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Donato Pavesi

Biographical information

TypeCompeted in Olympic Games
Full nameDonato•Pavesi
Used nameDonato•Pavesi
Born19 August 1889 in Milano, Milano (ITA)
Died30 June 1946 in Milano, Milano (ITA)
Measurements176 cm
AffiliationsO.M. Milano/SC Italia
NOC Italy


Donato Pavesi’s international career began in 1908 and he alternated his love for athletics and his careers, first as a turner and later as an insurer. He was a specialist in the 100 km walk and he won this event, organized by La Gazzetta dello Sport, six times. In 1922 he set the world record in this distance with 9-51:39. He won five Italian titles at 40 and 42 km from 1912-25 and became very popular in the 1920s in England, winning some classic walking races like Manchester-Liverpool, the London 20 miles, and London-Brighton.

At the 1920 Antwerpen Olympics he was disqualified in both the 3,000 m and the 10 km while, four years later at the Paris Olympics, he finished fourth in the 10 km. In 1927 in Milano he set a world record in the 20 km walk with 1-37:42.2. Unable to participate at the 1928 Olympics as walking was not on the program, Pavesi became famous in Italy when, on the occasion of the Christmas of Roma (21 April each year), he walked in only six days from Milano-to-Roma to deliver to Benito Mussolini a dispatch of the workers of Milano for the celebration of this day which was, from 1924, a public national holiday.

Pavesi died suddenly on 30 June 1946 during a race dedicated to him. From 1963 one of the sports centres of Milano bears his name and there is also a statue of a walking athlete donated by the people of Milano in memory of Pavesi.

Personal Best: 10kmW – 47:47.0 (1910).


Games Discipline (Sport) / Event NOC / Team Pos Medal As
1920 Summer Olympics Athletics ITA Donato Pavesi
3,000 metres Walk, Men (Olympic) AC
10 kilometres Walk, Men (Olympic) AC
1924 Summer Olympics Athletics ITA Donato Pavesi
10 kilometres Walk, Men (Olympic) 4

Special Notes