The story of Italian diving at the Sports Festival, Klaus Debiasi and Giorgio Cagnotto between rivalry and friendship

TRENTO. The two protagonists of this long and lasting story for 75 years nowthey have in common, first of all the passion, born from a family tradition for diving: the father of Debiasis was Olympic athlete, the uncle of Cagnotto he participated in the European Championships. Distant times, different times. The dives themselves were different, considered more of an exhibition than a sport.

The perception then changed when they arrived on the scene Klaus Debiasi And Giorgio Cagnotto, two talents capable of attracting, in terms of skills and styles. Together, a lucky duo. The story of these two great champions begins when Italy counted more in diving than in swimming and stopped whenever these two myths were at work: 24 medals, 14 from Kaus and 10 from Cagnotto. Behind these medals, a long history of rivalry and friendship.

Different characters that affected their respective performances, but benefited from the approach to each race, even the simplest one which, with their presence, became of a high level, because one had to beat the other. A technical rivalry that has enhanced their respective qualitiescreating a constructive and spectacular relationship to better prepare but also to specialize in something new and different to make a difference.

This is how the two champions, stimulating each other, have grown up, each in their own specialty: one from the platform, the other from the springboard. Klaus: “Without Giorgio I would not have become the Debiasis that I am”. Giorgio: “Klaus was like the Beatles in music, nothing was like before”.

Forerunner in the triple, Debiasi was the first to enter the water without splashing. Everyone was waiting for that moment that became poetry in the athletic act. This is how diving has changed and even today, in the most important competitions, one can appreciate the technique of entering the water, then refined by the Chinese.

But the real story began when Klaus Debiasi introduced himself to the Tokyo Games at 17, starting the “Big Bang” of Italian diving. In 1972, in Munich, the two athletes fulfilled the dream of getting on the Olympic podium together.

They wore an “anonymous” suit, made by a tailor in Rome, without any logo but only with the words “Italy Diving“. Distant times, different times: the Fin did not allow advertising, the prizes were very low and to take home a medal you worked for free. “We created emotions because we had fun and we didn’t have a lot of pressure”.

In 1976, it was the last Olympics for Debiasis who made a hat-trick afterwards Mexico City And Monk. Cagnotto continued his career and participated in 1980 in Moscow after winning the European cup. A bronze medal that could have been silver were it not for a questionable choice of the jury that damaged it. But there is no room for regret, because the legacy that both champions are called to leave is truly enormous.

For Giorgio there is the daughter Tania: “It has extended my career as well as giving stimuli and emotions to my heart”. Klaus now covers countless institutional roles that gratify him and allow him to be still a great example for future champions: “in the Federation we work to create a movement, rather than individual personalities”. It was then born “the Italian school“. Times have changed but it is always the passion that never dies.

The story of Italian diving at the Sports Festival, Klaus Debiasi and Giorgio Cagnotto between rivalry and friendship