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Elmer Niklander

Biographical information

Medals OG
Gold 1
Silver 2
Bronze 1
Total 4
TypeCompeted in Olympic Games
Full nameElmer Konstantin•Niklander
Used nameElmer•Niklander
Nick/petnamesOitin kanuuna, Niku, Elmeri
Born19 January 1890 in Rutajärvi, Hausjärvi (FIN)
Died12 November 1942 in Helsinki (FIN)
Measurements185 cm / 79 kg
AffiliationsHelsingin Reipas, Helsinki (FIN)
NOC(s) Finland


Elmer Niklander, the most prominent Finnish weight thrower in the 1910s and 1920s, had a long career lasting nearly 20 years. Niklander made his international début at the 1908 Olympics but won his first Olympic medals in 1912 – silver in both hands discus throw, and bronze in both hands shot put. At the 1920 Olympics, Niklander won gold in discus and silver in shot put and he also competed at the 1924 Olympics. Domestically, Niklander won a record 44 Finnish titles, 11 in both hands shot put (1909-10, 1912-18, 1920, 1924), 11 in both hands discus throw (1909-1918, 1920), seven in the shot put (1914-18, 1920, 1924), six in the hammer throw (1911, 1914-18), five in the discus throw (1914-18), two in Greek-style discus throw (1912-13), and two in the stone throw (1914, 1918). By profession, Niklander was a fire fighter and a part-time farmer. His granddaughter claimed that the train that was supposed to take him to Antwerpen in 1920 had to wait for him for more than an hour because he first had to finish his work in the fields. Shortly before he died of cancer he buried his collection of trophies, which was not found until recently.

Personal Bests: SP – 14.86 (1913); DT – 47.18 (1916).


Games Discipline (Sport) Event Status Team Pos Details
1908 Summer Olympics Athletics Shot Put, Men Olympic AC Representing Finland    
  Discus Throw, Men Olympic AC
  Discus Throw, Greek Style, Men Olympic 9
1912 Summer Olympics Athletics Shot Put, Men Olympic 4 Representing Finland    
  Shot Put, Both Hands, Men Olympic 3 Bronze
  Discus Throw, Men Olympic 4
  Discus Throw, Both Hands, Men Olympic 2 Silver
1920 Summer Olympics Athletics Shot Put, Men Olympic 2 Silver Representing Finland    
  56-pound Weight Throw, Men Olympic 8 r1/2
  Discus Throw, Men Olympic 1 Gold
1924 Summer Olympics Athletics Shot Put, Men Olympic 6 Representing Finland    
  Discus Throw, Men Olympic 7

Other participations

Games Role Details
1924 Summer Olympics Flagbearer at the Opening Ceremony Representing Finland