Thursday, March 21, 2019

World Renowned Water Polo Coach and Player, Alessandro Campagna, To Be Inducted Into ISHOF

When Alessandro Campagna was a young boy, his doctor recommended he start swimming to help with a medical condition.  What soon emerged from swimming was his love of the water and a drive to work hard.   He tried his hand at water polo and in his very first water polo match, Alessandro scored three goals. From that day on there has been no stopping him in the pool as an athlete or on the deck as a coach!  He has won gold at the Olympics, World Championships and European Championships, among many other accomplishments.  Alessandro Campagna will be inducted into the International Swimming Hall of Fame as a member of the Class of 2019 during the Honoree Induction ceremony in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, May 18, 2019.
Meet Alessandro in person and hear his inspirational life story at the ISHOF Induction dinner.   Become an ISHOF Legacy Member and attend the ISHOF Induction Dinner for FREE.  Can’t attend the event? Please consider making a donation to ISHOF to support Alessandro and our other inspirational honorees.
FOR THE RECORD: AS A PLAYER: 1992 OLYMPIC GAMES: gold; 1986 WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS: silver; 1994 WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS: gold; 1987 EUROPEAN CHAMPIONSHIPS: bronze; 1989 EUROPEAN CHAMPIONSHIPS: bronze; 1993 EUROPEAN CHAMPIONSHIPS: gold; AS A COACH: 2011 WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS: gold; 2014 EUROPEAN CHAMPIONSHIPS: bronze

Alessandro Campagna ISHOF Honoree

About Alessandro

It has been said that Alessandro (Sandro) Campanga was one of the most complete water polo players of all time. In his career, he played for two clubs:   The first was, Ortigia Siracusa, where he was the captain and leading player for ten championship seasons, reaching the playoff semi-finals of the Italian Championships, and the second, Roma, where he won the Coppa delle Coppe, also known as the LEN Cup Winner’s Cup and the Len Cup.  The winners of the LEN Cup Winner’s Cup went on to face the European champions in the European Super Cup.
Campagna comes from the beautiful island of Sicily.  He began swimming at the age of six because the doctor advised him to swim in order to improve a medical issue with his chest.  He was afraid of the water at first, but the more time he spent in the water, the more confident he became and the more he began to love it.  By the age of eight, Campagna also liked playing football, but he seemed to excel at swimming, so that is the sport he chose. Even at young age, Alessandro, known as “Sandro” always trained very hard.
At age 12, he was introduced to the sport of water polo.  One of the first things he was attracted to in the sport was playing with the water polo ball, most likely because of his love of soccer.  The rules of the game came to him quickly.  The very first game that Campagna played in, he scored three goals.  He was hooked!
He transferred his love of swimming to water polo and never looked back. In 1976, during the Montreal Olympic Games, when Alessandro was only 13 years old, he watched Italy win the silver medal in water polo.  It was then that he decided, “One day I too will be on the Olympic podium playing water polo for my country.”  His idol was ISHOF Hall of Famer, Gianni De Magistris.
Alessandro Campagna; LEN European Water Polo Championships 2016 Romania ROU (White) Vs Italy ITA (Blue) Men Team Italy Head Coach CAMPAGNA Alessandro ITA Kombank Arena, Belgrade, Serbia Day04 13-01-2016 Photo P. Mesiano/Insidefoto/Deepbluemedia
Photo Courtesy: Pasquale Mesiano
Campagna continued in water polo and rapidly improved.  In 1981 while playing for Ortigia, Campagna and the team played in the A1 Championships, the top championships in Italy.  In two of the games, they faced Team Florentia, De Magristris’ team.  Campagna was finally coming face to face with his idol.  Ortigia won the game 5-4 and Campagna scored three of the five goals.  From that day forward, Alessandro gained the respect of all water polo players.
Campagna believes its not only hard work, perseverance and talent that make a good player.  He says that in his case, he owes so much to his first coach, Romolo Parodi, “who taught him the true values of water polo, the love of the game and the perseverance to devote in every training session together with the respect of rules and opponents,”  Campagna said.  “My desire of accomplishment did all the rest, after reaching a success, I immediately thought of the next one to come,” he added.
After playing for Ortigia Siracusa for ten years, Campagna moved to Rome, played at the club level, and became a professional player.
Campagna played in 409 games with the Italian National Team, “Settebello,” scored more than 1500 goals in total, his national team and club appearances combined.  He was a major factor in the Grand Slam, winning from 1992 to 1995; the 1992 Olympics (Barcelona); the 1993 FINA Cup (Athens); the 1993 European Championships (Sheffield); Vienna 1995; and finally the 1995 World Championships (Rome) with the legendary Settebello coached by ISHOF Honor Coach, Radko Rudic.  Campagna became Rudic’s first assistant coach in the 1996-97 season and later went on to replace him and take the helm of the Italian Men’s National Team, where he accumulated over 300 “benches.”

Alessandro Campagna ISHOF Honoree
Campagna credits much of his success to the three coaches he had during his time on the Italian National Team with ISHOF Hall of Famers Gianni Lonzi and Radko Rudic being the first two.  To Lonzi, he credits having the merit of debuting him as a young player at 18 years old and to Rudic, Campagna believes the coach made him go further mentally than he would have on his own.  Lastly, he believes that Coach Fritz Dennerlein completed him tactically.
Upon retirement, Campagna decided to put his water polo knowledge to use in coaching. He is one of the few who managed to continue his competitive playing success in his coaching success.
He began coaching the national team, Settebello, in 2001.  The Italian team, under Campagna, won silver medals at the European Championships (Budapest), and at the Mediterranean Games in Tunis.  In addition, they took fourth at the World Championships in Fukuoka, Japan.
Campagna became the Head Coach of the Greek National Team in January 2003 and stayed on through August, 2008.  Under Campagna, the Greeks, too, were successful.  They took bronze at the World Championships in Montreal in 2005, the first medal in Hellenic history.
November 17, 2008, Alessandro Campagna was once again appointed Head Coach of the Italian National Team, and he took his team to the 2010 European Championships, where they won the silver medal in Zagreb.
Seventeen years later, in 2011, in Shanghai, Campagna once again takes Italy to the top of the podium, with the National Team winning gold, like they had done in 1994, when he was a player.  “Settebello” went on to win silver in London at the 2012 Olympics, bronze at 2014 European Championships (Budapest) and bronze at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.
Alessandro Campagna ISHOF Honoree
Coach Campagna and his team take home the bronze medal at the Rio Olympics
Alessandro Campagna’s honors include Knight of the Republic of Italy and Golden Palm for Technical Merit in April 2012, from the Italian Olympic Committee.  In May, 2015, he was elected among the 100 “Legends of Sport: in Italy for the Italian Walk of Fame CONI at the Foro Italico, in Roma.
Alessandro Campagna is also the co-author of the book, “The Physical Training of Water Polo Players” with Giovanni Melchiorri.

About The International Swimming Hall of Fame Induction Weekend

International Swimming Hall of Fame
The International Swimming Hall of Fame (ISHOF) Induction Ceremony is shaping up to be a star-studded weekend with multiple events spread out over three days in beautiful Fort Lauderdale, Florida.  Make your plans now to attend the weekend of May 17-19, 2019!  ISHOF Members can purchase the Weekend Package and Save!  Can’t attend the event? Make a donation to ISHOF to support our honorees.
This year’s International Swimming Hall of Fame honorees include Swimmers: Jason Lezak (USA), Otylia Jedrzejczak (POL), Stephanie Rice (AUS), Britta Steffen (GER); Diver: Li Ting (CHN); Water Polo Player: Alessandro Campagna (ITA); Coach: Boris Popov (RUS);  Synchronized Swimmer: Olga Sedakova (RUS); Open Water Swimmer: Marcy MacDonald (USA); Contributor: Dr. Ferenc Salamon(HUN); and PioneerAlfred Nakache* (FRA).  
ISHOF will also present the 2019 Gold Medallion Award to Dr. Joseph B. MacInnis.

2019 Paragon Award and ISHOF Specialty Award Recipients

  • Greg Eggert—Competitive Swimming
  • Don Holbrook—Water Polo
  • Bill Farrar—Competitive Diving
  • Igor Kartashov—Synchronized Swimming
  • Peter Davis—Aquatic Safety
  • Carvin DiGiovanni—Recreational Swimming
  • Carolyn Wood—Buck Dawson Author Award: “Tough Girl”
  • Dale Petranech—ISHOF Service Award
  • David Duda—Judge G. Harold Martin Award
  • Robert Strauss—Virginia Hunt Newman Award
  • Ruth Meyer—John K. Williams, Jr. International Adapted Aquatics Award
  • Peter Bick—Al Schoenfield Media Award
  • Jim Wood* —Lifetime Achievement Award

The Weekend Schedule

Friday, May 17th — Paragon & ISHOF Specialty Awards Night

Saturday, May 18th — Honoree Induction Day Luncheon

Official 55th Annual International Swimming Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony

VIP Reception 6:00 PMInduction Ceremony 7:00 –10:00 PM at Fort Lauderdale Marriott Harbor Beach Resort and Spa

Sunday, May 19th — Swim Across America

TICKET INFORMATION

HOTEL INFORMATION

  • Host Hotel: Fort Lauderdale Marriott Harbor Beach Resort & Spa

    Four and a half star upscale retreat with private beach access, two pools, four restaurants, full service spa and oceanside bar. Location
    of the Saturday evening induction ceremony. ¼ mile south of the International Swimming Hall of Fame.
  • Courtyard by Marriott Fort Lauderdale Beach

    • 440 Seabreeze Blvd., Ft. Lauderdale, FL 33316 (954) 524-8733
    • Special ISHOF Guest Rate of $169 per night
    • Please call 954 524-8733 and mention Swimming Hall of Fame Honoree Ceremony for the special Rate of $169.
For more hotel or ticket Information contact Meg Keller-Marvin meg@ishof.org / 570-594-4367
* Deceased
Donate to ISHOF

Chinese Diver, Li Ting, To Be Inducted Into the International Swimming Hall of Fame

At just seven years old, Li Ting’s emerging diving talent caught the eye of Chinese diving coaches.  She, along with her twin sister, Li Rao, were sent for formal training and eventually joined the Chinese National Team.  Li Ting continued on with a successful career in diving which included a trip to the Athens Olympic Games at just 17 years old in her specialty event the synchronized 10-meter platform, the London Olympic Games, two World University Games, and many other World Championships and elite international competitions.  Li Ting will be inducted into the International Swimming Hall of Fame as a member of the Class of 2019 during the Honoree Induction ceremony in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, May 18, 2019.
Meet Li in person and hear her incredible life story at the ISHOF Induction dinner.   Become an ISHOF Legacy Member and attend the ISHOF Induction Dinner for FREE.  Can’t attend the event? Please consider making a donation to ISHOF to support Li and our other inspirational honorees.

About Li Ting

When they were just little girls, Li Ting and her twin sister, Li Rao, fell in love with diving by watching their older sister, Li Yaun.  Every day after school, they would rush to the outdoor pool in their hometown of Lingui to play and watch Li Yaun train.  Eventually, all three sisters trained at the pool in Lingui, receiving basic diving training from Coach Tang Gengsheng.
The seven-year old twins had a special diving talent though which brought them recognition early on.  They were chosen for their athletic abilities and sent for formal training, along with their regular education, to the Guilin Diving School to be trained by Coach Zeng Yong and Coach Qin Jing.  They became members of the provincial squad in 1995.
Li Ting ISHOF Honoree
(L to R) Li Rao, Coach Qin Jing, and Li Ting; Photo Courtesy: Li Ting
ISHOF Honoree, Zhou Jihong, Director of the National Team in China, recognized the potential of the sisters and in 1999, they were selected as members of the Chinese National Diving Team.  When they first arrived to train with the national team, they were star-struck.  They were in the presence of and would be training with, the greatest divers in the world.  Divers that they had only seen on television.  Divers like Xiong NiSun Shuwei and Fu Mingxia, all future Hall of Famers.  It was very exciting for the sisters, yet also overwhelming, they were in a strange place, far from home.
The new training was extremely difficult and intense.  Li Ting and Li Rau were still young, and there was a tremendous amount of pressure put on them. They were expected to perform at the highest levels.  It was a demanding atmosphere and the girls felt a great deal of stress and knew perfection was expected.  Yet, the girls thrived. They improved tremendously and with the many different aspects of training, and with the top coaches in the country, they learned many new dives and difficult moves.
Li Ting, partnered with her twin sister, Li Rao, in the Ninth Annual Chinese National Championships, won the bronze medal on the 10-meter platform in the synchronized diving event.
Li Ting ISHOF honoree
Li Rao and Li Ting; Photo Courtesy: Li Ting
In 2001, the twin sisters went abroad for the very first time to compete in Germany, Russia and the United Kingdom.  They took gold in the women’s synchronized 10-meter platform in all three stops of the competition.  In addition to the synchronized events, Li Ting came away with three more gold medals, winning all the individual events on all three stops, all on the 10-meter tower, in the individual event.
In 2003, Li Ting was paired with new partner, Lao Lishi.  The new pair went on to win the 10th FINA World Championships (Barcelona) on the 10-meter platform in the synchronized event.  The same year, Li Ting was selected for the 2004 Olympic Team, at the age of just 17 years old.
Li Ting ISHOF Honoree
2004 Olympics, Lao Lishi and Li Ting; Photo Courtesy: Li Ting
For Li Ting’s first experience on the Olympic stage, she certainly did not disappoint.  She and Lao Lishi won the women’s synchronized event on the 10-meter platform, her signature event.  They also won the 14th FINA World Cup (Athens) earlier in the year.
After the Athens Olympic Games, in 2005, the coaches decided it was time for Li Ting to expand her diving and transition to springboard diving, now that she had mastered the tower.  It was a hard transition for Li but she mastered it successfully, as she did most challenges.
Li Ting competed for the first time as a synchronized 3-meter springboard diver at the FINA Diving Grand Prix in Canada and took gold.  She went on to win the FINA World Championships in the same event.  Later in the year, Li participated in the 23rd World University Games, where she came away with three gold medals, the first in the 10-meter individual event, and the next two in the 3- and the 10-meter synchronized events.
Li Ting ISHOF honoree
2005 National Games, (L to R) Li Ting and Li Rao; Photo Courtesy: Li Ting
In 2006, Li Ting won the 3-meter synchronized event at the 15th Asian Games and went on to win the same event with ISHOF Hall of Famer Guo JingJing at the 15th FINA Diving Grand Prix.  Later in the year, while Li Ting was practicing for the FINA World Cup, she noticed that she had a small pain in her leg and she tried to ignore it.  It turned out to be a fatigue fracture caused by long term use from her many hours of training.  Being the true competitor that she is, Li Ting fought through the pain, continued the competition and won the 3-meter synchro competition with teammate, Guo Jingjing, in their home country of China, in Changshu.
2007 saw Li Ting continue to win on the 3-meter springboard in the synchro event in every meet she entered, but this time she had a new partner, He Zi.  They took gold in the 24th University Games (Bangkok), and the FINA World Diving Grand Prix.
Li Ting ISHOF Honoree
Photo Courtesy: Li Ting
The year is now 2008, and the city of Beijing was preparing to host the long-awaited Olympic Games. All Chinese people were proud to showcase their city and country.  Chinese athletes were especially excited to compete in their own country and have the crowd be their own fans.  Li Ting was 21 years old, was at the top of her game and should have been more thrilled than anyone.  Unfortunately, that was not the case.
The pain from her leg continued to get worse and sadly kept her out of the 2008 Olympic Games.  She eventually had surgery but her leg was slow to heal.  Li Ting knew she had to make a difficult decision and end her career.
She set new goals for herself, deciding to go to university even thought she knew it would be hard switch from physical activity to studying.  She would just have to consider reading, an Olympic event!  So, she went back to school and in 2012, Li Ting graduated from China Renmin University, an elite research university in Beijing with a Bachelor’s degree.  She continued on to graduate school, and received her degree from the Beijing Sports University, where she studied humanities, sociology and sports management.  After she completed her graduate degree, Li Ting went to the University of Minnesota as a visiting scholar for nine months in 2014-2015, which was fully funded by the National Scholarship Fund.
After Li Ting’s time in Minnesota, she returned to her hometown province of Guangxi, as the deputy director of the Aquatic Center of Guangxi. In 2018, Li Ting joined her fellow former teammates, Wu Minxia and others, and became an international FINA referee for diving. In addition to staying involved in the diving community, Li Ting is involved in social welfare activities.

About The International Swimming Hall of Fame Induction Weekend

International Swimming Hall of Fame
The International Swimming Hall of Fame (ISHOF) Induction Ceremony is shaping up to be a star-studded weekend with multiple events spread out over three days in beautiful Fort Lauderdale, Florida.  Make your plans now to attend the weekend of May 17-19, 2019!  ISHOF Members can purchase the Weekend Package and Save!  Can’t attend the event? Make a donation to ISHOF to support our honorees.
This year’s International Swimming Hall of Fame honorees include Swimmers: Jason Lezak (USA), Otylia Jedrzejczak (POL), Stephanie Rice (AUS), Britta Steffen (GER); Diver: Li Ting (CHN); Water Polo Player: Alessandro Campagna (ITA); Coach: Boris Popov (RUS);  Synchronized Swimmer: Olga Sedakova (RUS); Open Water Swimmer: Marcy MacDonald (USA); Contributor: Dr. Ferenc Salamon(HUN); and PioneerAlfred Nakache* (FRA).  
ISHOF will also present the 2019 Gold Medallion Award to Dr. Joseph B. MacInnis.

2019 Paragon Award and ISHOF Specialty Award Recipients

  • Greg Eggert—Competitive Swimming
  • Don Holbrook—Water Polo
  • Bill Farrar—Competitive Diving
  • Igor Kartashov—Synchronized Swimming
  • Peter Davis—Aquatic Safety
  • Carvin DiGiovanni—Recreational Swimming
  • Carolyn Wood—Buck Dawson Author Award: “Tough Girl”
  • Dale Petranech—ISHOF Service Award
  • David Duda—Judge G. Harold Martin Award
  • Robert Strauss—Virginia Hunt Newman Award
  • Ruth Meyer—John K. Williams, Jr. International Adapted Aquatics Award
  • Peter Bick—Al Schoenfield Media Award
  • Jim Wood* —Lifetime Achievement Award

The Weekend Schedule

Friday, May 17th — Paragon & ISHOF Specialty Awards Night

Saturday, May 18th — Honoree Induction Day Luncheon

Official 55th Annual International Swimming Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony

VIP Reception 6:00 PMInduction Ceremony 7:00 –10:00 PM at Fort Lauderdale Marriott Harbor Beach Resort and Spa

Sunday, May 19th — Swim Across America

TICKET INFORMATION

HOTEL INFORMATION

  • Host Hotel: Fort Lauderdale Marriott Harbor Beach Resort & Spa

    Four and a half star upscale retreat with private beach access, two pools, four restaurants, full service spa and oceanside bar. Location
    of the Saturday evening induction ceremony. ¼ mile south of the International Swimming Hall of Fame.
  • Courtyard by Marriott Fort Lauderdale Beach

    • 440 Seabreeze Blvd., Ft. Lauderdale, FL 33316 (954) 524-8733
    • Special ISHOF Guest Rate of $169 per night
    • Please call 954 524-8733 and mention Swimming Hall of Fame Honoree Ceremony for the special Rate of $169.
For more hotel or ticket Information contact Meg Keller-Marvin meg@ishof.org / 570-594-4367
* Deceased
Donate to ISHOF