Yossef Romano

Biographical information

TypeCompeted in Olympic Games
Full nameYossef•Romano
Used nameYossef•Romano
Original nameיוסף•רומנו
Other namesJoseph Romano
Born30 December 1940 in Benghazi (LBA)
Died5 September 1972 in München (Munich), Bayern (GER)
Measurements166 cm / 75 kg
NOC Israel


Yossef Romano was a nine-time Israeli weight-lifting champion in the light- and middleweight classes. Although born in Libya, his family emigrated to Palestine, later Israel, in 1946, where Romano would become an interior decorator as a career. He also fought in the 1967 Six-Day War.

At the 1972 Olympics Romano ruptured his patellar tendon during the weightlifting competition and was due to fly home to Israel on 6 September 1972 for surgery. He never made it. On the morning of 5 September, Arab terrorists from the Black September group invaded the Israeli Olympic quarters, taking 11 team members as hostages. They first wounded wrestling coach Moshe Weinberg. Weinberg attacked the terrorists and was shot to death. Romano then attacked the terrorists, slashing the face of Afif Ahmed Hamid with a knife, and grabbing his AK-47 from him, but Romano was then killed in a rain of gunfire. His corpse was left in front of his teammates all day as a warning. The remainder of the Israeli hostages were killed that night in a shoot-out at the Fürstenfeldbruck airport.


Games Discipline (Sport) / Event NOC / Team Pos Medal As
1972 Summer Olympics Weightlifting ISR Yossef Romano
Middleweight, Men (Olympic) DNF

Special Notes


Date of birth is 30 December 1940 per the 1972 Olympic entry lists and www.findagrave.com, but 15 April 1940 is seen in various sites on the Internet.