parents.

What has been your biggest challenge?

To have Tiffany, my little girl.

If you weren’t a triathlete/doctor what would you be doing?      

Backpacking around the world, mingling with locals, learning new cultures and appreciating all the different walks in life.

Do you believe in God?

I believe that there is always someone greater than us out there.

If you could have dinner with any person, dead or alive, who would it be?

My mum, as I always enjoy talking to her about whatever I’m going through life and she is happy to listen to me moan, but also happy to hear about my achievements.

What’s your worst habit?

I never stop to rest, as I feel it’s a waste of time, hence I drive people around me crazy at times, especially my husband.

What are you like when you’re drunk?


Who would you have play you in a film?

I’ve rarely been likened to Sandra Bullock, so I may choose her for looks. Otherwise, for character, it would be someone like Lara Croft!

What is the trait you most deplore in others?

Two-faced people, especially those who turn their back on you after I’d have gone out of my way to genuinely be there for them.

What music would you have played at your funeral?

Queen. So I’ll open the coffin and hop out to dance along.

What is your most treasured material possession?

My wedding ring and what it signifies.

What is your earliest memory?

Probably running around outdoors or else hanging upside down off something

When did you last cry, and why?

Watching a video of Dick & Rick Hoyt, the father and son (disabled) duo who covered many marathons and ironman races together, with the father pushing his disabled son in a wheelchair. The father has just passed away aged 80. It made me feel that I’m nothing.

Who would you most like to meet?

Albert Einstein.

What’s your favourite food?

I like to indulge into a super tasty, stone oven baked crunchy pizza.

Who’s your favourite person on social media right now?

My closest friends, who are also my training partners. I don’t tend to ‘follow’ influencers, I don’t have time for that.

If you could travel in time, where would you go?


What book are you reading right now?

I’m never reading just one book! Right now it’s the ‘Complete Guide of Respiratory Care in Athletes’, and ‘How To Talk So Kids Will Listen and Listen So Kids Will Talk’.

If you could have any superpower, what would it be?

Being able to read some people’s thoughts when looking at you!

What’s one thing you want to do before you die?

Visiting as many countries and experiencing as many cultures as possible.

What music are you listening to at the moment?

It’s late at night, so all is quiet. The next piece of ‘music’ I will listen to will be my mobile phone waking me up at 5:30am for a training session.

In the shower or when you’re working out, what do you sing/listen to?

Depends a lot on what mood I’m into. I do like rock, but also Spanish-style music. In the shower time I hardly listen to music; I’m mwore likely listening to my little girl calling out ‘Mama! Mama!’