Bartolo Consolo (ITA)
2015 Honor Contributor
FOR THE RECORD: PRESIDENT OF LEN: 1990-2008; LEN HONORARY LIFE PRESIDENT: 2008; FINA BUREAU MEMBER: 1992-2000; FINA VICE PRESIDENT: 1992-2000; FINA HONORARY SECRETARY: 2000-2009; FINA
HONORARY LIFE MEMBER: PRESIDENT OF THE MEDITERRANEAN CONFEDERATION OF SWIMMING (COMEN): 1988-1997; HONORARY LIFE PRESIDENT OF COMEN: 1997; PRESIDENT OF ITALIAN SWIMMING FEDERATION (FIN): 1988-2000; VICE PRESIDENT OF FIN: 1984-1987; CHAIRMAN OF ORGANIZING COMMITTEE OF XXI EUROPEAN CHAMPIONSHIPS: 1983 and VII WORLD SWIMMING CHAMPIONSHIPS: 1994; PRESIDENT OF EUROPEAN SPORTSMEN ASSOCIATION AGAINST DRUGS (AESCOD); DIRECTOR, WATER POLO DEVELPMENT, INC. & HABAWABA INTERNATIONAL FESTIVALS: 2009-PRESENT. AWARDS: Sports Gold Star; Official Knight Cavalier of the Italian Republic, Cavalier of Ordine di Malta and Ordine Mauriziano, the Olympic Order (gold) by the IOC, which has only been presented to four Italians in the history of the award.
He was born in Roma, Italy and as a youth he loved sports, especially basketball, swimming and water polo. Aquatics won out over basketball, and Bartolo Consolo has spent the last 40+ years dedicating his life and his free time to FINA and all its aquatic disciplines.
At a young age, Consolo advanced to become the youngest president of his hometown club, Rari Nantes of Perugia and then President of Club AS Roma, where he was a very passionate water polo player. In 1983, he was elected President of the Organizing Committee for the XXI European Championships, held in Roma, Italy. A year later, he was nominated as Vice- Chairman of the Italian Swimming Federation.
In 1987, Bartolo was elected President of the Italian Swimming Federation. Consolo’s strong leadership led to the Italian National Water Polo Team winning the Grand Slam of Water Polo—the Olympic Games, the FINA Cup, the World Championships and the European Championships—all in 1992. To this day, no team has ever been able to duplicate the feat.
Under Consolo’s initiative, COMEN, the Mediterranean Confederation of Swimming, was born. Created for a stronger unity in the Mediterranean region, Bartolo became its first President until 1997 and now remains its Honorary Life President. He also helped plan and realize the European Sports Association Against Drugs. In 1989, he was elected a member of the Executive Board of CONI, the Italian National Olympic Committee and the next year was elected President of LEN, the European Swimming League. Under Bartolo’s guidance, LEN had exceptional development, including the birth of the Euro League in water polo and the restructuring of the European Championships to ensure a greater diffusion of the sport technically and with the public. He is now LEN’s Life Honorary President.
In 1992 he became a Vice President of FINA and in 1994, Consolo was able to undertake the responsibility of organizing and bringing the VII FINA World Championships to Roma. These championships were considered a huge success, as were the 1983 European World Championships that he also organized.
In 2000, Consolo was nominated FINA Honorary Secretary and in 2004 he was elected President of the Giulio Onesti Foundation, an organization dedicated to promoting Olympism and sport in Italy.
Bartolo Consolo was elected to four terms as LEN president and is now an Honorary Member of the FINA Bureau. Among his awards include Sports Gold Star, Official Knight Cavalier of the Italian Republic, Cavalier of Ordine di Malta and Ordine Mauriziano and the Olympic Order (gold) by the IOC.
Of all his accomplishments and awards he has won, he is perhaps most proud of his involvement with Haba Waba, Water Polo Development, a nonprofit organization that promotes water polo to children 6 to 11 years-old, and their families. Through Haba Waba International Festivals, Bartolo Consolo has helped share his passion for aquatics and water polo to boys and girls, as well as their families, thus creating future audiences, fans, marketing opportunities and possibly developing future leaders in sports, like himself.