Walter Winans

Biographical information

RolesCompeted in Olympic Games
Full nameWalter•Winans
Used nameWalter•Winans
Born5 April 1852 in St. Petersburg, St. Petersburg (RUS)
Died12 August 1920 in Barking, England (GBR)
NOC United States
Medals OG
Gold 2
Silver 1
Bronze 0
Total 3


After settling in America in the late 17th century the Wynants family changed their Dutch name to Winans and prospered with the development of the railroads. Walter Winans’ father was one of two brothers who went to Russia to direct the building of the national railway system and the future Olympic champion was born and educated in St. Petersburg. Winans eventually settled in England and showed immense talent in many fields.

Apart from his Olympic rifle successes, he was a noted pistol shot and a renowned equestrian sculptor, exhibiting 14 times at the British Royal Academy. In this field he won a second Olympic gold medal in the Arts Competition at Stockholm in 1912 for his statuette An American Trotter – the only American to win medals both in the art and sport phases of Olympic competition. The sculpture was donated to the Swedish Olympic Committee for a new sports museum after the 1912 Olympic Games. At the 1908 Olympics, there was a question raised about Winans’ eligibility because he had never set foot in America and he was required to swear his allegiance to the U.S. Consul General in order to participate in the Olympics. Winans did eventually visit the US but not until he was 58 years of age. Trotting, another of his interests, led to his death. While driving in a race in England, he suffered a heart attack, fell, and broke his skull, dying instantly. Shortly before, the passionate horse breeder had become almost penniless, since most of his assets consisted of Russian securities that had become worthless during the October Revolution.


Games Discipline (Sport) / Event NOC / Team Pos Medal As
1908 Summer Olympics Shooting USA Walter Winans
Free Pistol, 50 yards, Men (Olympic) 38
Small-Bore Rifle, Disappearing Target, 25 yards, Men (Olympic) =19
Small-Bore Rifle, Moving Target, 25 yards, Men (Olympic) =10
Running Target, Single Shot, Men (Olympic) =6
Running Target, Double Shot, Men (Olympic) 1 Gold
1912 Summer Olympics Shooting USA Walter Winans
Free Pistol, 50 metres, Men (Olympic) 49
Dueling Pistol, 30 metres, Men (Olympic) 8
Dueling Pistol, 30 metres, Team, Men (Olympic) United States 4
Running Target, Single Shot, Men (Olympic) 29
Running Target, Single Shot, Team, Men (Olympic) United States 2 Silver
Running Target, Double Shot, Men (Olympic) 11
Art Competitions USA Walter Winans
Sculpturing, Open (Olympic) 1 Gold