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Elmer Niklander

Biographical information

Medals OG
Gold 1
Silver 2
Bronze 1
Total 4
TypeCompeted in Olympic Games
SexMale
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 Finland

Biography

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).

Results

Games Discipline (Sport) / Event NOC / Team Pos Medal As
1908 Summer Olympics Athletics FIN Elmer Niklander
Shot Put, Men (Olympic) AC
Discus Throw, Men (Olympic) AC
Discus Throw, Greek Style, Men (Olympic) 9
1912 Summer Olympics Athletics FIN Elmer Niklander
Shot Put, Men (Olympic) 4
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 FIN Elmer Niklander
Shot Put, Men (Olympic) 2 Silver
56-pound Weight Throw, Men (Olympic) 9 r1/2
Discus Throw, Men (Olympic) 1 Gold
1924 Summer Olympics Athletics FIN Elmer Niklander
Shot Put, Men (Olympic) 6
Discus Throw, Men (Olympic) 7

Other participations

Games Role NOC As
1924 Summer Olympics Flagbearer at the Opening Ceremony FIN Elmer Niklander