Source: Rari 1904; Una storia di Campioni; Giordano Goggioli.
Friday, April 20, 2007
Gianni Lonzi, Italy: The winner
Born in Florence on 1938, two steps away of the Rari Nantes Firenze, Gianni Lonzi started his carrier on 1946. Just upon his arrival Giordano Goggioli threw him into the river Arno, saying: “Now you have to swim”. Immediately after he joined the swimming team and on 1953 he won his first National Champion title in backstroke. He couldn’t though resist to the fascination of the ball and the cage of Water Polo. On 1953 he emerges quickly among the other junior Water Polo players and debuts into the 1st Italian Water Polo division. He proved to be an all around and tenacious player, understanding quickly the importance of hard training, of studying his opponents and preparing his games. He played for RN Firenze from 1953 to 1963 combining the roles of player, captain and coach. On 1964 he moved to Camogli assisting his team to its promotion to the 1st division. On 1967 and 1968 he played for Pro-Recco winning two National Championships. Into the National team he started on 1958 up to 1968 Mexico Olympic Games. He won the gold medal into the Rome ’60 Olympic Games (gold medal) and then participated as to Tokyo 64’ and Mexico 68’. On 1968 he concludes his carrier as an athlete and Mario Majoni, the National team’s coach, called him to coach initially the Juniors National team along with D’ Altrui. Few years later he becomes the National coach and leads Italy to the Olympic Games of Munich 1972, Montreal 1976 (silver medal) and Moscow 1980. Among his quite a few successes are: the bronze medal in Cali 1975, World Championships, the bronze medal in Jonkoping 1977, European Championships and the gold medal in Berlin 1978 World Championships. He ended his carrier after the Rome 1983, European Championships.