Bloom, Tamir : Jews In Sports @ Virtual Museum

Bloom, Tamir

Sport:
fencing

Country Represented:
United States

Years Competed:
1996, 2000

Olympic Info:
One of America's top fencers in the 1990s, Bloom competed in two Olympiads for the U.S. in the epee. At the 1996 Atlanta Games, he competed in both the team and individual events. In the individual competition, he was eliminated in the first round by Robert LeRoux of France (Tamir lost 15-9) and officially finished in 31st place. In the team event, Bloom and the U.S.fencing team defeated South Korea (45-41) in the first round but were eliminated from the competition after losing to Italy in the quarterfinals, 45-44.

Bloom returned to Olympic competition at the 2000 Sydney Games, and lost in the second round the individual epee to Arnd Scmitt, the top-ranked player in the world. Tamir was down 6-1, but made a furious comeback to cut the lead to 8-7 before eventually falling 15-12. Following the match Bloom said, "It's certainly tough to go up against the No. 1 player in the world...Being down five touches was tough since he knew I'd have to attack. But this has been a great experience. I had a choice when I injured my knee a few months ago, but I decided to put off surgery so I could attend the Olympics. Being out on the strip here in this atmosphere against one of the best players in the world is what it's all about."

Bloom officially finished 29th at the 2000 Games. He and his family have dual U.S./Israeli citizenship; his first cousin, Gil Ofer, competed in the judo competition for Israel at the Sydney Olympics. They had not seen each other in 10 years, but competed in the same building within two days of each other.

Career Highlights:
Bloom, the individual epee U.S. national champion in both 1998 and 1999, achieved his best individual result at a World Championship in 1994 when he finished 31st in the individual epee competition; he also was a member of the U.S. team epee which placed 17th. Tamir also finished 20th in the team epee event at the 1997 World Championships, and won the silver medal in the individual and team foil events at the 1995 Pan American Games.

A full-time student at Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York City, Tamir took a break from school in 1999 to concentrate on getting to the Olympics. But when a knee injury caused him to miss the World Championships (where he would have qualified), he postponed an operation, wore a brace and attempted to qualify by accumulating enough points in international tournaments. In May 2000, he won the Western Hemisphere Zonal qualification tournament, thus making the team in his final attempt to qualify for the Olympics.

Birth and Death Dates:
b. Dec. 23, 1971

Origin:
New York City



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References:
Jewish Sports Review, September/October 2000 issue (Vol. 2, No. 8, Issue 21)
New York Times, July 21-24, 1996


http:// www.usfencing.org/
http:// www.atljewishtimes.com/
http:// www.olympics.com/