Alberto Cova

Biographical information

RolesCompeted in Olympic Games
Full nameAlberto•Cova
Used nameAlberto•Cova
Born1 December 1958 in Inverigo, Como (ITA)
Measurements176 cm / 58 kg
AffiliationsPro Patria Pierrel/Pro Patria Freedent
NOC Italy
Medals OG
Gold 1
Silver 0
Bronze 0
Total 1


Alberto Cova started running at age 14, he won the first of his 14 Italian titles (4x 5000 m, 2x 10,000 m, 3x 3,000 m indoor, 5x cross country) in 1980. Combining an office job with running, he became notable for his fast finish. His first successes came in 1982, winning two European titles (3,000 m indoor, 10,000 m outdoor). He added the inaugural world title in Helsinki the following year, and was the favourite for the Olympic gold in Los Angeles. The slow final was to Cova’s advantage, and he won the race with his sprint. After the Games, Alberto Cova struggled with an ankle injury, although he won a silver medal at the 1986 European Championships, as part of an Italian clean sweep. His second Olympic participation was a disappointment, not qualifying for the final. In the mid 1990s, Alberto Cova was briefly on the municipal council of Olgiate Comasco, near the Swiss border.

In 1994 Cova was elected to the Italian Chamber of Deputies in the XII legislature in the constituency of Olgiate Comasco for the Polo delle Libertà (center-right), being elected with 61.9% of the votes. In 1996 he was re-nominated in the constituency of Erba, but obtained only 35.6% of the votes and was defeated. In 2020 with the co-operation of the writer and essayist Dario Ricci, he wrote his biography, Con la testa e con il cuore (With Head and Heart).

Personal Best: 10000 – 27:37.59 (1983).


Games Discipline (Sport) / Event NOC / Team Pos Medal As
1984 Summer Olympics Athletics ITA Alberto Cova
10,000 metres, Men (Olympic) 1 Gold
1988 Summer Olympics Athletics ITA Alberto Cova
10,000 metres, Men (Olympic) 10 h2 r1/2

Special Notes