Marco Maddaloni was born in Naples on 7 December 1984. He is the youngest of Gianni Maddaloni’s three children. Along with his father and siblings Pino and Laura, Marco forms part of a veritable Italian judo institution. He delved into judo at a very young age and went on to distinguish himself with some record-breaking achievements. At the age of 17 he became one of the youngest athletes ever to be crowned Italian champion, in the under-73kg category. In addition to being crowned Italian champion seven times, he won two European under-23 titles, in 2004 and 2005. Much like his father, Marco’s achievements are not only sporting in nature; he has been involved with the training and social work that takes place at the Star Judo Club, a centre of sporting and anti-crime values. He has become known to the wider Italian public through his participation in various reality TV shows. Paired with Massimiliano Rosolino, he emerged victorious in the Italian version of Peking Express in 2013. He was also the victor in Isola dei Famosi in 2019 and wowed the public by proposing to his wife Romina Giamminelli during the final episode. Not everyone is aware that a portion of the prize money (€100,000) will be used to resolve issues at the Star Judo Club. As an accomplished judoka, Marco Maddaloni has learned the right way to fall and picking himself up off the mat is the most natural thing in the world to him. He picked himself up after five knee injuries, found fulfilment in the television industry when judo alone wasn’t enough, and most recently put himself back in the mix to compete in the World Championships in Tokyo, but this time representing Albania. His disagreements with the Italian federation were among the reasons he briefly left judo behind; however, three years ago the Albanian federation gave him an opportunity to return to the sport, granting him citizenship for sporting achievement.