Yesterday, October the 4th, after a long
illness, the German Olympic Champion on vault (Melbourne 1956) passed away, only two weeks after his
childhood Helmut Bantz was primarily an enthusiastic
swimmer, diver and pole high jumper.
The Olympic Games 1940 and 1944 could not be held because of the
barbaric World War II. The German gymnast had intended to take
the Olympics took place in London and the British squad was
trained by the German prisoner of war Helmut Bantz.
reminder the Olympic trousers of the Englishmen are still in my
cupboard.“ Although Germany had been excluded of the Games, this
German was offered to march into the Olympic stadium during the
Glasses accurately secured with plaster to the temples >>>
Helmut Bantz (GER)
80th birthday party 2001 in Cologne:
Herrmann, Olympiasieger Klaus Köste, Hans-Jürgen Zacharias, und
Jakobi, Klaus Zschunke (+), Hardi Frenger, Helmut Bantz, Philipp Fürst
in Helsinki and 1956 in Melbourne
he performed as
member of the German Olympic team. At the WCh 1954 in Rome he
became Vice-World Champion on vault and on high bar, top
performances which were not paid much attention for. On the same
day Germany became football World Champion in Bern. At the
European Championships 1955 in
Frankfurt a. M. Bantz became European Champion on parallel bars.
In best memory, however, will stay his magnificent "Hechtsprung"
over the vault in the Olympic town Melbourne. Being 36 years old
he won the gold medal.
On 14 September the
Olympic Champion on vault in 1956 Helmut Bantz celebrates his 83rd
birthday. The lively gentleman from Rheinland, who had been
lecturer at the German Sports University in Cologne until 1984,
still belongs to the most known and successful German gymnasts.
At the gymnastics federation of Rheinland he was honorary manager
of gymnastics from 1970 to 1986, then member of the presidency
until 1992. His birth town Speyer named a stadium after him.
Olympic Gold 1956, together
with Valentin Muratov, in
round leather had always fascinated the later lecturer of the sports
university in Cologne, too. Generations of coaches like Erich Ribbeck, Jupp
Heynckes and also Günter Netzer did conditioning with him, because his
friend Hennes Weisweiler worked as coach for conditioning in Mönchengladbach
for some time. But the greatest passion of the 18 times German
Champion always belonged to artistic gymnastics.
Besides plenty of honours and awards Bantz being a "especially
committed personality of sports" received the Georg-von-Opel-Award in
the Old Opera House in Frankfurt/Main in 1998 in order to honour him as
one of "the silent winners" (please look at GYMmedia-Report
from 30 November 1998).
Recently he attended a traditional
meet of international gymnastic stars in Ingelheim in summer
2001. Participants from 13 countries took part there...
At last he lived as
retired lecturer in Cologne (Puhlheim-Brauweiler near Cologne) - in a street
that is named after Friedrich Ludwig Jahn.
Helmut Bantz and his