Albert Rizzo

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Albert Rizzo, who served as Gzira’s Mayor for several years, was an auctioneer by profession but is best known as a swimmer of outstanding talents whose feats have been recorded in the Guinness Book of Records.

Albert was born in il-Gżira on 24 September 1947. He attended St Monica Primary School and later the Nautical School where he qualified as a radio officer.

He owed his love for swimming and the urges to pursue the attainment of world class swimming records to his grandfather, the legendary Turu Rizzo who etched his name in Maltese sport history when he swam across the channel between Malta and Sicily. Thanks to the constant encouragement by his promoter, Willie Apap, Albert decided to accept trying to beat his grandfather’s record of spending 68 hours in the water. On 25 September 1980, Albert succeeded to clock up 72 hours immersed in an open sea - a world record that was recognised by the Guinness Book of Records. To date, Albert is the only Maltese who has managed to get a mention in the ‘Book’. This was a triumphant moment for Albert who was declared the Sportsman of the Year for 1980.

This was not the end of Albert Rizzo success story: Albert broke his own record twice, in 1983 when he clocked up 108 hours and one year later, in 1984, with an amazing 132 hours in the water.

For some time, Albert was President of the Gżira Football Club. In 1994 he contested the elections for the Local Council of Gżira and was elected. He eventually became Gżira's Mayor, a position he retained for several years. Before passing away, he was re-elected to the Council. Albert was well known for his civic contribution to Gżira and for his philanthropic work.

Albert Rizzo was married to Mary Borg and had four children.

He died on 29 February 2008 at the age of 60