Eric Backman

Biographical information

RolesCompeted in Olympic Games
Full nameEric Natanael•Backman
Used nameEric•Backman
Born18 May 1896 in Acklinga, Tidaholm (SWE)
Died29 June 1965 in Skövde (SWE)
Measurements172 cm / 64 kg
AffiliationsIFK Tidaholm, Tidaholm (SWE)
NOC Sweden
Medals OG
Gold 0
Silver 1
Bronze 3
Total 4


Eric Backman won one silver and three bronze medals at the 1920 Olympics in long-distance and cross-country running. Although he was a world class runner, he was a heavy smoker and enjoyed drinking alcohol. Backman was an eight-time Swedish champion in the 5 and 10K in the years 1918-23, setting Swedish records over 5,000 m, 10,000 m, 5 miles and in the one-hour run. In 1919 Backman won the English AAA Championship over four miles. He was appointed “Stor grabb” #38 in athletics. After 1943 Backman worked in the Volvo factory in Skövde.

Personal Bests: 3000 – unknown; 5000 – 14:51.0 (1919); 10000 – 31:02.2 (1921).


Games Discipline (Sport) / Event NOC / Team Pos Medal As
1920 Summer Olympics Athletics SWE Eric Backman
5,000 metres, Men (Olympic) 3 Bronze
10,000 metres, Men (Olympic) AC
3,000 metres, Team, Men (Olympic) Sweden 3 Bronze
Cross-Country, Individual, Men (Olympic) 2 Silver
Cross-Country, Team, Men (Olympic) Sweden 3 Bronze