There is no denying Alessio Sartori’s rowing pedigree. The Italian has stacked up World
and Olympic medals and now sits at number eight on World Rowing’s Top 10 male rowers
Sartori’s life is rowing. He started in the sport at the
age of 12 and had reached the top early on when he
became the junior World Champion in the single. It is
not unusual for junior winners in the single to carry on
to great things. Sartori did. In the same year, at the
age of 17, Sartori became a senior World Champion
in what was to become his signature boat, the men’s
quadruple sculls. He repeated this feat the next year.
Despite Sartori’s ease with sculling, his 200cm and
103kg has also made a difference to Italy’s eight and
four. His versatility also led him back to the single scull
on various occasions.
The crew went on to finish fourth at the 1996 Olympic
Games but came back four years later to win at the
Sydney Olympics, this time with the legendary Agostino
Abbagnale sitting in the boat.
Sartori finished his 2010 season racing at the European
Championships in the quad. Health problems kept him
out of the World Rowing Championships but he didn’t
leave rowing for long, racing in the single at Italy’s head
race the Silver Skiff in November, where he finished sixth.
Regular rowing partner Rossano Galtarossa rowed
with Sartori at the Athens Olympics in 2004 and in
the double sculls the duo set a new World Best Time
leading up to the finals. They won bronze in the final.
Although Sartori has made a life filled with rowing – he
has raced internationally every year for the last 19 years
– he has still found time to marry and help raise two
children, Matteo and Monica.
Watch out for Sartori as he heads towards London
2012, his fifth Olympic Games.
© 2006 Sandra Behne/Getty Images © 2004 Donald Miralle/Getty Images