Italian press officer Giovannini passes away aged 40

Alessio Giovanni

Italian press officer Alessio Giovannini has passed away at the age of 40. Photo courtesy of FIDAL.

European Athletics is deeply saddened to hear of the passing of Italian Athletics Federation (FIDAL) press officer Alessio Giovannini on Wednesday (16) at the age of 40.

Giovannini began his career as a reporter for Italian news agency Ansa before moving to the Marche Athletics Federation in 2003, operating as their press and communications officer.

He started working for the Italian Athletics Federation in 2009 and had been their press officer ever since, covering both the IAAF World U20 Championships in Tampere, Finland and the Berlin 2018 European Athletics Championships last summer.

Giovannini was remembered with a minute of silence at the Italian General States of Sport Assembly in Rome.

“Alessio has left us at the age of 40, leaving us in disbelief, unable to accept it. He was like family to all of us who feel part of the extended family of athletics,” said FIDAL president Alfio Giomi.

Gianmarco Tamberi, the European high jump champion in 2016, wrote on his Instagram page: “Goodbye my friend, I will miss you so much. Every time I left the arena after a competition you were the first person I met, with that microphone in your hand and above all always with the right words ready to say. We will miss you, we will miss you crazy, but we will all remember you forever.”

Valeria Straneo, the 2013 world marathon silver medallist, said: "Some people will never die. They will live in our hearts and in our memories forever."

Giovannini's funeral will be held on Friday.