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Ottavio Missoni

Full name: Ottavio Missoni
Nickname(s): Tai
Gender: Male
Height: 6-1 (186 cm)
Weight: 176 lbs (80 kg)
Born: February 11, 1921 in Dubrovnik, Dubrovačko-neretvanska županija, Croatia
Died: May 9, 2013 in Sumirago, Varese, Italy
Affiliations: Gallaratese
Country: ITA Italy
Sport: Athletics


Ottavio Missoni, called Tai by friends and intimates, started as a 400-metre runner in Italy, winning the 1939 Italian Championship and the 1939 World Student Games, and running at the 1938 European Championships, where he failed to get out of the first round. After World War II, he switched to the 400 metre hurdles, winning the Italian Championship in 1947-48 (he had also won in 1941), and placing fourth at the 1950 European Championships in the intermediates. During World War II he served as a soldier and was a British prisoner-of-war in Northern Africa for four years.

After World War II, Missoni starting making wool tracksuits with [Giorgio Oberweger], his teammate on the 1948 Olympic team, and the Venjulia tracksuits were worn by the Italian athletics team at the 1948 Olympics. Missoni met his future wife, Rosita Jelmini, while in London for the Olympics, marrying in 1953. They then set up a small knitwear workshop, presenting their first collection in Milano in 1958. Their knitwear became known for its bold colors and variety of patterns. In the 1960s their fashion line became quite popular, with Tai and Rosita Missoni reaching their peak of fashion influence in the 1970s. They later turned the line over to their children. The company has branched out to other brands, forming Missoni Sport, Missoni Home, and the Missoni and Rezidor Hotel Group.

Personal Bests: 400 – 47.8 (1939); 400H – 53.1 (1948).


Games Age City Sport Event Team NOC Rank Medal
1948 Summer 27 London Athletics Men's 400 metres Hurdles Italy ITA 6
1948 Summer 27 London Athletics Men's 4 × 400 metres Relay Italy ITA AC

Men's 400 metres Hurdles

Games Age City Sport Country Phase Unit Rank T(H) ATM L T(A 1/10)
1948 Summer 27 London Athletics Italy Final 6 54.0 at 2.85 2
1948 Summer 27 London Athletics Italy Semi-Finals Heat Two 3 QU 53.4 at 1.50
1948 Summer 27 London Athletics Italy Round One Heat Four 1 QU 53.9 54.1

Men's 4 × 400 metres Relay

Games Age City Sport Team NOC Phase Unit Rank T(H)
1948 Summer 27 London Athletics Italy ITA Final AC DNF
1948 Summer 27 London Athletics Italy ITA Round One Heat One 2 QU 3:14.0
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