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Eugenio, Count Brunetta d'Usseaux

Biographical information

TypeIOC member
SexMale
Full nameEugenio Giulia Maria•Brunetta d'Usseaux
Used nameEugenio, Count•Brunetta d'Usseaux
Born14 December 1857 in Vercelli, Vercelli (ITA)
Died8 January 1919 in Paris, Paris (FRA)
Title(s)Count
NOC(s) Italy

Biography

From a wealthy Piedmont family that traced their history back to the 13th century, Count Brunetta d’Usseaux married Caterine di Zeyffat, whose family owned huge amounts of land in Russia, which raised his status from wealthy to exceptionally wealthy. He and his wife lived in a castle in Torino and in a Paris home on the Bois de Boulogne. When his wife died at a young age, Count Brunetta d’Usseaux devoted himself to IOC affairs, as well as his interests in automobile racing, engineering, and rowing. He competed in auto racing, including representing the Automobile Club de France at the first Giro d’Italia and then finished second in the Torino-Pinerolo-Avigliano. He gave significant financial support to many of the early auto teams, and backed several of them, which caused major losses of his fortune, along with his own gambling debts. He attempted to raise money from his wife’s family, but found that their estates had been confiscated during the Bolshevik Revolution, and he was completely broke. Count Brunetta d’Usseaux returned from Russia and became a recluse for several years before taking his own life.

Count Brunetta d’Usseaux was devoted to the IOC, donating two Challenge Cups for rowing and swimming at the 1908 Olympics, the same year he was appointed Secretary-General of the IOC. He never missed an IOC Session during his tenure, and became a close confidant of Pierre de Coubertin.

Organization roles

Role Organization Tenure Details
Member International Olympic Committee 1897—1919 Representing Italy    

Special Notes