August 25, 1966 |
|Height||1.88 m (6 ft 2 in)|
|Weight||96 kg (212 lb)|
|Club||G.S. Fiamme Gialle|
Abbagnale was born in Pompei. He won his first gold medal at the 1988 Summer Olympics in Seoul. He stroked the Italian Quadruple scull (4x). His brothers Carmine and Giuseppe won gold medals at the same games in the pair with coxswain event (2+).
After the medal ceremony, Abbagnale, who is a poor swimmer, jumped into the rowing lake and landed on one of his partners Davide Tizzano, knocking the gold medal out of his hand. It took scuba divers two days to recover the missing medal. Shortly thereafter, Abbagnale began suffering from thrombosis which caused blood clots in the veins of his legs. He had to give up rowing for 5 years which prevented him from rowing in the 1992 Summer Olympics.
Abbagnale returned to the Olympic stage at the 1996 Summer Olympics teaming with Davide Tizzano to win the Gold in the Double Scull (2x). At the 2000 Summer Olympics, Abbagnale repeated his gold medal performance winning the Quadruple Scull (4x). A flare up in his thrombosis forced Abbagnale to retire in 2003.
In 2006, Abbagnale was awarded the Thomas Keller Medal, given by FISA, the governing board for international rowing. The Thomas Keller Medal is awarded for an outstanding career in international rowing. Abbagnale's brothers Carmine and Giuseppe had been awarded the Thomas Keller Medal in 1997.
- Olympic Medals: 3 Gold
- World Championship Medals: 2 Gold and 2 Silver.
- Thomas Keller Medal Awarded in 2006 for an outstanding career in international rowing.
- 2000 - Gold, Quadruple Scull
- 1996 - Gold, Double Scull
- 1988 - Gold, Quadruple Sculls
- 2002 - Silver, Double Scull
- 1999 - 7th, Quadruple Scull
- 1998 - Gold, Quadruple Scull
- 1997 - Gold, Quadruple Scull
- 1995 - 13th, Double Scull
- 1987 - 11th, Quadruple Scull
- 1985 - Silver, Eight
- List of multiple Olympic gold medalists
- Italian men gold medalist at the Olympics and World Championships