Adolf Wagner won the bronze medal in the weightlifting middleweight class at the 1936 Berlin Olympics. In 1937 he won the silver medal at the World Championships and in 1938 went one better and won the gold medal. He also earned several German national titles: 1934, 1936, 1938, 1941, and after World War II, in 1949, 1951-52. He tried to qualify for the 1952 Helsinki Games, but was not successful. His son Paul Adolf Wagner later became a track sprinter and German Champion in the sprint relay, and later was German national sprint coach.