Wrestling at the 1912 Summer Olympics

Wrestling was a very popular sport in Sweden in 1912, but only in the Græco-Roman form of the sport. In 1908 at London, Olympic competition had been conducted in both Græco-Roman and catch-as-catch-can (freestyle) events, but the Swedes planned Olympic competition only in the Græco-Roman style for the 1912 Olympics. At the 12th IOC Session in Budapest in 1911, Luxembourgeois IOC Member Jean-Maurice Pescatore suggested that freestyle should also be included on the program but he was voted down.

Wrestling was conducted on three 5 x 5 metre mats in the Olympic Stadium, exposing the wrestlers to the hot sun throughout the matches. A small nearby enclosure was used as a reserve arena in the event of rain, and a few bouts did take place there. The bouts were in 30-minute rounds, with three judges. After each 30-minute round, the judges could declare a winner or order another round, with no limit to the number of rounds. In the event that neither wrestler was aggressive enough, the judges could declare both wrestlers to have lost (today called disqualification due to passivity).

Sweden’s neighbor, Finland, was the dominant nation in wrestling at Stockholm, winning three of the five classes, and seven medals, including at least one medal in every class.


Event Status Date Participants NOCs
Featherweight, Greco-Roman (≤60 kilograms), Men Olympic 6 – 15 July 1912 38 13
Lightweight, Greco-Roman (≤67.5 kilograms), Men Olympic 6 – 15 July 1912 48 13
Middleweight A, Greco-Roman (≤75 kilograms), Men Olympic 6 – 15 July 1912 38 14
Middleweight B, Greco-Roman (≤82.5 kilograms), Men Olympic 7 – 15 July 1912 29 12
Heavyweight, Greco-Roman (>82.5 kilograms), Men Olympic 7 – 14 July 1912 17 9
170 (170/0) 18 (18/0)


Event Gold Silver Bronze
Featherweight, Greco-Roman, Men Kaarlo KoskeloFIN Georg GerstackerGER Otto LasanenFIN
Lightweight, Greco-Roman, Men Emil VäreFIN Gustaf MalmströmSWE Edvin MathiassonSWE
Middleweight A, Greco-Roman, Men Claes JohansonSWE Martin KleinRUS Alppo AsikainenFIN
Middleweight B, Greco-Roman, Men Anders Ahlgren
Ivar Böhling
Béla VargaHUN
Heavyweight, Greco-Roman, Men Yrjö SaarelaFIN Johan OlinFIN Søren JensenDEN

Medal table

NOC Gold Silver Bronze Total
Finland FIN 3 2 2 7
Sweden SWE 1 2 1 4
Germany GER 0 1 0 1
Russian Federation RUS 0 1 0 1
Denmark DEN 0 0 1 1
Hungary HUN 0 0 1 1