In 1924 Eduard Pütsep became the first Estonian wrestler to win an Olympic gold medal. Pütsep took up wrestling during World War I and won his first honors at the 1917 Russian Championships, where he won bronze as a bantamweight. He first competed internationally at the 1920 Olympics in Greco-Roman featherweight, where he lost to eventual silver medalist Finn Heikki Kähkönen in the semi-finals. At the 1921 World Championships Pütsep placed fourth in Greco-Roman featherweight and, a year later at the 1922 World Championships, he won silver behind Swede Fritiof Svensson in Greco-Roman bantamweight and won the bantamweight title at the 1923 Baltic Championships held in Gothenburg, Sweden. After his victory in the 1924 Olympics, Pütsep won another Greco-Roman bantamweight silver at the 1927 European Championships and also participated at the 1928 Olympics. Domestically, Pütsep won three Estonian Greco-Roman titles: in 1921 in lightweight, and in 1923 and 1925 in featherweight. Pütsep continued to compete until 1933 and later worked as a head coach of the Latvian national wrestling team, serving as the head coach of the 1936 Latvian Olympic wrestling team. During World War II Pütsep moved to Finland and worked there as a wrestling coach. Since 1977 an annual tournament in his honor has been held in Võru, Estonia.