At the 1932 Los Angeles Olympics, Hirschl competed for Austria and won two medals in two different wrestling events. A heavyweight, he competed in the freestyle discipline first and won the bronze medal, despite losing both his matches (only three participants competed). Hirschl then competed as a heavyweight in the Greco-Roman discipline. A favorite to win the gold medal, he received a bye (he drew no opponent) in the first round and pinned his Italian opponent in the second round, but was injured during the match. He continued to compete and won the bronze medal. Four years later, Hirschl boycotted the 1936 Berlin Olympics to protest the Nazis' treatment of Jews.
An incredible athlete, Hirschl was Austria's Junior champion in the shot put and discus at the age of 15. At 16, he won the junior championship in heavyweight weighlifting, and was Austria's heavyweight wrestling champion at the age of 18, holding the title for the next ten years! A member of the Hakoah-Vienna Athletic Club, Hirschl won 127 international competitions between 1927-1934 (including the European heavyweight title in 1929 and 1934), and was also the Austrian pentathalon champion for seven years. He is a member of the International Jewish Sports Hall of Fame.
Birth and Death Dates:
b. March 20, 1906 - d. Oct. 10,1991
Use links below to navigate through the olympics section of Jews In Sports.
Jewish Sports Legends: The International Jewish Sports Hall of Fame, by Joseph Siegman (Washington, D.C.: Brassey's, 2000)
encyclopedia of JEWS in sports, by Bernard Postal, Jesse Silver, and Roy Silver (New York: Bloch Publishing Co., 1965)
The Olympic Games: Athens 1896-Sydney 2000, (New York: Dorling Kindersley, 1999)