Denmark at the 1896 Summer Olympics

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Denmark at the
1896 Summer Olympics
Flag of Denmark.svg
NOCNational Olympic Committee and Sports Confederation of Denmark (in Danish) (in English)
in Athens
Competitors3 in 5 sports
Ranked 9th
Summer Olympics appearances (overview)
Other related appearances
1906 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 Viggo Jensen Weightlifting Men's two hand lift April 7
 Silver Holger Nielsen Shooting Men's 30 m free pistol April 11
 Silver Viggo Jensen Weightlifting Men's one hand lift April 7
 Bronze Holger Nielsen Fencing Men's sabre April 9
 Bronze Viggo Jensen Shooting Men's 300 m free rifle, three positions April 12
 Bronze Holger Nielsen Shooting Men's 25 m rapid fire pistol April 11


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.

Athlete Events Heat Final
Result Rank Result Rank
Eugen Schmidt 100 m Unknown 4 Did not advance
Viggo Jensen shot put n/a Unknown 4
discus throw n/a Unknown 5-11
Holger Nielsen n/a Unknown 5-11


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

Athlete Event Record Touches Final Rank
Wins Losses For Against
Holger Nielsen Sabre 2 2 10 9 3rd, bronze medalist(s)
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 but it was less than 12.5 metres, the distance of the bronze medallist.

Athlete Event Result Rank
Viggo Jensen Rope climbing Unknown 4


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.

Athlete Event Hits Score Rank
Holger Nielsen 25 m military pistol Unknown 5
25 m rapid fire pistol Unknown 3rd, bronze medalist(s)
30 m free pistol 285 Unknown 2nd, silver medalist(s)
200 m military rifle DNF
Eugen Schmidt 200 m military rifle 845 12 12
Viggo Jensen 200 m military rifle 1640 30 6
300m free rifle 1305 31 3rd, bronze medalist(s)


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.

Athlete Event Weight Rank
Viggo Jensen One hand lift 57.0 2nd, silver medalist(s)
Two hand lift 111.5 1st, gold medalist(s)


  • 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.