Kurland, a lightweight in Greco-Roman wrestling, competed in two Olympiads for Denmark. At the 1932 Los Angeles Olympics, he pinned Yoneichi Miyazaki in 3:39 in the first round, but lost his next match to Germany's Eduard Sperling in a decision. When three other competitors were eliminated due to the accumulation of bad marks, Kurland advanced to the final match. In the final, he faced Eric Malmberg of Sweden, lost the decision, and was awarded the silver medal. Sixteen years later, at the age of 36, Kurland participated in his second Olympiad at the 1948 London Games.
In the 1930s and 1940s, Kurland was one of the world's top Greco-Roman wrestlers. A member of Hakoah in Denmark, Kurland won the silver medal at the 1935 European Championships despite winning all his matches. According to James Jurgenson (an honorary member of the Danish wrestling league), Kurland defeated the eventual gold medal champion, but was only awarded the silver in accordance to the rules (he does not go into details).
A twelve-time Danish National champion, Kurland became a coach following his retirement from international competition. He trained and coached the 1962 Danish team at the World Championships. Jurgenson wrote in Kurland's obituary: "We in Danish wrestling have much to thank Abraham Kurland for. Long live his legacy."
Birth and Death Dates:
b. June 10, 1912 - d. March 14, 1999
Use links below to navigate through the olympics section of Jews In Sports.
encyclopedia of JEWS in sports, by Bernard Postal, Jesse Silver, and Roy Silver (New York: Bloch Publishing Co., 1965)