BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (JTA) — Argentinean Olympic swimmer Damian Blaum, who started his career at a Jewish sport club in Buenos Aires, was honored by the Buenos Aires City Parliament as “Outstanding Sports Personality” in recognition of his career.
Raised in a Jewish family which was a member of Club Nautico Hacoaj sport and community center, Blaum, 37, started to swim at the age of 9 for Hacoaj, but four years later moved to Club de Gimnasia y Esgrima, one of the country’s largest sport clubs, to follow his coach.
The recognition by the city parliament was prompted by legislator Gonzalo Straface who spoke at the award ceremony, saying that “his career is still active on the world circuit” and praising not only his long career but also “his values as a person.”
The Jewish athlete in February 2018 set a new record for swimming from Uruguay to Argentina crossing the Rio de la Plata river in 9 hours 6 minutes, a distance of about 26 miles.
In 2013, Blaum won the world championship in the Open Waters category of the International Swimming Federation after four consecutive years as runner up.
Blaum swam for Argentina in the 2008 Olympics where he finished 21st in the Mens 10 K event.