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Kustaa Pihlajamäki

Full name: Kustaa Kustaanpoika Pihlajamäki
Gender: Male
Height: 5-6.5 (169 cm)
Weight: 56-66 kg
Born: April 7, 1902 in Nurmo, Seinäjoki, Etelä-Pohjanmaa, Finland
Died: February 10, 1944 in Helsinki, Uusimaa, Finland
Affiliations: HKV, Helsinki (FIN) / Helsingin Poliisi-Voimailijat, Helsinki (FIN)
Country: FIN Finland
Sport: Wrestling

Related Olympians: Cousin of Hermanni Pihlajamäki.

Medals: 2 Gold, 1 Silver (3 Total)

Biography

Kustaa Pihlajämaki is considered Finland's greatest wrestler. He won three Olympic medals, including gold in 1924 freestyle bantamweight and 1936 freestyle featherweight, while taking silver in 1928 freestyle featherweight. He and Carl Westergren are the only two wrestlers to have won gold medals 12 years apart. Pihlajämaki won nine European titles, six in Greco-Roman featherweight (1930-31, 1933-34, 1937-38) and two in freestyle featherweight (1931, 1937). He also earned freestyle lightweight silver at the 1931 European Championships and freestyle featherweight silver at the 1937 European Championships, but never competed at the World Championships. Domestically, Pihlajamäki won a record 28 Finnish titles: 14 in freestyle featherweight (1924-25, 1927-28, 1930-31, 1933-34, 1935-39, 1943), 12 in Greco-Roman featherweight (1925, 1927, 1929-31, 1934, 1936-37, 1940-43) and two in freestyle lightweight (1926 and 1932). Pihlajämaki came from a family of great wrestlers. His brothers, Arvi and Paavo, won multiple Finnish championships, and his cousin Hermanni won two Olympic medals, including gold in freestyle featherweight in 1932. By profession Kustaa was a policeman, working as a sergeant with the Helsinki police force from 1925 until his untimely death in 1944, perishing during the Russian bombing raid on Helsinki in February 1944. A statue in his honor has been erected in Helsinki in 1956 and, in 2005, Pihlajamäki was the first Finnish wrestler to be elected to the FILA International Wrestling Hall of Fame.

Results

Games Age City Sport Event Team NOC Rank Medal
1924 Summer 22 Paris Wrestling Men's Bantamweight, Freestyle Finland FIN 1 Gold
1928 Summer 26 Amsterdam Wrestling Men's Featherweight, Freestyle Finland FIN 2 Silver
1932 Summer 30 Los Angeles Wrestling Men's Lightweight, Freestyle Finland FIN AC
1936 Summer 34 Berlin Wrestling Men's Featherweight, Freestyle Finland FIN 1 Gold

Men's Bantamweight, Freestyle

Games Age City Sport Team NOC Phase Unit Rank Date Result
1924 Summer 22 Paris Wrestling Finland FIN Final Round Match 1/2 1 1924-07-14 Pihlajamäki (FIN) decision, Mäkinen (FIN)
1924 Summer 22 Paris Wrestling Finland FIN Semi-Finals Match #1 1 1924-07-13 Pihlajamäki (FIN) decision, Hines (USA)
1924 Summer 22 Paris Wrestling Finland FIN Quarter-Finals Match #1 1 1924-07-12 Pihlajamäki (FIN) decision, Darby (GBR)
1924 Summer 22 Paris Wrestling Finland FIN Round One Match #2 AC 1924-07-11 Pihlajamäki (FIN)

Men's Featherweight, Freestyle

Games Age City Sport Team NOC Phase Unit Rank Date Result BP MR
1928 Summer 26 Amsterdam Wrestling Finland FIN Semi-Finals Match #2 2 1928-07-31 Morrison (USA) , Pihlajamäki (FIN)
1928 Summer 26 Amsterdam Wrestling Finland FIN Quarter-Finals Match #4 1 1928-07-30 Pihlajamäki (FIN) , Rottenfluc (FRA)
1928 Summer 26 Amsterdam Wrestling Finland FIN Round One Match #7 AC 1928-07-30 Pihlajamäki (FIN)
1928 Summer 26 Amsterdam Wrestling Finland FIN 2nd-Place Tournament Match #2 1 1928-08-01 Pihlajamäki (FIN) , Minder (SUI)
1936 Summer 34 Berlin Wrestling Finland FIN Final Standings 1 1936-08-02
1936 Summer 34 Berlin Wrestling Finland FIN Final Round Match #2 AC 1936-08-04 Pihlajamäki (FIN)
1936 Summer 34 Berlin Wrestling Finland FIN Round Five 1 1936-08-04 1
1936 Summer 34 Berlin Wrestling Finland FIN Round Five Match #2 1 1936-08-04 Pihlajamäki (FIN) decision (3-0), Millard (USA) 1
1936 Summer 34 Berlin Wrestling Finland FIN Round Four 1 1936-08-04 0
1936 Summer 34 Berlin Wrestling Finland FIN Round Four Match #3 1 1936-08-04 Pihlajamäki (FIN) fall (3:41), Tóth (HUN) 0
1936 Summer 34 Berlin Wrestling Finland FIN Round Three 1 1936-08-04 0
1936 Summer 34 Berlin Wrestling Finland FIN Round Three Match #5 1 1936-08-04 Pihlajamäki (FIN) fall (2:40), Erkan (TUR) 0
1936 Summer 34 Berlin Wrestling Finland FIN Round Two 1T 1936-08-03 0
1936 Summer 34 Berlin Wrestling Finland FIN Round Two Match #7 1 1936-08-03 Pihlajamäki (FIN) fall (1:57), Spycher (SUI) 0
1936 Summer 34 Berlin Wrestling Finland FIN Round One 1T 1936-08-02 0
1936 Summer 34 Berlin Wrestling Finland FIN Round One Match #6 1 1936-08-02 Pihlajamäki (FIN) fall (4:40), Riské (BEL) 0

Men's Lightweight, Freestyle

Games Age City Sport Team NOC Phase Unit Rank Date Result RE BP MR
1932 Summer 30 Los Angeles Wrestling Finland FIN Final Standings AC 1932-08-01 Eliminated r3/5 5
1932 Summer 30 Los Angeles Wrestling Finland FIN Round Three 4T 1932-08-02 5
1932 Summer 30 Los Angeles Wrestling Finland FIN Round Three Match #1 1 1932-08-02 Pihlajamäki (FIN) decision, Klarén (SWE) 1
1932 Summer 30 Los Angeles Wrestling Finland FIN Round Two 4T 1932-08-01 4
1932 Summer 30 Los Angeles Wrestling Finland FIN Round Two Match #2 1 1932-08-01 Pihlajamäki (FIN) decision, Thomas (CAN) 1
1932 Summer 30 Los Angeles Wrestling Finland FIN Round One 5T 1932-08-01 3
1932 Summer 30 Los Angeles Wrestling Finland FIN Round One Match #2 2 1932-08-01 Clodfelter (USA) decision, Pihlajamäki (FIN) 3
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