Biography of Alberto Braglia (1906-1954)

The sad story of Alberto Braglia, one of the first heroes of the Olympic Gymnastics began in Campogalliano, in the Italian province of Modena, where he/she was born on April 23, 1883. Modena, famous for being the birthplace of the powerful family this, as well as for its wines and cheeses, is located in the Centre of Italy, about 75 km northwest of Bologna. There, the young Alberto learned the secrets of gymnastics and acrobatics: fast rope climber, agile jumper and slung travelling Acrobat. He/She was so skilled in the rings as horizontal bars and the horse with rings.

In 1906, at the age of 23, he/she traveled to Athens to compete in the intermediate games. The absolute proof of gymnastics was divided into two competitions, which doubled the chances of athletes win a medal. The first day were held five exercises, which were repeated on the second day, although adding a sixth exercise. Tests were: horizontal bar, parallel bars, Colt, rings and combination of height and length jumps. The sixth race of the second day was the pommel horse. In the two days Braglia was good enough to take a pair of silver medals, after the French Pierre Paysse.En 1908, Braglia participated in the London Games. His main rival was another Frenchman, Louis safe. In the multiple test had a single competition, with the following exercises: horizontal bar, parallel bars, horse with bows, rings and a new one, the fixed rope. With 137 points, Braglia won his first Olympic title. Did not take part in the team event, where Italy finished sixth. Along with the Medal, Braglia also received a tip that had belonged to Queen Victoria. His victory made him the first Italian Olympic athlete to win a gold medal.Braglia repeated his feat in 1912, defeating the Frenchman Segura, who had taken the bronze in 1908. Unlike then, he/she joined the Italian team in the team competition, helping him to win the title, which earned him his third gold. In this way, was the first Olympic gymnast who got three gold medals. In Modena, his fellow citizens gave him the welcome reserved for heroes. They flooded him money, offered employment and even built a gym that bore his name. In 1932, he/she prepared the Italian team that caused a sensation in Los Angeles. His athletes were six medals, including four gold and the first since the General team.From the highest peak, Braglia fell into abject poverty. Bad investments left him bankrupt. Unable to keep a job, finally ended as a goalkeeper, sweeping the gym which bore his name. It sold their gold medals and the mouthpiece that belonged to Queen Victoria. When the Italian Government learned that the great Olympic hero lived in misery, granted him a lean monthly pension of $35, which was their only means of life. On February 5, 1954, at the age of 71, a heart attack the largest Italian gymnast of all time reaped the life of Alberto Braglia, perhaps.