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Pete Rademacher

Biographical information

Medals OG
Gold 1
Silver 0
Bronze 0
Total 1
TypeCompeted in Olympic Games
Full nameThomas Peter "Pete"•Rademacher
Used namePete•Rademacher
Born20 November 1928 in Tieton, Washington (USA)
Died4 June 2020 in Sandusky, Ohio (USA)
Measurements186 cm / 95 kg
AffiliationsUS Army, (USA)
NOC United States


Pete Rademacher eventually fought professionally but his amateur record was far more impressive. Rademacher won several Golden Gloves titles in the Seattle area before entering Washington State University which made him ineligible for NCAA boxing. Instead, Rademacher lettered for two years in football and played baseball in college. He continued to fight as an amateur and piled up championship after championship. In 1956 he won his gold medal by three consecutive knockouts, a true rarity in Olympic boxing, where the bouts are only three rounds long. He was then selected to carry the U.S. flag at the 1956 closing ceremonies. After the Olympics, Rademacher turned pro, and fought his first fight against Floyd Patterson – for the heavyweight championship. He floored Patterson in round two, but Patterson got up and eventually knocked Rademacher down seven times, winning by a KO in six. Nonetheless, as of 2020, Rademacher is the only man to fight for the world heavyweight title on his professional début. Rademacher fought until 1962 as a pro, winning 17 and losing six, but he never again fought for the title. Rademacher had a very successful career as a salesman, and also patented several inventions. One company of which he eventually became president, Kiefer-McNeil, was started by another Olympian, swimmer Adolph Kiefer.


Games Discipline (Sport) / Event NOC / Team Pos Medal As
1956 Summer Olympics Boxing USA Pete Rademacher
Heavyweight, Men (Olympic) 1 Gold

Other participations

Games Role NOC As
1956 Summer Olympics Flagbearer at the Closing Ceremony USA Pete Rademacher