Host City: Amsterdam, Netherlands
Venue(s): Power Sports Building, Amsterdam
Date Started: July 30, 1928
Date Finished: August 1, 1928
Format: Single-elimination tournament with separate single-elimination tournaments for second- and third-place. Second-place tournament conducted among those losing to the winner. Third-place tournament conducted among those losing to the winner or runner-up.
No international freestyle events had been contested since the 1924 Olympics so it was difficult to choose a favorite. There were only seven entrants in this class. Switzerland’s Henri Wernli was the defending silver medalist, but he lost in the semi-finals to American Ed Don George, who then lost in the final match to Sweden’s Johan Richthoff, who went home with gold. Richthoff had defeated Finland’s Aukusti Sihvola in round one, but Sihvola won two matches in the second-place tournament to take the silver medal. The bronze went to France’s Edmond Dame, who defeated George in the third-place tournament’s only match. In 1932 Richthoff returned for a second gold medal, becoming the first heavyweight wrestler to defend their title, in either style, at the Olympics.