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Gino Soldà

Biographical information

TypeCompeted in Olympic Games
SexMale
Full nameGino Duilio•Soldà
Used nameGino•Soldà
Born8 March 1907 in Valdagno, Vicenza (ITA)
Died8 November 1989 in Recoaro Terme, Vicenza (ITA)
Measurements168 cm
NOC Italy

Biography

Gino Soldà was a climber, entrepreneur, mountain guide and ski instructor. The second oldest of six sons and born in Valdagno, the family soon moved to Recoaro Terme, at the foot of the Dolomites. He lost his father at only 12-years-old, but continued to manifest his passion for climbing.

After military service, in 1928 Soldà was a mountain guide and among the best Italian climbers. But he also competed in both Alpine and cross-country skiing and competed at the 1932 Olympic Winter Games in Lake Placid, where he placed 26th in the 18 km cross-country.

In the 1930s Soldà founded a laboratory to produce ski wax (Scioline Soldà) and in 1936 Benito Mussolini conferred on him a gold medal for Athletic Valour for his exploits on the mountains Sassolungo and Marmolada.

After the war Soldà continued his activity as a climber and in the summer of 1954 took part in the historic Italian Karakoram expedition to the second highest mountain in the world, K2, where, at 47-years-old, he was the oldest participant. The group leader Ardito Desio wanted him on this expedition because of Soldà’s experience and also for his fluency in English.

Named an emeritus mountain guide in 1967, Soldà did not forsake skiing and won the Over-70 World Championships in giant slalom three times (1980-82). He made his last climb at 78, with his son Manlio and granddaughter Giorgia. In his memory there is a monument in his hometown of Valdagno and the mountain schools of Valdagno, Recoaro Terme, and Arzignano are named for him as well as the stadium in Valdagno.

Results

Games Discipline (Sport) / Event NOC / Team Pos Medal As
1932 Winter Olympics Cross Country Skiing (Skiing) ITA Gino Soldà
18 kilometres, Men (Olympic) 26

Special Notes