A conversation with Mr. Francesco De Piccoli, first italian heavyweight winning gold at Olympic Games, at Rome 196030 November 2017
A conversation with Mr. Francesco De Piccoli
Today Francesco De Piccoli, called Franco, gold at Roma 1960 Olympic Games, blowing out eighteen candles.
Born in Venice in November 29th 1937, he was the first italian heavyweight to win a gold in Olympic Games, conquering at Rome 1960.
Why did you start practising boxing?
“Because I wanted to become a champion in the sport. I practiced cycling, football but establish myself only with boxing. From my youth I loved to dance and the proprietor of a dance hall noticed my agility despite having a imposing physique and he proposed me to go in his boxing gym. And from there changed my life.”
What did boxing teach you?
“I learned to make many sacrifices to achieve my sporting dream. In the mid1950s, early in the morning I was jogging then I went to work in a factory (foundry) by bike and just finished work I trained in boxing gym, then resume bike and go home.”
The turning point with Italian boxing national team…
“I found myself in front of an important choice: fire me from the workplace, economically secure, to try a boxing opportunity chance or give up life as a boxer and stay to work in the factory. I chose the first option. I started training with my first two coaches (Arturo Paoletti and Antonio Caneo) and later with the Italian national team. On 6 March of 1955 I won my first match as an amateur for abandonment of the opponent and then, in 1956, I won a heavyweight tournament where I confronted valid opponents. I became Italian champion in subsequent editions until I became military world champion in 1960 and won Olympic gold in Rome 1960. After Olympic Games I became pro boxer, until 1965.”
What is boxing for you?
“It is an art that involves physical and mental strength, courage, boxing intelligence. Thanks to boxing that I am the man that I am today: taught me the meaning of sacrifice and of respect for others. Boxing gave me the dream of establish myself”.