2 May 1962 |
|Height||1.60 m (5 ft 3 in)|
|Weight||48 kg (106 lb)|
Nicknamed "Pollicino" (Thumbelin) for his small size, Vincenzo Maenza is considered the best wrestler in the Italian history. In fact, he is the first and only Italian wrestler who has won three Olympic medals, and he was also the first and only who was able to win two gold medals.
He began to compete in 1976. Soon he became National Champion several times and in 1979 won the silver medal at the Mediterranean Games in Split. The next year he competed in the Summer Olympics in Moscow and placed 7th. After he won the bronze medal at Junior European Championship and the gold medal at the Junior World Championship, in 1984 Vincenzo became Olympic champion for the first time at the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles. In the final, he defeated German wrestler Markus Scherer in 1:59 with an awesome 12-0 score.
The 1987 was a golden year for the Italian wrestler. He became European Champion and silver medalist at World Championship. A year later, at the 1988 Summer Olympics in Seoul, Vincenzo won the gold medal for the second time, after defeated the strong Bulgarian wrestler Bratan Tsenov in the semifinal match and Andrzej Głąb of Poland in the final match. In 1992, at the 1992 Summer Olympics in Barcelona, he arrived at the final match and won the silver medal, after was defeated by the Soviet wrestler Oleg Kucherenko, who was ten years younger than him.
At the end of his career, Vincenzo Maenza's awards included: 3 Olympic Medals (two golds and one silver), 1 time European champion and 2 times bronze medalist, 1 time silver medalist and 2 times bronze medalist at the World Championships, 2 times gold medalist and 1 time bronze medalist at the Mediterranean Games.
In 2005, Vincenzo Maenza was inducted in the FILA International Wrestling Hall Of Fame.
Today, Vincenzo lives in Faenza with his family.
- 1978 - 2nd at MEC Tournament in the Netherlands
- 1979 - Mediterranean Games (Split) silver medalist
- 1981 - European Championship (Bursa) bronze medalist
- 1982 - World Championship (Caracas) gold medalist
- 1983 - Mediterranean Games (Casablanca) gold medalist
- 1984 - Summer Olympic Games (Los Angeles) gold medalist
- 1984 - 1st at CEE Athens Cup
- 1984 - European Championship (Sweden) bronze medalist
- 1985 - World Super Championship (Tokyo) gold medalist
- 1986 - European Championship (Athens) bronze medalist
- 1987 - European Championship (Tampere) gold medalist
- 1987 - Mediterranean Games (Syria) gold medalist
- 1987 - World Championship (France) silver medalist
- 1988 - Summer Olympic Games (Seoul) gold medalist
- 1989 - 2nd at World Festival (Colorado)
- 1991 - Mediterranean Games bronze medalist
- 1992 - Summer Olympic Games (Barcelona) silver medalist
Medal of Honor and Sport Merit
He said about wrestling:
|“||...because all the other sports, like soccer, are played for pleasure. Wrestling not. Or love it, or hate it. Wrestling needs a superhuman conviction to do well and succeed. Of motivations that are inside you[...] it's your challenge against your disquiet, against your nightmares, against your inside enemy.||”|
- Vincenzo loves music; his favourite singers are Edoardo Bennato and Barbra Streisand.
- He likes Sylvester Stallone's films.
- His favourite football team is Juventus F.C..
- He likes to read comic books.
- Profile in the FILA International Wrestling Hall of Fame