Ugo Sansonetti

Ugo Sansonetti
Personal information
Nickname(s) Matusalesto
Nationality Italian
Born (1919-01-10)10 January 1919
Rome, Italy
Died 14 August 2019(2019-08-14) (aged 100)
Rome, Italy
Country Italy Italy
Sport Masters athletics
Event(s) Various events

Ugo Sansonetti (10 January 1919 – 14 August 2019), nicknamed Matusalesto (a pun based on the name of Matusalem and the Italian lesto, "quick"), was an Italian writer and masters athlete.


He is the current world record holder in the M85 200 metres and M90 400 metres. He is famous throughout Italy for his appearance as a spry athlete in a Coca-Cola and a Barilla advertisement.[1][2]

Born in Rome, Italy, he was the son of Admiral Luigi Sansonetti. From 2011 he lived in Rome, has ten children, 25 grandchildren and 5 great-grandchildren. He has a degree in law and was a pioneer cavalry officer.[3] He was an honorary citizen of Costa Rica, where he led a company doing agricultural colonization in the fifties. Among his writings is curating Emigranti alla conquista della foresta (translated=Migrants to the conquest of the forest), which promotes that colonization of Costa Rica.[4]

In the seventies he directed and helped to lift a European frozen foods manufacturer that would later become known as Findus.[5][6]

In 1991 he was appointed Grand Officer of the Order of Merit of the Italian Republic and in 2006 received the Star of Merit for his work.

First octogenarian in zero gravity

In 2005, at the age of 86 years, he participated in project SpaceLand Sansonetti, a flight in a weightless environment on a Boeing 727 -200. Starting from Bordeaux, France, it was the first parabolic flight to accommodate ordinary citizens, and the first to bring on board an octogenarian.[7][8]

Masters athletics

As an athlete, he claimed to have won 70 medals, 42 of them gold. In addition to the outdoor world records, he holds several indoor world records in the M90 60 metres, M85 and M90 200 metres and M90 400 metres. He has won several World Masters Athletics Championships. Here is a Video on YouTube of him winning the 100 metres at the 2009 World Championships in Lahti, Finland.



  • Coto Brus, là dove gli alberi sorreggevano il cielo (Coto Brus, where the trees holding up the sky), Scorpio, 2000. ISBN 978-88-8099-091-8
  • Non fermarsi mai! Per conservare la giovinezza fino agli 80 anni e oltre (Never stop! To preserve his youth up to 80 years and older), Sports Society Press, 2003. ISBN 978-88-8313-081-6
  • SMS. Messaggi alle nuove generazioni (SMS. Message to new generations), Florence, Florence MEF Books The Author, 2008. ISBN 978-88-517-1665-3

Curator: Introducing: Herzel G. Weizmann, Emigranti alla conquista della foresta (Migrants to the conquest of the forest). Promoted Italian colonization in Costa Rica: San Vito de Java, Franco Angeli, 1985. ISBN 978-88-204-4848-6

See also


  1. ^ (in Spanish) El atleta octogenario
  2. ^ Ugo Sansonetti - The Athlete on YouTube
  3. ^ A 85 ANNI VOLERÀ IN ASSENZA DI GRAVITÀ CON SPACELAND (Nota: l'articolo è del 2004, il volo è stato poi effettuato l'anno successivo, all'età di 86 anni, non 85)
  4. ^ Dalla scheda di SMS. Messaggi alle nuove generazioni
  5. ^ Felice Alborghetti, Tutti i record di Matusalesto, Stadium on line N.1/2, Centro Sportivo Italiano, gennaio/febbraio 2009.
  6. ^ (in Spanish) El atleta de la chispa de la vida
  7. ^ Elisir di lunga vita. Per lui è il latte fresco, in Altroconsumo N.225, Milano, Altroconsumo Edizioni, aprile 2009, p.51
  8. ^ 'Zero-G', in aereo a gravita' zero Archived 2012-03-30 at the Wayback Machine

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