Silver medallist Martin Klein

Martin Klein

KLEIN, Martin (12. September 1884 Tarvastu, Viljandi county – 11. February 1947 Tarvastu, Viljandi county), wrestler. Became interested in wrestling and climbing at his home farm in Kitsi thanks to the encouragement of Tarvastu gardener Mart Valge.

At the age of 17 started working on ships and later on buildings in St. Petersburg. Learned more about wrestling in St. Petersburg at Tõnu Vaimla's wrestling club, became a wrestler at the Sanitas sports club where he also worked as a guard. Won silver at the 1912 Stockholm Olympics in middleweight (75 kg), having participated in the longest wrestling marathon (11 h 40 min) in the history of the Olympics with a Finn, Alfred Asikainen. In 1913 cancelled a match due to an arm injury at the Breslau (Wrocław) World Championship, in the same year won gold at the Russian Olympics in heavyweight in Kiev. Second prize at the 1912 Baltic championships in III class.

Was a circus wrestler for a short period. Participated in the Estonian War of Independence, belonged to the Sakala partisan battalion; as a reward received Aaviku farm in Säga, Viljandi County. In 1919 was invited to Tori sports camp to prepare for the Estonian wrestling team for the Antwerp Olympics. Used to take country boys to Viljandi for wrestling trainings and to Puka, Otepää and Rõngu to competitions with his van. Klein memorial competitions have been held in Viljandi in Greco–Roman wrestling since 1962, and in freestyle wrestling since 1990. In 2002 memorial statue of Klein was set up in front of the Viljandi sports building (author Mati Karmin).

GOLD - 26 medals
SILVER - 26 medals
BRONZE - 32 medals

See all medals


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