Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Giovanni Pettenella (1943-2010) R.I.P.

A true track star.

"A man who from humble beginnings went on to win a gold medal in the track sprint at the 1964 Tokyo Olympics Games. A man who at those same Games also won the silver medal in the Kilometre, coming in behind the Belgian rider Patrick Sercu who would later became a legendary Six Day racer. 

A man who during the semifinals of the Tokyo Olympic track sprint against Pierre Trentin astounded the crowd with a 21 minute trackstand before finishing his adversary with a blindingly fast sprint. 

A man who on a hot day in the summer of 1968, at the Italian National Track Championships held in Varese, set the world trackstand record of one hour and five minutes, a record that stands to this day. Pettenella's adversary on that occasion was that same Bianchetto of the Tokyo Olympic sprint final, a rider who after one hour and three minutes of trackstanding under the fierce summer sun collapsed to the ground, unconscious.

In a drawer of his office desk Pettenella still has a photograph of the final minutes of the race. Bianchetto is lying unconscious on the track with Vanni still trackstanding and waiting for the doctors to validate his victory in the first sprint

Saw this at Hipster Nascar. But you really better read this HERE.

VANNI PETTENELLA GOLD AND SILVER MEDAL 1964 TOKYO from camilla candida donzella on Vimeo.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Vanni Pettenella was a teacher for me… on bikes, fixed and more

I capture some video from a tape he give me about 1964 olympic games and about one Ovomaltina tv spot he did.


It’ s a way to remember him.