Valentina Vezzali is an Italian Fencer, the first fencer in the world to have won three consecutive gold medals in three Olympic editions, plus another three Olympic gold medals in the team events and also winner of 6 World titles and 5 European individual titles.
In her career she has won 11 World Cups (78 tests won) and 14 National Titles in individual competition to which are added 12 titles won in team events. She has won the most medals in Italian history and is, according to many experts, the greatest Fencer of all times.
After a successful youth career, her debut takes place in the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta, where she won the silver medal in individual foil fencing and the gold medal in the team event. The year after she won the individual gold medal at the XIX World University Games in Sicily. In the following edition of the Olympics, Sydney 2000, Valentina Vezzali again reaches the finals of the women’s foil fencing, this time winning the gold medal, encored also in the team event.
In Athens 2004 Valentina Vezzali manages to repeat the Olympic Games of Sydney reaching the finals and winning the gold medal by defeating fellow countryman Giovanna Trillini. The only other Olympian to successfully win two consecutive gold medals in this field was Hungarian Elek in 1936 and in 1948.
In the World Championship of Fencing, in Leipzig in 2005, she wins her fourth gold in individual foil fencing, only four months away from the birth of her eldest son.
In the Beijing Olympics in 2008 she wins another gold medal in the individual foil fencing event overcoming Giovanna Trillini as the number 1 ranking Italian athlete to have won more gold medals at the Olympic Games and also becoming the only athlete to have won three consecutive gold medals in the same discipline.
In addition to the Olympic medals, Valentina Vezzali has achieved much success in other important fencing events. At the World Championships she has collected a total of 13 gold medals (6 individual and 7 team), 4 silver and 3 bronze medals, while in the European Championships 10 gold (5 individual and 5 team), 4 silver and 2 bronze medals .
She has also won the World Cup 11 times, 2 gold medals at the Mediterranean Games (2001, 2009), 4 gold medals at the World University Games (1995, 1997, 1999, 2001) and 20 Italian titles (11 individuals and 9 team). She ranked number one in the world continuously from 1996 until the pause for motherhood after Athens in 2004. Between 1999 and 2001 she won all the major events in which she participated and between 1999 and 2000 she won 56 consecutive matches.
In the World Fencing Championships in Catania 2011 she won her 6th world title beating in the final Elisa Francisca 14-7. In the London 2012 Olympics, she was defeated in the semi-finals by fellow countryman Arianna Errigo. In the finals for third place she wins the bronze medal with a legendary comeback, completing the wonderful experience with the gold medal in team competition.
In 2013 she is a candidate in the political elections for “Scelta Civica” (Civic Choice) and is elected to the Chamber of Deputies on February 25th as leader of this party in the Marches region.
She is married to Soccer player Domenico Giugliano, has two sons, Peter, born June 9, 2005 and Andrea born in May 2013.
Valentina has been committed to Laboratorio 0246’s cause from the very beginning, becoming president in May of 2011.