Nickolaus Hirschl

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Nickolaus "Mickey" Hirschl
Born March 20, 1906
Vienna, Austria
Died October 10, 1991(1991-10-10) (aged 85)
Known for
  • Austrian Shotput and Discus Junior Champion
  • Austrian Heavyweight Weightlifting Junior Champion
  • Austrian Pentathlon Champion (1923–30)
  • Austrian Heavyweight Wrestling Champion (10 years)
  • European Heavyweight Wrestling Champion (1932)
  • Olympic Bronze Medals in Heavyweight Freestyle and Heavyweight Greco-Roman Wrestling (1932)
Religion Jewish[1][2]
Awards International Jewish Sports Hall of Fame inductee
Olympic medal record
Competitor for  Austria
Men's Greco-Roman wrestling
Bronze 1932 Wrestling Greco-Roman wrestling
Men's Freestyle wrestling
Bronze 1932 Wrestling Freestyle wrestling

Nickolaus "Mickey" Hirschl (March 20, 1906 – October 10, 1991) was an Austrian Olympic-medal-winning wrestler, European Heavyweight Wrestling Champion, and for 10 years held the title of Austrian Heavyweight Wrestling Champion. He was also an Austrian Shotput and Discus Junior Champion, Austrian Heavyweight Weightlifting Junior Champion, and for seven years the Austrian Pentathlon Champion.[1][2][3]

Early life[edit]

Hirschl was Jewish, and was born in Vienna, Austria.[1][2][4][5] His parents were kosher butchers, and his father was president of a synagogue.[6]

Sports career[edit]

At 15 years of age, he won the Austrian Junior Championship in shotput and discus.[2] At 16 years of age, he won the Austrian Junior Championship in heavyweight weightlifting.[2] At 17 years of age, he became the pentathlon champion of Austria, winning the title in 1923 and holding it for seven years.[1][2][7]

At 18 years of age, he won the Austrian heavyweight wrestling championship.[1][2] He was the Austrian champion for the following 10 years.[1][2] In 1932, Hirschl won the gold medal in the European Wrestling Championships Heavyweight Championship.[2] He wrestled for the Hakoah Vienna wrestling team, which won 127 international titles from 1929 to 1934.[1][2][8][9]

At the 1932 Olympics in Los Angeles, he won a bronze medal in heavyweight freestyle, and a bronze medal in heavyweight Greco-Roman.[1]

In 1936, he boycotted the Olympics which were to be held in Berlin, Germany, refusing to participate because of the racial policies of the Nazis.[1][2]

Life after sports career[edit]

Hirschl left Austria to escape the Nazis before World War II began. Most of his family was killed in the Holocaust.[10]

He first moved to pre-Israel Palestine, and then ultimately joined the British army as a commando, and fought the Germans in North Africa.[10][11] After the war he married, and moved to Australia where he ran a meat business.[10]

He was inducted into the International Jewish Sports Hall of Fame in 1993.[2]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i Paul Taylor (2004). Jews and the Olympic Games: the clash between sport and politics: with a complete review of Jewish Olympic medalists. Sussex Academic Press. Retrieved July 30, 2011. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l "Nikolaus "Mickey" Hirschl". Retrieved July 30, 2011. 
  3. ^ Bob Wechsler (2008). Day by day in Jewish sports history. KTAV Publishing House, Inc. Retrieved July 30, 2011. 
  4. ^ "Jewish Olympic Medalists". Retrieved July 30, 2011. 
  5. ^ "Nikolaus Hirschl Biography and Olympic Results". Retrieved July 30, 2011. 
  6. ^ "Documentation Centre of Austrian Resistance". Retrieved July 30, 2011. 
  7. ^ Joe Hoffman (January 3, 1993). "French Swim Champ in Jewish Sports Hall". The Jerusalem Post. Retrieved July 30, 2011. 
  8. ^ Paul Yogi Mayer (2000). Jüdische Olympiasieger: Sport, ein Sprungbrett für Minoritäten. Agon Sportverlag. Retrieved July 30, 2011. 
  9. ^ Matthias Wabl. "HaKoah; Vienna's Jewish Sports Club, Smashed by Nazis, Gets New Life". Retrieved July 30, 2011. 
  10. ^ a b c Sherman, Milt (October 1, 1985), "Wrestling Greats – Nicholas "Micky" Hirschl; Return To Los Angeles", Wrestling USA Magazine, retrieved July 30, 2011 
  11. ^ Mark Palmer (December 18, 2008). "Wrestling Spoken Here". Retrieved July 30, 2011. 

Further reading[edit]

  • Persson, Gunnar; translated by Mirja ItkonenHakoah: tähdet paossa (Hakoah – Exiled Stars), Like, 2006. ISBN 978-952-471-727-4