He was born in Roma, Italy and as a youth he loved sports, especially basketball, swimming and water polo. Aquatics won out over basketball, and Bartolo Consolo has spent the last 40+ years dedicating his life and his free time to FINA and all its aquatic disciplines.
At a young age, Consolo advanced to become the youngest president of his hometown club, Rari Nantes of Perugia and then President of Club AS Roma, where he was a very passionate water polo player. In 1983, he was elected President of the Organizing Committee for the XXI European Championships, held in Roma, Italy. A year later, he was nominated as Vice- Chairman of the Italian Swimming Federation.
In 1987, Bartolo was elected President of the Italian Swimming Federation. Consolo’s strong leadership led to the Italian National Water Polo Team winning the Grand Slam of Water Polo—the Olympic Games, the FINA Cup, the World Championships and the European Championships—all in 1992. To this day, no team has ever been able to duplicate the feat.
In 1992 he became a Vice President of FINA and in 1994, Consolo was able to undertake the responsibility of organizing and bringing the VII FINA World Championships to Roma. These championships were considered a huge success, as were the 1983 European World Championships that he also organized.
In 2000, Consolo was nominated FINA Honorary Secretary and in 2004 he was elected President of the Giulio Onesti Foundation, an organization dedicated to promoting Olympism and sport in Italy.
Bartolo Consolo was elected to four terms as LEN president and is now an Honorary Member of the FINA Bureau. Among his awards include Sports Gold Star, Official Knight Cavalier of the Italian Republic, Cavalier of Ordine di Malta and Ordine Mauriziano and the Olympic Order (gold) by the IOC.
Of all his accomplishments and awards he has won, he is perhaps most proud of his involvement with Haba Waba, Water Polo Development, a nonprofit organization that promotes water polo to children 6 to 11 years-old, and their families. Through Haba Waba International Festivals, Bartolo Consolo has helped share his passion for aquatics and water polo to boys and girls, as well as their families, thus creating future audiences, fans, marketing opportunities and possibly developing future leaders in sports, like himself.