Between 1983 and 2022 the world has changed, and consequently did the world of sport and swimming. During the 1983 European Championships in Rome, which lasted 8 days, 29 countries participated. Italy has become a leading force in swimming, while never-seen emotions erupted during the finals, especially when Giovanni Franceschi claimed wins in the 200m and 400m medley events which was hailed as a miracle, and the bronze medals earned by Paolo Revelli in the 200 m butterfly and in the 4x200 m men’s freestyle events also prompted wild celebrations.
The top nations were East Germany, winning all the women’s swimming races, and the USSR, featuring among others the grand Vladimir Salnikov. The walls were still standing at that time and Soviets, Yugoslavians and Czechoslovakians swam united under the same flag.
As a comparison, the European championships in Rome next August will last two weeks; 52 nations are set to take part and 1.500 athletes will gather to compete in 74 finals for 222 medals.
This will be followed by the Masters who will compete for the first time in a European championship in Italy. Over 11,000 athletes will travel to Rome to participate in swimming, artistic swimming, open water swimming, diving and water polo competitions. More than 1500 podiums are up for grabs for over 500 competitions open to all ages in the name of fun and aggregation: a showcase of psycho-physical well-being produced by aquatic disciplines.