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Damiani comes from an immigrant family. He was born in Cuba, but left when he was very young. He was first introduced to swimming as a boy and learned to swim in order to play with some of the bigger kids at the pool. As a teen, he joined the competitive ranks of the sport, as a member of his high school swim team at Long Island City High School. Damiani fell in love with competing, and swimming has been a central part of his life ever since. After high school, Damiani joined the Army and served his country. He is now attending Baruch College, where he is majoring in journalism. His current long term goal is to coach swimming at the collegiate level.