Elmer Niklander, the most prominent Finnish weight thrower in the 1910s and 1920s, had a long career lasting nearly 20 years. Niklander made his international début at the 1908 Olympics but won his first Olympic medals in 1912 – silver in both hands discus throw, and bronze in both hands shot put. At the 1920 Olympics, Niklander won gold in discus and silver in shot put and he also competed at the 1924 Olympics. Domestically, Niklander won a record 44 Finnish titles, 11 in both hands shot put (1909-10, 1912-18, 1920, 1924), 11 in both hands discus throw (1909-1918, 1920), seven in the shot put (1914-18, 1920, 1924), six in the hammer throw (1911, 1914-18), five in the discus throw (1914-18), two in Greek-style discus throw (1912-13), and two in the stone throw (1914, 1918). By profession, Niklander was a fire fighter and a part-time farmer. His granddaughter claimed that the train that was supposed to take him to Antwerpen in 1920 had to wait for him for more than an hour because he first had to finish his work in the fields. Shortly before he died of cancer he buried his collection of trophies, which was not found until recently.
Personal Bests: SP – 14.86 (1913); DT – 47.18 (1916).
Athlete Olympic Results Content