Giochi e Medaglie
Nedo NADI: biografia
The Italian Nedo Nadi was the most versatile fencer in history, uniquely winning an Olympic title with each of the three weapons at the same Games. Livorno-born Nadi had fencing in his blood. His father Beppe was a well-known fencer in Italy, with his owning fencing school. Together with his younger brother Aldo, Nedo learned to fight the foil and sabre, but not the épée. His father disliked this weapon, and forbade his pupils to use it. The brothers disobeyed their father, and practised in secret. At the 1912 Olympics, he surprisingly won the individual foil title - partially because of a French boycott due to a regulations disagreement.
In 1920, he produced one of the greatest of all Olympic performances. He won the individual foil and sabre titles and led the Italians to victory in all three team events, for a record five fencing medals at the same Games. His brother, Aldo, also won a gold medal in each of the three team events. The Nadi brothers were again somewhat aided by the absence of a major fencing nation, as Hungary was barred from entering the 1920 Olympics. Nadi was also lucky in the foil event. He won ten of his eleven final parties, but lost to Roger Ducret of France. With Ducret only having to beat the last-placed fencer in the pool, he was expected to win the gold, and Nadi withdrew crying. In his euphoria, Ducret failed to concentrate for his last match and was beaten by Speciale of Italy, leaving first place for Nadi.
After the Antwerp Games, Nedo Nadi taught as a professional in South America but on his return he was reinstated as an amateur and served as President of the Italian Fencing Federation. Nadi fought in World War I and was decorated by the Italian government for bravery.