Voldemar Väli at the 1928 Olympics
|Born||10 January 1903|
|Died||13 April 1997 (aged 94)|
Väli started training in wrestling at age 17, and four years later competed at the 1924 Olympics, but was eliminated in a preliminary bout. In 1926 he won his first European title and established himself as a world top featherweight and later lightweight wrestler. He missed the 1932 Olympics because Estonia did not send a team due to the Great Depression, and finished out of the podium at the 1933, 1934, 1937 and 1938 European Championships; however, he earned a bronze at the 1936 Summer Olympics in Berlin. Domestically he won 19 titles between 1922 and 1942 in Greco-Roman and freestyle events. During World War II in 1944 he emigrated with family to Sweden. He ended his sporting career in 1945 after a match between the local Estonians and the team from Stockholm. He beat the Swedish champion Einar Karlsson.
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