29 June 1944|
Pasiano di Pordenone, Italy
|Died||7 November 2011
Roberto Marson (June 29, 1944 – November 7, 2011) was an Italian multisport athlete who competed at the Summer Paralympics on four occasions and won a total of 26 Paralympic medals. He lost the use of his legs when a pine tree he was chopping down fell on his back.
Marson made his first Paralympic appearance, representing Italy, in the second ever Games in Tokyo, Japan, in 1964. He competed in three different sports: athletics, wheelchair fencing and swimming. In athletics he won two gold medals and two silver medals, setting a new world record of 24.20 metres in the men's javelin C classification. He finished fourth in both of the freestyle swimming events in which he competed. In the individual fencing events Marson won silver in épée and sabre, but alongside compatriots Franco Rossi and Rengo Rogo he won a team épée gold medal and a team sabre bronze medal.
At the 1968 Summer Paralympics held in Tel Aviv, Israel, Marson was proclaimed the outstanding athlete of the Games after winning ten gold medals; three in athletics field events, three in swimming and four in wheelchair fencing. His swimming golds all came on the same day as he won the 50 metres events for freestyle, breaststroke and backstroke. In wheelchair fencing he won individual gold for épée, foil and sabre. He was joined by Giovanni Ferraris, Vittorio Loi, Franco Rossi and Germano Zanarotto to defeat France 5-4 in the final and win gold for Italy in the team foil. With Ferraris and Zanarotto he won a silver in team sabre and also won silver in the team épée alongside Loi and Rossi. He successfully defended the Paralympic javelin and discus titles that he had won in Tokyo and added a third athletics gold medal in the club throw and a bronze in the shot put.
In 1972 at the Paralympics in Heidelberg, Marson contested a single athletics event and four wheelchair fencing events. He finished fourth in the men's discus 4 event with the gold being won by Canadian Eugene Reimer. In the individual épée, individual sabre and team épée events he retained his Paralympic titles, but his Italian team was beaten to the gold medal in the team sabre by Great Britain.
Marson's final Paralympic Games came in 1976 in Toronto, Canada. He failed to win medals in either of his athletic events or the individual wheelchair fencing events, but did take a bronze medal in the men's team épée. He was President of Federazione Italiana Sport Handicappati from 1980 until 1990. He died in 2011 and in 2012 he was inducted into the International Paralympian Hall of Fame.
- List of multiple Paralympic gold medalists
- List of multiple Paralympic gold medalists at a single Games
- IPC inducts new members into its Hall of Fame
- Italy at the Paralympics - Multiple medallists
- Results for roberto marson from the International Paralympic Committee
- "Wheelchair Olympics Underway". Sarasota Herald Tribune. 7 November 1968. Retrieved 28 April 2011.
- "CIP". Comitatoparalimpico.it. Retrieved 2012-11-04.
- "IPC Announces Visa Paralympic Hall of Fame Inductees". paralympic.org. Retrieved 8 September 2012.
- "Results Tokyo 1964 Paralympic Games Athletics Men's Javelin C". International Paralympic Committee. Retrieved 28 April 2011.
- "Tel Aviv 1968". International Paralympic Committee. Retrieved 28 April 2011.
- "Results Tel Aviv 1968 Paralympic Games Wheelchair Fencing Men's Foil Team". International Paralympic Committee. Retrieved 28 April 2011.
- "Results Heidelberg 1972 Paralympic Games Athletics Men's Discus 4". International Paralympic Committee. Retrieved 28 April 2011.
- "La storia della CIP" (in Italian). Comitato Italiano Paralimpico. Retrieved 28 April 2011.