Passages: Giuseppe D’Altrui, Italian Water Polo Legend, 89

Photo Courtesy: Giorgio Scala / Deepbluemedia / Insidefoto

Passages: Giuseppe D’Altrui, Italian Water Polo Legend, 89

Giuseppe D’Altrui, one of the titans of Italian water polo, died on Feb. 26. He was 89 years old.

D’Altrui captained Italy to the gold medal at the 1960 Olympics in Rome. He also played on the 1956 team that finished fourth and captained the side in 1964. He led Italy to gold at the 1955 and 1963 Mediterranean Games and the 1958 and 1959 World Military Championships. His hardware includes Mediterranean Games silver in 1959, European Championships bronze in 1954 and World University Games bronze in 1959.

Born in Naples, D’Altrui played more than 300 games in Serie A from 1952-64, first with Rari Nante in his hometown and then Fiamme Oro in Rome. He played for the national team 75 times.

In 2015, D’Altrui was honored with the Collare d’Oro al Merito Sportivo, the highest honor that the Italian Olympic Committee (CONI) bestows on an athlete.

D’Altrui also coached his son, Marco D’Altrui, to Olympic water polo gold. Born just before his father’s final Olympics in 1964, Marco was a member of the Italian team that won Olympic gold in Barcelona in 1992. Marco also led Italy to gold at the 1993 European Championships and the 1994 World Championships.

Giuseppe and Marco were inducted to the International Swimming Hall of Fame together in 2010.

“To win the Olympics was a dream that I’ve always had and it has accompanied me since I played with a small ball in the shallow water,” Marco said upon their induction. “I always wanted to imitate my father, who had won the gold medal at the Olympics in Rome. It goes to show that if you dream it, and work hard, you can do it.”

Giuseppe D’Altrui had a long coaching career, starting as a player coach with Rari Nantes in 1960. He coached into the 1980s with a variety of clubs, including RN Salerno, Nicola Mamelia, Pescara and Chiavari.

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