Rolland RomeroTrack & Field, 1931-36
Loyola University/1932 & 1936 Olympics
One of the top triple-jumpers (then known as the hop, step and jump) in the world in the 1930s, Romero competed at Loyola University and qualified for both the 1932 and the 1936 Olympics.
Began attending Loyola in 1931, and when his family money ran out, he convinced the coach, fellow Greater New Orleans Sports Hall of Famer Tad Gormley, to give him a spot on the track team.
Jumped 49 feet, 10 and a half inches at the Southern AAU junior championships – the best performance by any American in 19 years.
Qualified for the 1932 Olympic team as just a 17-year old, competing in the triple jump in Los Angeles after finishing second in the event (48-10.25) at the AAU National Championships.
In 1936, he was briefly the world’s only 52-footer in the hop, step and jump as he covered the distance in the Texas Centennial Games – however, his record was beaten in the 1936 Olympics by Naoto Tajima of Japan.
Romero actually beat Tajima’s mark in the Olympics, but it was determined he had fouled on the jump – a recurring problem throughout his career.
Set a National AAU record of 50 feet, four and seven-eighths inches in 1935, a record that stood until 1941.
Also an outstanding football player at Loyola, he was a charter member of the Loyola Sports Hall of Fame (1964) and was also inducted into the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame in 1975.
Attended Welsh High School in Welsh, La., where he was a member of the school’s first football team and scored its first touchdown.
Born Aug. 21, 1914 and died on Nov. 25, 1975 at the age of 61.