Italian Judo mourns about the death of Nicola Tempesta. The legend judoka was European Champion in 1957 and 1961 and he captured won nine European Championships medals in his career. Tempesta is an icon in Italy, although he was 85 years, his name is still familiar in the world of judo.
He competed at the first Olympic Games in Tokyo in his category over 80kg. The man from Naples was also technical director of the Azzuri, the Italian team.
Obviously he was one of the main figures in the Italian team that took European medals in the early sixties. In individual tournaments he also competed in the open weight class. Besides his multiple Italian national titles, he claimed his first European title in 1957 in Rotterdam and added his second in 1961 in Milano. The Olympic title in 1964 went to Isao Inokuma. At the 1972 Olympic Games in Munich he competed +93kg but lost to Canadian Doug Rogers. At the 1961 World Championships he also fought against Scottish legend George Kerr, now a tenth Dan who is two years younger.
Tempesta was obviously the first European Champion for Italy and it took until 1974 when Laura Di Toma was the next. Felice Mariani was the first male European Champion in 1978.
For some time Nicola Tempesta had been living with various pathologies, last night he felt sick and tired and agreed to be accompanied to the hospital by his son Marco who, today, gave the sad news. He leaves his wife Elvira and his four children, to whom Fijlkam President Domenico Falcone addresses the sentiment of deep personal condolences and in the name of the entire federal world.
Nicola represented an authentic point of reference for the world of Judo, a discipline to which he dedicated passion, dedication, enthusiasm, reaching the prestigious goal of the 9th Dan to crown a life spent for Sport.
He was Technical Director of the Italian National Team, educator, tireless promoter of the values that ennoble Sport, Tempesta has told with his life an exceptional human and sporting journey to which the whole world of Judo looks on with admiration and gratitude.