Pelle Svensson

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Pelle Svensson
Pelle Svensson.jpg
Personal information
Born 6 February 1943 (1943-02-06) (age 74)
Sollefteå, Sweden
Height 188 cm (6 ft 2 in)
Weight 105 kg (231 lb)
Sport Greco-Roman wrestling
Club SAIK, Sundsvall
Heby BK, Tärnsjö

Per Oskar "Pelle" Svensson (born 6 February 1943) is a Swedish former Greco-Roman wrestler and lawyer. His achievements include a silver medal at the 1964 Summer Olympics in the light heavyweight class and two gold medals at the World Championships in 1970 and 1971.[1][2]

Wrestling career[edit]

Svensson, who started his career in wrestling in 1955, competed for the clubs Sundsvalls AIK and Heby BK. He won the Swedish Championships for the first time in 1962, competing in the 100 kg class. He won the Swedish Championships for thirteen consecutive years until his retirement in 1974. He competed at the World Championships for the first time in 1963, ending up fourth. At the 1964 Summer Olympics held in Tokyo, Japan, Svensson won a silver medal in the light heavyweight class. He also won two gold medals at the European Championships in 1969 and 1970 and two gold medals at the World Championships in 1970 and 1971, as well as three bronze medals at the European Championships in 1966, 1967 and 1968. As a wrestler he was nicknamed Pelle Swing in Sweden.[1][2]

Svensson was chairman of the Swedish Wrestling Federation (Swedish: Svenska Brottningsförbundet) from 1993 to 1998, and a member of board of the International Federation of Associated Wrestling Styles (FILA) from 1990 to 2007. Svensson left his position as a member of board of FILA in protest of what he saw as a lack of willingness from FILA to fight corruption within the sport.[2][3]

Lawyer career[edit]

Following his career in wrestling, Svensson pursued a career as a lawyer and was noted for taking on several high-profile criminal cases. He first received attention when he filed a civil indictment against a suspected murderer in the case of the disappearance of an eleven-year-old boy north of Sundsvall in 1980 (known in Sweden as Johanfallet, "the Johan Case"), together with the parents of the boy. The case ultimately ended in loss in the court of appeal, which ordered the parents to pay the court costs, and Svensson was criticized and accused of taking the case in order to receive media attention.

In 1988 Svensson served as the defendant to Juha Valjakkala, who was later convicted of the murder of three people in the village of Åmsele (known in Sweden as Åmselemorden, "the Åmsele Murders") earlier in the same year. In 2005 he wrote the book Utan nåd : grymhet utan gräns ("Without Mercy – Cruelty Beyond Limit") about the case.

Svensson also served as the defendant to Lars Tingström (known in Sweden by the nickname Bombmannen, "the Bomb-Man"), who was later convicted of three bomb attacks around Stockholm. In 1996 Svensson published parts of what he said was a testament authored by Tingström shortly before his death in 1993. In the purported testament, Tingström wrote that he had given Christer Pettersson the instructions to assassinate Swedish Prime Minister Olof Palme. The journalist Gunnar Wall wrote an article in Dagens Nyheter where he accused Svensson of manipulating the testament from Tingström. A forensic investigation later proved the testament to be real. Svensson's information led the prosecutors to file an application for a new trial against Pettersson for the assassination of Palme, but this was rejected by the Supreme Court.

Svensson ended his career as a lawyer after a burnout, but continued to take cases after his retirement.[2]

Personal life[edit]

Svensson is married and has three children. He lives in the small village of Njurunda outside Sundsvall in Västernorrland County.

Wrestling achievements[edit]

Year Event Venue Place Weight class (kg)
1963 FILA World Championships Sweden Helsingborg, Sweden 4th 97.0
1964 Olympic Games Japan Tokyo, Japan 2nd 97.0
1965 FILA World Championships Finland Tampere, Finland 4th 97.0
1966 European Championships Germany Essen, Germany 3rd 97.0
1966 FILA World Championships United States Toledo, United States 5th 97.0
1967 European Championships Soviet Union Minsk, Soviet Union 3rd 97.0
1968 European Championships Sweden Västerås, Sweden 3rd 97.0
1968 Olympic Games Mexico Mexico City, Mexico 4th 97.0
1969 European Championships Italy Modena, Italy 1st 100.0
1970 European Championshipss Germany Berlin, Germany 1st 100.0
1970 FILA World Championships Canada Edmonton, Canada 1st 100.0
1971 FILA World Championships Bulgaria Sofia, Bulgaria 1st 100.0



  1. ^ a b Per Svensson.
  2. ^ a b c d Per Svensson. Swedish Olympic Committee
  3. ^ Wixtröm, Tobias (15 August 2008). "Solklar penningmuta" (in Swedish). Aftonbladet. Retrieved 16 August 2008.