Thursday, May 17, 2007

Gildo Arena: The legend of Santa Lucia

Ermenegildo (Gildo) Arena was born in Napoli on 1921. He grew up in Santa Lucia, Napoli and start his carrier into the club of Rari Nantes Napoli. He has been one of the best players of the World inventor of the back hand shot a technical gesture called in Italian “beduina”. He had as “maestro” the legendary Hungarian Bandy Zolyomy who understood immediately his great talent, helping him allot to further improve his technical repertoire. At the beginning of his carrier he has been exceptional swimmer winning several Italian titles in 100 m. freestyle (1945 and 1946), in 200 m. freestyle (1941 and 1946). Gildo Arena earned his great reputation thanks to a formidable Water Polo carrier. He won 6 Italian Championships with “Rari Nantes Napoli” (1939, 1941, 1942, 1949 and 1950), 1 with “Canottieri Napoli" in 1951”. He played 53 times with the Italian National team winning the gold in the Montecarlo, 1947 European Championship, the gold in London 1948 Olympic Games and bronze in Melbourne 1952 Olympic Games. He has been top scorer with 11 goals in London 1948 forming with Lallo Ghira a fantastic duet. Arena scored the winning goal against Hungary (4-3 for Italy) the most beautiful goal ever seen…” Just few days before he passed away in February 2005, he received the recognition of the Italian state for "merito sportivo"
Source: "Alla ricerca del Nuoto perduto" ; Aronne Anghileri

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