Osvald Käpp

Biographical information

RolesCompeted in Olympic Games • Other
Full nameOsvald (-Oswald)•Käpp
Used nameOsvald•Käpp
Born17 February 1905 in Tallinn, Harjumaa (EST)
Died22 December 1995 in New York, New York (USA)
Measurements173 cm
AffiliationsKalev Tallinn, Tallinn (EST)
NOC Estonia
Medals OG
Gold 1
Silver 0
Bronze 0
Total 1


As a youth, Osvald Käpp participated in gymnastics and played basketball before taking up wrestling in 1923. Käpp first competed internationally at the 1924 Olympics, but did not advance to the final rounds in either Greco-Roman featherweight or freestyle lightweight. Käpp was equally strong in both styles of wrestling and represented Estonia internationally in both. Käpp achieved his first international fame at the 1926 European Greco-Roman Championships, where he won lightweight silver and, at the 1927 European Championships, he won Greco-Roman lightweight bronze. The best international tournament for Käpp was the 1928 Olympics, where he won the freestyle lightweight gold and was eliminated in the third round of Greco-Roman lightweight. In 1929, during the Great Depression, Käpp emigrated to the United States and settled in New York. He continued wrestling in the United States, becoming AAU Greco-Roman lightweight champion in 1929 and AAU freestyle lightweight champion in 1930-31. Käpp retired from sports after the 1931 season but, a month before the 1932 Olympics, when it was clear that Estonia could not afford to send an Olympic team to America, Käpp was approached by Estonian sports officials, who offered him and other Estonian athletes living in America a spot on an Olympic Team. At first Käpp refused, like many other athletes, because he had not practiced in nearly a year, but later decided to participate at the Olympics along with track & field athlete Alfred Maasik. At Los Angeles, however, in a very light competition, Käpp was clearly out of form, being eliminated in round three of Greco-Roman welterweight and in round two of freestyle lightweight. By profession Käpp was a pastry-cook, working in a candy factory in Tallinn and later opening a small bakery in New York.


Games Discipline (Sport) / Event NOC / Team Pos Medal As
1924 Summer Olympics Wrestling EST Osvald Käpp
Featherweight, Greco-Roman, Men (Olympic) =8
Lightweight, Freestyle, Men (Olympic) =9
1928 Summer Olympics Wrestling EST Osvald Käpp
Lightweight, Greco-Roman, Men (Olympic) =9
Lightweight, Freestyle, Men (Olympic) 1 Gold
1932 Summer Olympics Wrestling EST Osvald Käpp
Welterweight, Greco-Roman, Men (Olympic) AC
Lightweight, Freestyle, Men (Olympic) AC

Other participations

Games Role NOC As
1932 Summer Olympics Flagbearer at the Opening Ceremony EST Osvald Käpp