Carl Schuhmann

Carl Schuhmann (12 May 1869 24 March 1946) was a German athlete who won four Olympic titles in gymnastics and wrestling at the 1896 Summer Olympics in Athens, becoming the most successful athlete at the inaugural Olympics of the modern era.[1][2][3] He also competed in weightlifting.[4]

Carl Schuhmann
Personal information
Former countries represented German Empire
Born(1869-05-12)12 May 1869
Münster, Westphalia, North German Confederation
Died24 March 1946(1946-03-24) (aged 76)
Berlin, Allied-occupied Germany
DisciplineMen's artistic gymnastics


Schuhmann, who was a member of the Berliner Turnerschaft, was a member of the successful German gymnastics team that won the team events in the horizontal bar and parallel bars events. Schuhmann added a third title by winning the horse vault event.[3] He also competed in the parallel bars, horizontal bar, pommel horse, and rings events without success.[3] The only extant information about his placing in those events, besides not being a medallist, is that he placed fifth in the rings competition.[3]

Schuhmann (left) before the Olympic wrestling final, which he won

Schuhmann then entered the wrestling competition, which he also won,[3] even though he was much lighter and smaller than most of the other combatants. In the first round, he faced Launceston Elliot of Great Britain and Ireland, who had won the weightlifting competition. Schuhmann won easily. The semifinals resulted in a bye for the German. In the final, he faced Georgios Tsitas of Greece. The match went for 40 minutes before it was determined that it was too dark to continue and the bout was postponed until a second day.[3] The next morning, Schuhmann quickly finished the bout with a win for a gold medal.

He also entered the weightlifting competition, placing fourth.[3]

Schuhmann was one of nine athletes to compete in the long jump. The only information known about his placing in the event is that he was not one of the top four. He also placed fifth in the triple jump and in the bottom three of a seven-man field in the shot put.

Schuhmann tied for fourth place in the two-handed weightlifting competition now known as the clean and jerk. He and Georgios Papasideris of Greece both lifted 90.0 kilograms.

In 1936 he was part of a gymnastics exhibition at the Olympic Stadium.[3]

His tombstone at Friedhof Heerstraße is inscribed with the Olympic Rings and the epitaph "first German Olympic winner", "most successful participant Athens 1896".[1]

See also


  1. "FOUR TITLES FOR MULTI-TALENTED SCHUHMANN". IOC. 2016-09-21. Retrieved 2016-09-26.
  2. "Carl SCHUHMANN - Olympic Athletics, Gymnastics Artistic, Wrestling Greco-Roman, Weightlifting | Germany". IOC. 2016-06-14. Retrieved 2016-09-26.
  3. "Carl Schuhmann Bio, Stats, and Results". Olympics at Archived from the original on 2020-04-17. Retrieved 2016-09-26.
  4. "Carl Schuhmann". Olympedia. Retrieved 20 December 2020.