Mario Ghella was a powerful sprint cyclist with great skill. He won the junior Italian sprint title in 1945 and 1946, before winning the senior titles in the next two years, and he was the reigning Italian champion when he went to London for the 1948 Olympics. At the Games he went all the way to the sprint final where he beat the local favourite Reg Harris for the gold medal. Less than three weeks after his Olympic success, Ghella went to Amsterdam for the World Track Championships and again won gold ahead of Denmark’s Olympic bronze medallist Axel Schandorff and Harris. Ghella turned professional in 1949, and in an eight-year career, his only win of significance was the Italian professional sprint title in 1951.