Oswaldo Johnston

Biographical information

RolesCompeted in Olympic Games
Full nameJosé Oswaldo•Johnston Sánchez
Used nameOswaldo•Johnston
Born27 March 1930 in Ciudad de Guatemala (Guatemala City), Guatemala (GUA)
Died16 August 2021
Measurements162 cm
NOC Guatemala


Oswaldo Johnston took up sports in his youth out of a desire to overcome his childhood sickliness. He was active in many athletic pursuits, including track and field, fencing, boxing, and weightlifting, but it was wrestling in which he excelled the most. He was a six-time national champion from 1948 through 1953 and won a gold medal in the freestyle 60 kg tournament at the 1950 Central American and Caribbean Games. Two years later he was selected to be a member of Guatemala’s first delegation to the Olympic Games, where he competed as a bantamweight in both the Greco-Roman and freestyle events, but did not win a single bout.

Johnston took up coaching in 1951 and made a career of it after his fighting days were over. He was a coach with the Guatemalan team at the 1972 Summer Games and headed the country’s wrestling delegation at the 1980, 1984, 1992, and 1996 Olympics. He also had a stint as a coach with the national team of El Salvador between 1976 and 1979. In addition to several notable administrative positions in Guatemalan and South American amateur wrestling, he was also involved heavily in the promotion of professional wrestling in Guatemala. As of 2017 he was the last survivor of Guatemala’s first Olympic team.


Games Discipline (Sport) / Event NOC / Team Pos Medal As
1952 Summer Olympics Wrestling GUA Oswaldo Johnston
Bantamweight, Greco-Roman, Men (Olympic) AC
Bantamweight, Freestyle, Men (Olympic) AC

Special Notes