Voldemar Väli

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Voldemar Väli
Voldemar Väli.jpg
Voldemar Väli at the 1928 Olympics
Personal information
Born(1903-01-10)10 January 1903
Kuressaare, Estonia
Died13 April 1997(1997-04-13) (aged 94)
Stockholm, Sweden
SportGreco-Roman wrestling
Medal record
Representing Estonia Estonia
Olympic Games
Gold medal – first place 1928 Amsterdam -62 kg
Bronze medal – third place 1936 Berlin -66 kg
European Championships
Gold medal – first place 1926 Riga -62 kg
Gold medal – first place 1927 Budapest -62 kg
Silver medal – second place 1930 Stockholm -66 kg
Silver medal – second place 1931 Prague -66 kg

Voldemar Väli (10 January 1903 – 13 April 1997) was an Estonian two-time Olympic medalist in Greco-Roman wrestling.[1]

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.[2] 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.[1][3] 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.

Väli worked a crane operator at the Port of Tallinn.[1] In Sweden, he was a metal worker and later established a doll factory with his wife.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d "Voldemar Väli". sports-reference.com. Archived from the original on 18 April 2020.
  2. ^ Vaeli, Voldemar (EST). iat.uni-leipzig.de
  3. ^ Väli, Voldemar. Eesti spordi biograafiline leksikon

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