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Wrestling at the 1952 Helsinki Summer Games

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Host City: Helsinki, Finland
Date Started: July 20, 1952
Date Finished: July 27, 1952
Events: 16

Participants: 244 (244 men and 0 women) from 37 countries
Youngest Participant: AUS John Elliott (17 years, 259 days)
Oldest Participant: AUS Dick Garrard (41 years, 358 days)
Most Medals (Athlete): 48 athletes with 1 medal
Most Medals (Country): URS Soviet Union (10 medals)


The 1952 wrestling tournament was held at the Messuhalli, or Exhibition Hall, which also hosted the basketball final, boxing, gymnastics, and weightlifting, in addition to wrestling, at the 1952 Olympics. Messuhalli was built in 1935 in the Töölö District of Helsinki and was later used for concerts, banquets, and sporting events. In 2014 it is the home arena of the Torpan Pojat and Helsinki Seagulls basketball teams.

There was no change in the program, with the eight classes in both freestyle and Greco-Roman, with all the weight classes the same. The tournaments were again conducted using a negative (bad) point system, but with a slight change. A win by fall again earned 0 points, while winning by any decision gained the wrestler 1 point. Any type of loss, by decision or fall, cost 3 points. Wrestlers were eliminated when they accumulated 5 points, so effectively the event was a double elimination tournament.

The Soviet Union competed in the Olympics for the first time in 1952 and became the top nation in wrestling, winning 10 medals and 5 golds, followed by Sweden, formerly the dominant nation at the last three Olympics, with 8 medals and 3 golds. They were followed by Iran, where wrestling is the national sport, with 5 medals. Iran had competed in wrestling in 1948 but did not win any medals. Iran won all its medals in freestyle, where it led the medal lists, although it won no events. The Soviet Union, Sweden, and Turkey each won 2 freestyle golds. The Soviets were easily the top nation in Greco-Roman with 7 medals and 4 golds.