Norway seeks to wrestle old Olympic gold medals from US

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.

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

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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Norway wants to host 2026 Winter Olympics

Norway’s Telemark County wants to host the Winter Olympics in 2026.

Norway wants to host 2026 Winter Olympics
The opening ceremony at the 1994 Winter Olympics in Lillehammer. File photo: Bjørn Sigurdsøn / NTB scanpix

The county is preparing to bid for the event, leader of Telemark’s municipal sporting committee Geir Berge Nordtveit confirmed to NRK on Monday.

“I can confirm that we want to bring the Winter Olympics to Telemark,” Nordtveit said.

Preparations for the bid launch had been kept secret by the county municipality prior to Monday’s confirmation.

An official launch event is scheduled for Tuesday.

Telemark decided to throw its hat into the ring for the event after Austrian city Innsbruck decided not to bid, according to NRK.

Next year’s Winter Olympics will be held in the South Korean city of Pyeongchang, with the 2022 games to be hosted in Beijing.

Telemark will also ask neighbouring counties Buskerud and Vestfold to contribute to the bid, reports NRK.

As such, the bid will include events in different locations across Telemark, and perhaps beyond, rather than hosting all events in the same city wherever possible – the model currently used.

Norway previously hosted the Winter Olympics in 1994, when Lillehammer in Oppland county was the host city.

READ ALSO: Norway sceptical about new Olympic bid