Maria Valentina Vezzali [en]

Maria Valentina Vezzali delle Fiamme oro scherma

Place of birth: Jesi (Ancona)
Date of birth: 12 February 1974
Height: 164 cm
Weight: 53 kg
Sport:Fencing
Discipline/Event: Foil
Occupation: Police Officer (rank: Sovrintendente)
Original club: Club Scherma Jesi
Present club: Fiamme Oro
Coach: Giulio Tomassini

Valentina is the most successful Italian athlete in history having ranked as World number one for twelve years. She was born on February 14, 1974 in Jesi/Italy, and started playing fencing in 1980 with coach Ezio Ticcoli achieving her early successes. Her fist victory came in 1983, when she won the "Fumi" trophy in the youth category "Prime Lame". Since then she went on to win, putting together a string of impressive results.

Beijing 2008 was her fourth Olympics. As the reigning champion, she lived up to everyone's expectations winning the individual foil gold plus a bronze medal in the foil team event . With these victories she has won a total of 7 Olympic titles: 5 gold medals, 1 silver, and 1 bronze.

She got through difficult stages in her career as only a blue ribbon athlete can do. Just four months after giving birth to her son Pietro, Valentina was able to win her fourth individual foil world title in Leipzig. In 2006 she underwent left knee surgery to repair her cruciate ligament. Through persistent application and sacrifice she could recover and get back in shape.

MasterGiulio Tomassini's technical and psychological support has always been fundamental to important for her. He has been coaching her since 1990 and knows the secret of our champion: she is able to reset and start from scratch. Her greatest talent on the strip? Dexterity and reactivity: she can foresee her opponent's intentions and prepare her counter offensive action to parry or be the first to touch. She does the right thing at the right time. She resumed foiling in February 2007 after the operation and in October she won her fifth world title in St. Petersburg, defeating her teammate and opponent Margherita Granbassi, who had beaten her at the 2006 World Championships final in Turin.

After the Olympics, the undisputed queen of women's foil did not content herself and went on to win.

Valentina is an example of strength and will, and longs to continue winning.

At the 2012 London Olympics she had the honour of being the flag bearer for the Italian team, carrying the Italian flag at the opening ceremony and won two medals: bronze in the individual event and gold in the team foil event.

She joined the police sports group "Fiamme Oro" in 1999 and since then has become "the policewoman with a foil", with the rank of "Sovrintendente".

Results

Olympic Games

London 2012: Individual Foil Bronze; Team Foil Gold
Beijing 2008: Individual Foil Gold; Team Foil Bronze
Athens 2004: Individual Foil Gold
Sidney 2000: Individual Foil Gold, Team Foil Gold
Atlanta 1996: Individual Foil Silver, Team Foil Gold

World Championships
2011 - Catania (Italy ) - Individual Foil Gold; Team Foil Silver
2010 - Paris (France) - Individual Foil Bronze; Team Foil Gold
2009 - Antalya (Turkey) - Individual Foil - 5th place, Team Foil Gold
2007 - Saint Petersburg (Russia) - Individual Foil Gold; Team Foil 5th place
2006 - Turin (Italy) - Individual Foil Silver; Team Foil Silver
2005 - Leipzig (Germany) - Individual Foil Gold, Team Foil 7th place
2004 - New York (U.S.A.) - Team Foil Gold
2003 - Havana (Cuba) - Individual Foil Gold, Team Foil 4th place
2002 - Lisbon (Portugal) - Individual Foil 5th place, Team Foil 7th place
2001 - Nîmes (France) 2001- Individual Foil Gold, Team Foil Gold
1999 - Seoul (Korea) - Individual Foil Gold
1998 - La Chaux de Fonds (France)- Individual Foil Bronze, Team Foil Gold
1997 - Cape Town (South Africa) - Team Foil Gold
1995 - The Hague (The Netherlands) - Individual Foil Bronze, Team Foil Gold
1994 - Athens (Greece) - Individual Foil Silver, Team Foil Silver

European Championships
2012 - Legnano (Italy) 2012 - Individual Foil Gold
2011 - Sheffield (United Kindom) - Individual Foil Silver, Team Foil Gold
2010 - Leipzig (Germany) - Individual Foil Gold
2009 - Plovdiv (Bulgaria) - Individual Foil Gold, Team Foil Gold
2007 - Gand (Belgium) - Individual Foil Silver; Team Foil Bronze
2003 - Bourges (France) - Individual Foil Silver, Team Foil Silver
2001 - Koblenz (Germany) - Individual Foil Gold, Team Foil Gold
1999 - Bolzano (Italy) - Individual Foil Gold, Team Foil Gold
1989 Plovdiv (Bulgaria) - Individual Foil Gold

Mediterranean Games
Pescara (Italy) 2009: Individual Foil Gold
Tunis (Tunisia) 2001: Individual Foil Gold at the World University Games
Beijing (China) 2001: Individual Foil Gold; Team Foil Silver
Palma de Mallorca (Spain) 1999: Individual Foil Gold; Team Foil Gold
Sicily (Italy) 1997: Individual Foil Gold; Team Foil Silver
Fukuoka (Japan) 1995: Individual Foil Gold; Team Foil Silver

World Cup
She holds the record of 78 victories in the World Cup
2010 - 2011: 2nd place in the overall ranking
2009 - 2010: 1st place in the overall ranking
2008 - 2009: 2nd place in the overall ranking
2007 - 2008: 1st place in the overall ranking
2006 - 2007: 1st overall in the ranking
2005 - 2006: 4th place in the overall ranking
1998-1999; 1999-2000; 2000-2001; 2001-2002; 2002-2003; 2003-2004: 1st place in the overall ranking
1997 - 1998: 2nd place in the overall ranking
1995 - 1996: 1996 - 1997: 1st place in the overall ranking

Italian National Championships
2012: Individual Foil Gold; Team Foil Gold
2011: Individual Foil Silver; Team Foil Bronze
2010: Individual Foil Silver; Team Foil Gold
2009: Individual Foil Gold; Team Foil Gold
2008: Individual Foil Gold; Team Foil Gold
2007: Team Foil Gold
2006: Individual Foil Gold; Team Foil Silver
2005: Individual Foil Gold; Team Foil Silver
2004: Individual Foil Gold; Team Foil Silver
2003: Individual Foil Gold;
2002: Individual Foil Bronze; Team Foil Gold
2001: Individual Foil Gold; Team Foil Bronze
1994 - 1995 - 1996 - 1997 - 1998 - 1999: Individual Foil Gold; Team Foil Gold
1992: Individual Foil Gold

World Junior Fencing Championships
Mexico City (Mexico) 1994: Individual Foil Gold
Denver (USA) 1993: Individual Foil Gold
Genoa (Italy) 1992: Individual Foil Silver
Mödling (Austria) 1990: Individual Foil Bronze

World Cadet Fencing Championships
Foggia (Italy) 1991: Individual Foil Gold
Göteborg (Sweden) 1990: Individual Foil Gold
Lisbon (Portugal) 1989: Individual Foil Gold

European Junior Fencing Championships
Estoril (Portugal) 1993: Individual Foil Gold
Innsbruck (Austria) 1992: Individual Foil Gold

World Junior Cup
1992 - 1993 - 1994: Individual Foil Gold

Italian Junior Championships
1992: Individual Foil Gold

CISM Military World Games
Catania(Italy) 2003: Individual Foil Gold, Team Foil Gold
Viterbo (Italy) 2000: Individual Foil Bronze; Team Foil Gold

International Tournements
Grenoble (France) 2002: Individual Foil Gold
"Seven Nations Cup" - Tauber (Germany) 2001: Individual Foil Gold

National Tournements
"Open di Ravenna" - Ravenna (Italy) 2003: Individual Foil Gold
"Marta Russo" - Rome (Italy) 2001: Individual Foil Gold

Honours
2008 - Grand Officer (Grande Ufficiale) of the Order of Merit of the Italian Republic
2000 - Commander (Commendatore) of the Order of Merit of the Italian Republic


OnMay 28, 2009, she entered the Guinness World Records book as the athlete with the most number of gold medals won in consecutive Olympic Games.

Italian version

25/07/2012
(modificato il 11/09/2012)