| Event type

Heavyweight, Freestyle (>87 kilograms), Men

Date11 – 14 July 1924
LocationVélodrome d'Hiver, Paris
Participants11 from 6 countries
FormatSingle-elimination tournament with separate single-elimination tournaments for second- and third-place. Second-place tournament conducted among those losing to the winner. Third-place tournament conducted among those losing to the winner or runner-up.

American Harry Steel was a big ole’ country boy who had no international experience. He was the 1924 Big Ten collegiate champion but had finished third at the US trials, and only was asked to go to Paris when John MacKay, runner-up at the trials, could not make the trip. In Paris, Steel worked with the formidable American lightweight Robin Reed, who taught him a number of moves. In a small field of only 11 wrestlers, Steel won three matches after a first-round bye, winning the final and the gold medal by decisioning Sweden’s Ernst Nilsson, a bronze medalist in this event at Antwerp.

Nilsson then lost again in the second-place Bergvall tournament to Swiss Henri Wernli, who went on to the silver medal. The bronze medal went to Britain’s Archie MacDonald, who didn’t do much to earn it. MacDonald had an opening round bye and then lost by fall to Steel. In the second-place tournament he had another opening round bye, then was decisioned by Wernli in the silver medal match. In the third-place tournament everybody else withdrew so MacDonald won both his matches by walkover. Thus he had two matches in Paris, lost them both, and went home with a bronze medal.

1Harry SteelUSAGold
2Henri WernliSUISilver
3Archie MacDonaldGBRBronze
=4Edmond DameFRA
=4Johan RichthoffSWE
=4Ernst NilssonSWE
7Toivo PohjalaFIN
=8Roger FlandersUSA
=8Hans RothSUI
=10Hjalmar NyströmFIN
=10Albert SangwineGBR

Round One (11 July 1924)

Match #1 Henri WernliSUI
Edmond DameFRA
Match #2 Johan RichthoffSWE
Albert SangwineGBR
Match #3 Harry SteelUSA bye
Match #4 Archie MacDonaldGBR bye
Match #5 Roger FlandersUSA bye
Match #6 Ernst NilssonSWE walkover
Match #7 Hans RothSUI
Hjalmar NyströmFIN
Match #8 Toivo PohjalaFIN bye

Quarter-Finals (12 July 1924)

Match #1 Henri WernliSUI
Johan RichthoffSWE
Match #2 Harry SteelUSA
Archie MacDonaldGBR
Match #3 Ernst NilssonSWE
Roger FlandersUSA
Match #4 Toivo PohjalaFIN
Hans RothSUI

Semi-Finals (13 July 1924)

Match #1 Harry SteelUSA
Henri WernliSUI
Match #2 Ernst NilssonSWE
Toivo PohjalaFIN

Final Round (14 July 1924)

Match 1/2 Harry SteelUSA
Ernst NilssonSWE

2nd-Place Semi-Finals (14 July 1924)

Match #1 Henri WernliSUI
Ernst NilssonSWE
Match #2 Archie MacDonaldGBR bye

2nd-Place Final Round (14 July 1924)

Match #1 Henri WernliSUI
Archie MacDonaldGBR

3rd-Place Semi-Finals (14 July 1924)

Match #1 Archie MacDonaldGBR walkover

3rd-Place Final Round (14 July 1924)

Match #1 Archie MacDonaldGBR walkover