Denmark at the 1896 Summer Olympics

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Denmark at the Olympic Games

Flag of Denmark
IOC code  DEN
NOC National Olympic Committee and Sports Confederation of Denmark
Website (Danish) (English)
At the 1896 Summer Olympics in Athens
Competitors 3 in 5 sports
Rank: 9
Olympic history (summary)
Summer Games
Winter Games
Intercalated Games

Three athletes from Denmark competed in five sports at the 1896 Summer Olympics in Athens. Two of the three combined to win a gold medal, two silvers, and three bronzes, while Eugen Schmidt earned no medals. Viggo Jensen contributed one of each color, while Holger Nielsen earned the second silver and two bronzes. Shooting and weightlifting were Denmark's most successful sports. Denmark had 15 entries in 12 events, winning six medals.


Medal Name Sport Event Date
 Gold Jensen, ViggoViggo Jensen Weightlifting Men's two hand lift April 7
 Silver Nielsen, HolgerHolger Nielsen Shooting Men's 30 m free pistol April 11
 Silver Jensen, ViggoViggo Jensen Weightlifting Men's one hand lift April 7
 Bronze Nielsen, HolgerHolger Nielsen Fencing Men's sabre April 9
 Bronze Jensen, ViggoViggo Jensen Shooting Men's 300 m free rifle, three positions April 12
 Bronze Nielsen, HolgerHolger Nielsen Shooting Men's 25 m rapid fire pistol April 11

Results by event[edit]


Viggo Jensen

Denmark's three athletes had little success in the 100 metres or the discus throw. Jensen took fourth place in the shot put competition, the closest to an athletics medal the Danish team came.

Event Place Athlete Heat Final
100 metres Eugen Schmidt 4 Did not advance
Event Place Athlete Best mark
Shot put 4th Viggo Jensen Unknown
Discus throw Viggo Jensen Unknown
Holger Nielsen Unknown


One of Nielsen's two bronzes came in the fencing competition, in which he won half of his four matches.

Event Place Fencer Record Touches Round-robin Final
Wins Losses For Against
Sabre 3rd Holger Nielsen 2 2 10 9 3rd None held
Opponent nation Wins Losses Percent
Austria 1 0 1.000
Greece 1 2 .333
Total 2 2 .500


Jensen placed fourth of five competitors in the rope climbing contest, not reaching the top of the 14-metre rope. His actual distance climbed is unknown save that it was less than 12.5 metres, the distance of the bronze medallist.

Event Place Gymnast Height
Rope climbing 4th Viggo Jensen Unknown


Jensen and Nielsen both earned bronze medals in the shooting competitions, with Nielsen also winning a silver medal. Jensen specialized in the rifle events, taking 6th of 42 and 3rd of 20 in the two events. Nielsen did not finish his rifle competition, but performed well in the pistol events, in which he won two medals and took 5th place of 16 in the third event.

Event Place Shooter Score Hits
Military rifle 6th Viggo Jensen 1640 30
12th Eugen Schmidt 845 12
Holger Nielsen Did not finish
Free rifle 3rd Viggo Jensen 1305 31
Military pistol 5th Holger Nielsen Unknown
Rapid fire pistol 3rd Holger Nielsen Unknown
Free pistol 2nd Holger Nielsen 285 Unknown


Jensen tied Launceston Elliot for weight lifted in the first event, the two handed lift. Prince George of Greece, the judge for the event, determined that Jensen had lifted the 111.5 kilograms in better style than Elliot, awarded the Dane the gold medal. In the second event, the one handed, Jensen's 57 kilograms were not close to Elliot's 71 kilograms and thus Jensen took second place in that event.

Event Place Weightlifter Best lift
One handed 2nd Viggo Jensen 57.0 kilograms
Two handed 1st Viggo Jensen 111.5 kilograms


  • Lampros, S.P.; Polites, N.G.; De Coubertin, Pierre; Philemon, P.J.; & Anninos, C. (1897). The Olympic Games: BC 776 – AD 1896. Athens: Charles Beck.  (Digitally available at [1])
  • Mallon, Bill; & Widlund, Ture (1998). The 1896 Olympic Games. Results for All Competitors in All Events, with Commentary. Jefferson: McFarland. ISBN 0-7864-0379-9.  (Excerpt available at [2])
  • Smith, Michael Llewellyn (2004). Olympics in Athens 1896. The Invention of the Modern Olympic Games. London: Profile Books. ISBN 1-86197-342-X.