John Da Silva

Biographical information

RolesCompeted in Olympic Games
Full nameJohn Walter•Da Silva
Used nameJohn•Da Silva
Born11 June 1934 in Pukekohe, Auckland (NZL)
Died8 April 2021 in Great Barrier Island, Waikato (NZL)
NOC New Zealand


A heavyweight wrestler at the 1956 Melbourne Olympics, John Da Silva later became one of the best known professional wrestlers in New Zealand. For contributions to his country, and for his volunteer work, he was awarded the Queen’s Service Medal in 1994. Da Silva won his first national title in 1953 and defended it for five years straight. He also competed at the 1958 British Empire Games, finishing fourth.

Da Silva travelled internationally widely during his pro career, and although he was not fully Maori, he often played up the exotic features of that culture. After he retired from pro wrestling, Da Silva ran a rehabilitation program for youth, before retiring to Port Whangapara on Great Barrier Island. His son, Garth Da Silva, later competed at the Olympics as a boxer.


Games Discipline (Sport) / Event NOC / Team Pos Medal As
1956 Summer Olympics Wrestling NZL John Da Silva
Heavyweight, Freestyle, Men (Olympic) AC

Olympic family relations