Eugenio Monti: The Rarest Medal of them All

In this very poignant and amazing segment of Unsung Olympic Heroes, we focus on the awe-inspiring story of Eugenio Monti and what he did during the 1964 Innsbruck Winter games, he would go on to be the 1st person to make history in a very selfless way.

Tony Nash (left) with Eugenio Monti

Eugenio Monti an accomplished bobsledder with ten World championship medals (of which nine gold) and 6 Olympic medals made headlines in the 1964 Innsbruck Winter Olympiad. He famously offered his bobsled’s bolt and nut to Tony Nash and Robin Dixon of the Great British team when their bolt broke and was forced to retire. Nash accepted the bolt and recorded the fastest run of the day thus winning the Gold medal. When criticized by the Italian press for his act; he shrugged it off saying, “Nash didn’t win because I gave him the bolt. He won because he had the fastest run.”

Monti would earn one of the rarest medals in Olympic history, the Pierre de Courbetin Medal for Sportsmanship & Fairplay.

Monti is a rare individual where his selfless objective view of victory allowed him to share victory with friends and competitors alike. This lesson reflects on our overall perception of victory, and the human cost that we sacrifice sometimes to achieve that end. Also, Monti did not take credit for the incident, giving credit to Tony Nash as a worthy competitor and friend.