Rotman, Leon : Jews In Sports @ Virtual Museum

Rotman, Leon

Sport:
canoeing/kayaking

Country Represented:
Romania

Years Competed:
1956, 1960

Medals Received:
gold, bronze

Olympic Info:
One of the greatest Olympic athletes in Romania's history, Rotman competed in two Olympic Games, and was the first Romanian to win two medals at one Olympiad. At the 1956 Melbourne Olympics, Rotman won the gold medal in the 1,000-meter Canadian singles event (5:05.3) and the 10,000-meter Canadian singles event (56:41.0).

Four years later, Rotman returned to the Games in Rome, but struggled in the preliminary heat of the 1,000-meter Canadian singles, finishing fourth with a time of 4:39.36. He advanced to the semifinals, however, after finishing second in a repechage heat. Rotman then placed second in his semifinal heat with a time of 4:43.6, and made it to the final. In the final, Rotman could not repeat his performance as Olympic champion, finishing third with a time of 4:35.87 to take the bronze medal.

Career Highlights:
A six-time Romanian National champion, Rotman began his athletic career as a teenager wrestling at the Flacara Sporting Association, and Tanarul Dinamovist Sports Club. After retiring from competitive canoeing, Rotman became a coach; he is now retired. He is is a member of the International Jewish Sports Hall of Fame.

Birth and Death Dates:
b. July 22, 1934

Origin:
Bucharest, Romania



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References:
Jewish Sports Legends: The International Jewish Sports Hall of Fame, by Joseph Siegman (Washington, D.C.: Brassey's, 2000)
encyclopedia of JEWS in sports, by Bernard Postal, Jesse Silver, and Roy Silver (New York: Bloch Publishing Co., 1965)
New York Times, August 27-September 9, 1960


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