Sergio Iacomoni, chief gladiator trainer in Rome.
"I was born in 1952 in the medieval town of Viterbo, north of Rome, so I have Etruscan blood, rich in history. As a child I always had stories of gladiators in my head. But for many years I had no connection to gladiators - I was a banker. We set up the gladiator school in 2000. It started off as a hobby, a sport about fighting, winning and losing rather than a cultural exercise. Then it became transformed. I was inspired by ancient texts, archaeological digs, mosaics, sculptures - although everything was subject to a lot of guesswork and interpretation. Within two days of setting up the school CNN came to do a report. We realised straight away that it was going to be a success."