The Day Domenico Fioravanti Doubled Italy’s Olympic Breaststroke Gold Count

Domenico Fioravanti, of Italy, two years after his forced retirement from racing… on his way to a race of a lighter kind - by Patrick B. Kraemer

This day 15 years ago at Sydney 2000, Domenico Fioravanti added the 200m breaststroke crown to his 100m triumph 3 days earlier to become the first from his country to win two gold at one Games in the pool and the first ever to win the 100 and 200m crowns at the same Games.

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This day 15 years ago at Sydney 2000, Domenico Fioravanti added the 200m breaststroke crown to his 100m triumph 3 days earlier to become the first from his country to win two gold at one Games in the pool and the first ever to win the 100 and 200m crowns at the same Games.

Comments

ThereaLuigi

One of the greatest breaststrokers of modern age imho, though you might think that I am biased. A slow starter, but how powerful! He surely had one of the most powerful and effective kicks ever seen among breaststrokers (you can see it at around 1:40 in the video above). We call the stroke “rana” (“frog” in English) and I think it puts an emphasis on the typical legs kick.
Thanks Craig for this piece about Domenico, whose heart condition made him something of a meteor on the international level and perhaps deprived him of the recognition he deserved. He now comments swimming on Italian tv, and seems a great guy.

Yozhik

What a colorful warm language, so powerful in its simplicity. Just a few sentences but it makes you think that you know this swimmer for long time already and love him as much as Luigi does.

Craig Lord

I witnessed and reported on all DF’s major swims, Yozhik, though I don’t know him personally beyond a few minutes in a mixed zone, so love is a touch strong πŸ™‚ There is a man in the picture, though, much closer to that term: Derek Parr, “masters” on his top, is a very good friend and godfather to the eldest of sons born to my wife and I. Interest declared πŸ™‚

paolo rubbiani

” Fioravanti could have been one of the greatest breststrokers of modern age” is my quote of ThereaLuigi’ assertion.
Only making prevail the romantic side of a sad-end sporting history, or looking at “what if” (but an almost endless list of athletes could say “what if I trained more, or “what if I had not physical troubles”) one can say that Fioravanti was one of the greatest breastrokers of modern age.
Anyway, hystorical double for Domenico in Sidney and that will remain forever, that’s for sure, because the results are objective and important, our opinions…not

Yozhik

Paolo I complemented Craig for bringing back to life such names like Klochkova, Krayzelburg, Fioravanti etc. The names that can be long forgotten by public media and remain in the memory of statistics lovers only. The names of great athletes whose after short sport life is very often nothing to be jealous about. I am joining Luigi, by thanking Craig for talantly presented stories. I complemented Luigi for sharing his passion. May be bias as he mentioned. I don’t know. But at the end this is what fan’s love to sport is all about. Not records, not times, but the passion to people who give us moments of deep satisfection by achieving something that we are not capable of to do by ourselves πŸ™‚

paolo rubbiani

Yozhik, I also enjoy a lot these stories of great swimmers and persons written by Craig.
And I obvoiusly enjoyed this one above about the great Domenico Fioravanti, an Italian hero.
I’ve just commented Luigi’s phrase and, as an Italian swimming fan, with a bitter taste because many Italian swimming fans know that Fioravanti could have won more during his swimming career, so that he really could have awarded “one of the greatest breaststrokers of modern age”.
But it’s remarkable and praiseworthy that Craig remind us famous episodes of swimming history and champions from the past, that’s for sure.
Any other Italian swimming heroes that I’d like to read about in this lovely site: Giorgio Lamberti, a greatly talented swimmer who failed at Olympics, but his WR in 200 free lasted many years, and Stefano “Bibi” Battistelli, small-sized but full of stamina and “garra”, first Olympic medal for Italy in 400 im after he have already won a very surprising silver in 1500 free at Worlds.
But I have many other names, Italian and not..

paolo rubbiani

Ah.., obviously Battistelli won in Seul the first male Olympic medal for Italy, because Novella Calligaris, in Munich, 16 years before, made the history for Italian swimming.

Yozhik

You see Paolo, you mentioned so many for sure great names, that people like me never heard about. Now being equiped with your information I am going to Wiki to figure out that USA and Australia are not the only place where people can swim. πŸ™‚

ThereaLuigi

Actually I don’t think that Domenico Fioravanti “could have been”. I think he was. After all, he won 100 and 200 breaststroke in the same Olympics!! But he could have been even greater without his health problems.

Lamberti suffered the “Olympic curse”, like Magnini and so many others, Italians or not: great in-between Olympic cycles, but not at the Games. But he set an amazing WR in the 200 free that was iconic and lasted about 10 years, only to be beaten I believe by Grant Hackett during the first leg of a 4×200 relay in 1999.

Tim Arnesen

Joining the off topic discussion of namedropping italian legends.
The greatest of them all must be Bud Spencer and Terrence Hill. Spencer, real name Carlo Pedersoli, being the first italian under the minute in 100 free and competing in two Olympics before the two of them became the greatest Movie-duo of all time.

ThereaLuigi

Tim, he also played waterpolo πŸ™‚

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