Born: October 1, 1965 in Bagnacavallo, Italy
Category: Male Indoor Player
Gardini, a two-time Olympic medal winner and key component of the FIVB-crowned "Best Volleyball Team of the 20th Century," was a tough, effective and popular middle blocker for the "Squadra Azzurri." Few teams in the world of sport have been as dominant as the Italian Men's Volleyball Team of the 1990s.
Gardini and the Italian team were the first-ever to win three consecutive World Championship titles (1990, 1994 and 1998). The Italian team won the Silver Medal at the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta and the Bronze at the 2000 Summer Games in. During the 1996 Olympics at Atlanta, Italy and the Netherlands played what some call the “Greatest Volleyball Match Ever” for the gold medal. The Dutch came out on top, 3-2 (15-12, 9-15, 16-14, 9-15, 17-15).
Italy also claimed the gold medal at the 1995 World Cup, along with a silver medal at the 1989 World Cup. Gardini’s team dominated World League play in the 1990s by taking the title eight times between 1990 and 2000.
Gardini also won four gold medals at the European Championships (1989, 1993, 1995, and 1999). He led two different Italian teams to a total of three Italian League championships (1991 with Ravenna, 1994 and 1996 with Treviso). His other accomplishments include 1991 Italian Cup, three Championship Cups, (1992, 1993 & 1995). Two Cup Winner’s Cup, (1987, 1994), two Supercups (1993 & 1994), 1992 World Championship for Clubs, 1994 Top Championships.