The Human Torpedo
Gymnast Alberto Braglia of Italy, trained on his own in a barn until he was twelve years old. He competed in the 1906 Intercalated Games and then earned the gold medal in the all-around event at the 1908 Olympics in London.
Following the Games, Braglia found it difficult to earn a living and took to performing as "The Human Torpedo". He also broke a shoulder and some ribs and suffered a nervous breakdown when his four-year-old son died.
Because of his public performances, Braglia was declared a professional and was expelled from the Italian national gymnastics federation. However, he regained his amateur status in time for the 1912 Olympics and successfully defended his Olympic championship.
He won a third gold medal in the 1912 team competition. Afterwards he became a popular circus performer. In 1932 Braglia coached the Italian gymnastics team to a surprise victory at the Los Angeles Olympics.