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Wrestling at the 1932 Los Angeles Summer Games:

Men's Middleweight, Freestyle

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Host City: Los Angeles, United States
Venue(s): Grand Olympic Auditorium, Los Angeles, California
Date Started: August 1, 1932
Date Finished: August 3, 1932
Format: Scoring by negative points, with negative points given for any result short of a fall. Accumulation of 5 negative points eliminated the wrestler.

Gold: SWE Ivar Johansson
Silver: FIN Kyösti Luukko
Bronze: HUN József Tunyogi


Swede Ivar Johansson was the clear favorite as he had won the 1931 European Championship, and was beginning a stretch that would not see him lose any international event through the end of his career in 1939. But in the first round he was upset by Finland’s Kyösti Luukko, which meant that Johansson had to win all his later matches by falls to garner the gold medal – so he did, winning as expected. Luukko held on for the silver medal, losing by fall in the third round to American Robert Hess, which cost Luukko the gold medal. The bronze went to Hungarian József Tunyogi, who won his first three matches before losing in the medal round to Luukko by fall.

Four days later, Johansson would win another gold medal in Greco-Roman wrestling, making him the first Olympic wrestler to win gold medals in freestyle and Greco-Roman at the same Olympics. This had previously only been accomplished by Kalle Anttila (FIN), but not in the same year, and through 2012, only Estonia’s Kristjan Palusalu in 1936 has ever repeated this feat.

Final Standings

Rank Athlete Age Team NOC Medal RE BP
1 Ivar Johansson 29 Sweden SWE Gold
2 Kyösti Luukko 29 Finland FIN Silver
3 József Tunyogi 25 Hungary HUN Bronze
AC Robert Hess 21 United States USA Eliminated r3/4 3
AC Émile Poilvé 28 France FRA Eliminated r3/4 6
AC Sumiyuki Kotani Japan JPN Eliminated r3/4 6
AC Donald Stockton 28 Canada CAN Eliminated r2/4 6