Trebisonda Valla was born as the first girl after four brothers in Bologna. The unusual first name in Italy is probably due to the Turkish city of Trabzon (Italian Trebisonda ). From friends and family she was called Ondina. Her talent was already recognized as a young girl and at the age of 13, she was already one of the best athletes of Italy. At 14, she became Italian champion and included in the national team. In the following years she won several national championships and set world records.
She celebrated her biggest success in the XI. 1936 Summer Olympics in Berlin. In the semifinals, she set a new world record in the 80 meter hurdles at 11.6 seconds. This world record was officially recognized, although an illegal tail wind of 2.8 m / s was measured. The final she won in 11.7 seconds before the German Anni control ( silver) and the Canadian Elizabeth Taylor Campbell ( bronze). With the Italian 4x100 meters relay she finished fourth in 48.7 seconds.