Helmut Bantz

Helmut Bantz ( born September 14, 1921 in Speyer; † 4 October 2004 in Pulheim -Brauweiler ) was a German gymnast. He won the gold medal in the horse jump at the 1956 Olympic Games.


Bantz grew up in Speyer. He originally wanted to become a professional footballer, but his father - himself Chairman of the gymnastics club Speyer - persuaded him to gymnastics. Having already 12 been in individual all-around at the German Gymnastics Championships in Karlsruhe on 2 February 1941 and in November 1941 won the individual competition in the tri-city gymnastics Berlin -Hamburg- Leipzig, his 1942 breakthrough as a top gymnast, he won in Wroclaw the German Gymnastics Championships in individual all-around.

During military service he came in 1944 in British captivity. As a prisoner of war he was allowed to train 1948, the British Gymnastics team at the Summer Olympic Games in London. Germany was not allowed to participate at the time of the Summer Games. After his release he returned - despite some offers English gymnastic clubs - back to Germany.

For the first time took an active Bantz Helsinki 1952 Olympic Games in part. Here he was in the all around seventh. In 1954 he occupied at the World Championships in Rome the 2nd place in the horse jump and high bar. In 1955 he was European champion on the parallel bars in Frankfurt am Main. In 1956 he finally won at the Summer Olympic Games in Melbourne, together with the Russians Valentin Muratov the gold medal in horse jumping. At the Olympic Games in Rome in 1960 Bantz was indeed there, but did not come as a replacement for use.

Then he ended his active career. He still worked from 1970 to 1986 as senior warden turn the Rhenish Gymnastics Federation until 1992 he was assessor in the Bureau. 1992, the Association appointed him an honorary member. Under champion coach Hennes Weisweiler Bantz also worked as a fitness trainer at the Bundesliga club Borussia Mönchengladbach. Again and again he was - even then - as seen on the Bökelberg - With a total of 18 German Championships, four European Championships and three World Championship medals he was one of Germany's most successful gymnasts.

His living Bantz earned a degree in physical education teacher. He taught for several years - until 1984 - at the German Sport University in Cologne. His students included Erich Ribbeck example, Jupp Heynckes and Günter Netzer.

Many honors were bestowed upon significant. He was awarded the Federal Cross of Merit, the Walter -Kolb- badge of the DTB and 1998 the Georg von Opel Prize. 2008 Helmut Bantz was inducted into the Hall of Fame of German sport.

Last lived Helmut Bantz in Pulheim -Brauweiler. He was married ( Erika ) and had two daughters (Sabine and Susanne ) and a son ( Rainer ). Serious diseases he had to endure: 1981 heart attack, back surgery in 1984, 1994 leg amputation due to poor circulation, later he also lost the second leg. In 2004, he died after a long illness.