Aldo Nadi

Biographical information

RolesCompeted in Olympic Games
Full nameAldo•Nadi
Used nameAldo•Nadi
Born29 April 1899 in Livorno, Livorno (ITA)
Died10 November 1965 in West Los Angeles, California (USA)
Measurements183 cm / 69 kg
NOC Italy
Medals OG
Gold 3
Silver 1
Bronze 0
Total 4


Aldo Nadi’s performance at the 1920 Olympics, winning gold medals with the Italian team in all three fencing disciplines (épée, sabre, foil) would have stood out in Olympic fencing history, had it not been surpassed at the very same Games, by his brother, Nedo, who fenced on the same teams, and additionally won two individual gold medals in foil and sabre. Aldo also competed in those events, finishing fifth in the foil and winning silver in the sabre. His father Beppe was a well-known fencer in Italy, with his own fencing school. Together with his older brother Nedo, Aldo learned to fight the foil and sabre, but not the épée. His father considered épée to be an “undisciplined weapon” and forbade his pupils to use it, although the brothers did so in secrecy and eventually won a gold medal in the team épée in Antwerp.

Following the 1920 Olympics, Aldo Nadi turned professional, and earned several Italian titles. He eventually moved to the United States, where he was known as a fencing coach to actors, notably Tyrone Power. He also occasionally appeared in moves himself. His most visible appearance was in a non-speaking role as Renard’s bodyguard in the film “To Have and Have Not” with Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Becall.

Nadi was known for his duels also outside the fencing hall: at the 1920 Olympics he fought out a strange duel with Filippo Bottino. Having insulted the weightlifting champion, they fought out the fight with a riding whip (Nadi) and a wooden beam (Bottino). It was decided rather soon as Nadi immediately struck Bottino’s hand, causing him to drop the weapon. On another occasion, he challenged a journalist who had mocked him, and severely injured him in the duel. He also once challenged fellow fencing champion Edoardo Mangiarotti to a duel after feeling slighted because Mangiarotti had received a more honorable certificate from the Italian NOC than Nadi had himself. Because of injury, Nadi proposed to fight out the duel with pistols, which was wisely declined by Mangiarotti.


Games Discipline (Sport) / Event NOC / Team Pos Medal As
1920 Summer Olympics Fencing ITA Aldo Nadi
Foil, Individual, Men (Olympic) 5
Foil, Team, Men (Olympic) Italy 1 Gold
Épée, Team, Men (Olympic) Italy 1 Gold
Sabre, Individual, Men (Olympic) 2 Silver
Sabre, Team, Men (Olympic) Italy 1 Gold

Olympic family relations

Special Notes