a marching architect
From Rome to Montreal, between athletics and architecture, a lived between passion and determination.
When I was a kid, in the Salesians oratory in Cinecittà there was (and still is) a large asphalted space, capable of hosting hundreds of young people.
It was there where I took the first steps and a short time later, being enrolled at the Industrial Technical Institute Galileo Galilei in the area of Piazza Vittorio, I discovered the Athletics.
Day by day, the “virus” of athletics became more and more contagious; the general basic preparation had beneficial effects on a slim and adolescent body, motivating me to be constant and passionate in the practice of such an intriguing sport.
On a rainy afternoon spent in the gym, the talent scout Pippo Lentini informed us that it was important to take part in the Italian Championships for marchers scheduled in Reggio Calabria.
The following Sunday, Roberto Buccione became a race walker.
It was the initial part of a long, very long journey that, step by step, would have led me to play the Olympic Games and visit, just marching, much of the world.
I used to train and study. Step by step, I got a diploma in construction, I enrolled at the Faculty of Architecture and at the same time I became a professional race walker in the junior category. It was a progress without excesses, slow but firm that in February 1972 led me to the recruitment in the Guardia di Finanza and to the inclusion in the Sports Group of the Yellow Flames that boasted a strong group of race walkers, trained by the great Gianni Corsaro.
I continued to undertake two parallel trajectories and both required commitment and time: preparation of the exams at the University as well as training, national and international competitions. In February 1974 I had a car accident on the Cristoforo Colombo highway while I was going to Ostia for a three-hour training. I had to observe a necessary rest period during which I reflected for a long time on the life I was leading. In two years at the University I had only taken four exams. I absolutely had to change my pace. I imposed myself rigid schedules. I abstained myself from any distraction, and, I set precise objectives with the absolute commitment of not failing anyone.
In 1976 I signed the best world performance on the mile and I got the Italian record for 5 kilometers in Formia.
These results let me participating to the Montreal Games 1976. After a hard series of selection competitive processes and examination, the C.T. Enzo Rossi wanted me to participate in the Olympic team.
The Canadian experience produced in me a real acceleration towards maturity as a sportsman and as a man. The Stadium, not yet (and never) finished, the athletes’ village, a modern and usable architecture widespread throughout Canada, gave me the certainty that the choice, made years ago, to devote myself to architecture had been right.
1978 was full of commitments. First of all, I wanted to focus on the first major objective of the degree in Architecture, discussing the thesis “Project of a Sports Center in the Area of Southern Rome”. It was a dream coming true lived intensely since adolescence.
Also in ’78 there was the appointment in Prague for the European Championships where I ranked eighth.
In September 1978, I was the author of three important performances: on September 10th I obtained the Italian supremacy over the two miles in Rieti; on the 15th in London I established the Commonwealth record on the mile by beating on the track of the Crystal Palace, the temple of athletics, the local idol Rogers Mills; on the 21st in Ravenna I signed the best world performance on the two miles. In April of the following year I improved with 5: 55.3 the “record” on the mile that belonged to the Finnish Reima Salonen. I realized the record performance in the “Mille Miglia”, an event organized in Ostia by Fiamme Gialle of Gianni Gola, who had created it and wanted it to renew the myth of Tazio Nuvolari, both from Mantua.
The road we had taken to Moscow was correct, the invasion of the USSR in Afganisthan seriously questioned the presence of military athletes in Moscow.
The story was already marked, the Coni had great courage and presented the team with its own flag: neither the military nor me, remained at home. In the same month of August of the eighties, at the age of twenty-nine, I got off the plane for Moscow and decided to turn the page, setting up a family and dedicating myself to the profession of architect.
Participate in the following commissions and working groups:
U.N.I. – National Unification Body
Commission for Sports and Recreational Facilities and Equipment
As a member for the drafting of the technical legislation concerning:
- Working group C “Sport floors”.
- Working group “Tools for gymnastics, athletics and group games”.
- Working group “Outdoor areas”.
F.I.D.A.L. – C.O.N.I.
National Sports Facilities Commission
As Secretary of the Commission. 1981/1990.
I.A.A.F. – International Amateur Athletic Federation
Sport Installation Working Group
As a Technician of the International Commission for Sports Facilities of the I.A.A.F ..
As a Technician for the Plant Sector of the Local Organizing Committee for the Marathon World Cup. Milan April 1989.
CEN – European Comittee for Standardization
As a technician in CEN / TC 217 – Surfaces for Sports Areas