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Voldemar Väli

Full name: Voldemar Väli
Gender: Male
Born: January 10, 1903 in Kuressaare, Saaremaa, Estonia
Died: April 13, 1997 in Stockholm, Stockholm, Sweden
Affiliations: Sport Tallinn
Country: EST Estonia
Sport: Wrestling

Medals: 1 Gold, 1 Bronze (2 Total)

Biography

Voldemar Väli, a crane operator from the port of Tallinn, took up wrestling in 1920 and soon rose to be one of the best featherweight and lightweight wrestlers in Estonia. Väli competed at the 1924 Olympics, but lost in the early rounds. Väli won his first international honors at the 1926 European Championships, where he captured gold in Greco-Roman featherweight, a victory he repeated at the 1927 European Championships, thus becoming the main favorite for the 1928 Olympic Greco-Roman featherweight gold. At the Olympics Väli did not disappoint, defeating all but one of his opponents by fall to become the second Estonian Olympic wrestling champion after Eduard Pütsep. After the 1928 Olympics Väli switched to lightweight and won silver at the 1930 and 1931 European Championships, but missed a possible Olympic medal at the 1932 Olympics because Estonia did not send a team to Los Angeles due to the Great Depression. Väli won his second Olympic medal, however, a bronze, in 1936 and also participated at the 1933, 1934, 1937 and 1938 European Championships, where he was fourth, fifth, fourth and fourth in Greco-Roman lightweight, respectively. Domestically Väli won 19 Estonian titles: in 1922, 1924 and 1926 in Greco-Roman featherweight, from 1928-40 and 1942 in Greco-Roman lightweight and in 1928-29 in freestyle lightweight. Väli retired from sports after the start of World War II and moved to Sweden during the conflict. In Sweden Väli first worked as a metal worker, but later established a doll workshop with his wife.

Results

Games Age City Sport Event Team NOC Rank Medal
1924 Summer 21 Paris Wrestling Men's Featherweight, Greco-Roman Estonia EST 8T
1928 Summer 25 Amsterdam Wrestling Men's Featherweight, Greco-Roman Estonia EST 1 Gold
1936 Summer 33 Berlin Wrestling Men's Lightweight, Greco-Roman Estonia EST 3 Bronze

Men's Featherweight, Greco-Roman

Games Age City Sport Team NOC Phase Unit Rank Date Result
1924 Summer 21 Paris Wrestling Estonia EST Round Four Match #2 2 Radvány (HUN) decision, Väli (EST)
1924 Summer 21 Paris Wrestling Estonia EST Round Three Match #3 2 1924-07-08 Nord (NOR) decision, Väli (EST)
1924 Summer 21 Paris Wrestling Estonia EST Round Two Match #4 1 1924-07-07 Väli (EST) fall (3:45), Vallmajo (ESP)
1924 Summer 21 Paris Wrestling Estonia EST Round One Match #3 1 Väli (EST) decision, Rottiers (BEL)
1928 Summer 25 Amsterdam Wrestling Estonia EST Final Round Match #1 1 1928-08-05 Väli (EST) fall, Malmberg (SWE)
1928 Summer 25 Amsterdam Wrestling Estonia EST Round Six Match #2 AC 1928-08-05 Väli (EST)
1928 Summer 25 Amsterdam Wrestling Estonia EST Round Five Match #2 1 1928-08-05 Väli (EST) fall, Steinig (GER)
1928 Summer 25 Amsterdam Wrestling Estonia EST Round Four Match #2 1 1928-08-04 Väli (EST) fall, Kárpáti (HUN)
1928 Summer 25 Amsterdam Wrestling Estonia EST Round Three Match #2 1 1928-08-03 Väli (EST) fall, Kamel (EGY)
1928 Summer 25 Amsterdam Wrestling Estonia EST Round Two Match #3 1 1928-08-03 Väli (EST) fall, Kratochvíl (TCH)
1928 Summer 25 Amsterdam Wrestling Estonia EST Round One Match #3 1 1928-08-02 Väli (EST) decision, Schlanger (AUT)

Men's Lightweight, Greco-Roman

Games Age City Sport Team NOC Phase Unit Rank Date Result BP MR
1936 Summer 33 Berlin Wrestling Estonia EST Final Standings 3 1936-08-06
1936 Summer 33 Berlin Wrestling Estonia EST Final Round Match #1 2 1936-08-09 Herda (TCH) decision (3-0), Väli (EST)
1936 Summer 33 Berlin Wrestling Estonia EST Round Six 3 1936-08-09 4
1936 Summer 33 Berlin Wrestling Estonia EST Round Six Match #1 2 1936-08-09 Koskela (FIN) decision (2-1), Väli (EST) 2
1936 Summer 33 Berlin Wrestling Estonia EST Round Five 1T 1936-08-09 2
1936 Summer 33 Berlin Wrestling Estonia EST Round Five Match #2 1 1936-08-09 Väli (EST) fall (13:14), Olofsson (SWE) 0
1936 Summer 33 Berlin Wrestling Estonia EST Round Four 3T 1936-08-08 2
1936 Summer 33 Berlin Wrestling Estonia EST Round Four Match #3 1 1936-08-08 Väli (EST) fall (15:21), Szajewski (POL) 0
1936 Summer 33 Berlin Wrestling Estonia EST Round Three 3T 1936-08-08 2
1936 Summer 33 Berlin Wrestling Estonia EST Round Three Match #5 1 1936-08-08 Väli (EST) decision (3-0), Arıkan (TUR) 1
1936 Summer 33 Berlin Wrestling Estonia EST Round Two 1T 1936-08-07 1
1936 Summer 33 Berlin Wrestling Estonia EST Round Two Match #5 1 1936-08-07 Väli (EST) decision (3-0), Nettesheim (GER) 1
1936 Summer 33 Berlin Wrestling Estonia EST Round One 1T 1936-08-06 0
1936 Summer 33 Berlin Wrestling Estonia EST Round One Match #5 1 1936-08-06 Väli (EST) fall (4:53), Dahl (NOR) 0
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