Norway seeks to wrestle old Olympic gold medals from US

The Local Norway
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Norway seeks to wrestle old Olympic gold medals from US
Unnamed competitors in a wrestling match at the 1904 Olympic Games (File photo).

Norwegian sports historians have unearthed documentation seeming to prove that two American gold medals in wrestling at the 1904 Olympic Games should in fact have been attributed to Norway.


Shortly after emigrating from Norway, wrestlers Charles Ericksen and Bernhoff Hansen grappled their way to gold for the United States at the St. Louis Games.

But sports historians Tom A Schanke and Arild Gjerde have now succeeded in digging up documents showing that the victorious pair should in fact have been competing for their original homeland, broadcaster NRK reports.

“The Norwegian Olympic Committee now has documentation that shows that the wrestlers were Norwegian citizens,” said Schanke.

“Consequently, we should have the two golds that have been attributed to the United States. Those are our golds. We want them, even if it was 108 years ago.”

Charles Ericksen’s naturalization certificate indicates that he did not become an American citizen until March 22nd 1905, Schanke said.

As for Bernhoff Hansen, he was registered as an “alien” and most likely never became a US citizen, Schanke said.

Both lived in New York and wrestled for a club called the Brooklyn Norwegier Turnverein.

Should the International Olympic Committee accept that an error was made, the two wrestlers would go down in history as Norway’s first ever gold medal winners. By rewriting the history books, the new development would also increase the country’s total Summer Games gold-medal haul from 58 to 60.


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