Great Olympians

Biographies - PIH

Lauri Pihkala

Olympic Competitor nr 3911

Kustaa Pihlajamäki

B. 1902-04-07, Nurmo, Finland; D. 1944-02-10
Wrestling - Free-Style (2 gold, 1 silver)
1924 1928 1932 1936 HP
Bantamweight (-56 kg) gold 40050
Featherweight (-61 kg) silver gold
-66 kg fifth

He is considered by many the best lightweight wrestler of all time. He won the European championship in Greco-Roman style seven times, the freestyle twice. His brothers Paavo and Arvi were also Finnish champions, but it was a cousin Hermanni, who won gold and bronze at Los Angeles and Berlin.
There is some controversy as to his silver at Amsterdam. Hans Minder of Switzerland, who is officially credited with the bronze, originally came off the podium thinking he had won the gold. Half an hour after the match against the eventual winner Allie Morrison, the result was changed, and he would be classed third. As a consolation, Minder received a silver medal anyway. I have no information as to what the original result would have done to Pihlajamäki's result though.

Written 2001-02-02 - last modified 2011-08-19

This page is part of the site "Full Olympians" by Herman De Wael. See here for a full Introduction.