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Olympic judo Champion Dietmar Lorenz passes away
Olympic judo Champion Dietmar Lorenz passes away
8 Sep 2021 23:35
David Finch /

Germany mourns the loss of the first German Olympic Judo champion. He passed away late this afternoon at the age of 70. Dietmar Lorenz was always particularly proud of two events in his active career. He was the first German Olympic champion to win the gold medal in 1980 in Moscow as a light heavyweight U95kg in the Open category. And that two years earlier he was the first non-Japanese to win the Kano Cup.

"After Anton Geesink's Olympic victory, I was the second who managed to break through Japanese supremacy," said Dietmar Lorenz with a little pride in his voice.

In addition, he was two times World Cup third and four times European champion as well as 1977 European Cup winner with his club SC Dynamo Hoppegarten. A record that is worth all honors.

The Olympics have always been the greatest experience for him, after all, he was already there in 1976 in Montreal, finishing fifth in the light heavyweight division. Four years later in Moscow it was bronze in the light heavyweight division before the gold triumph in the open category. Lorenz regretted that this Open category was on the program for the last time in 1984: “Trying to stand up against the heavier as a lighter was and is very attractive, even if it has become quite rare today at European Championships and in the IJF World Tour.” Even before the Olympics if he had mixed well in the Open category, he even became double European champion in Helsinki in 1978.

In 1970 Dietmar Lorenz came to Berlin from the Thuringian town of Langenbuch where he started judo at the age of 16. Since he has been in Berlin, his friends have only called him "Itze", his nickname. 

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