Norway Wants Back US Gold Medals ... From 1904

They say wrestlers were Norwegian, not American

By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff

Posted Aug 15, 2012 10:49 AM CDT | Updated Aug 18, 2012 7:00 PM CDT

(Newser) – Call it the opposite of instant replay: Norway is trying to get the US to hand over gold medals that it won 108 years ago. Wrestlers Charles Ericksen and Bernhoff Hansen had just emigrated from Norway when they took gold for the US in the 1904 Olympics, and now sports historians say they've found documents proving they were still Norwegian citizens at the time, the Local explains.

"Those are our golds," says one of the historians working with the Norwegian Olympic Committee. "We want them, even if it was 108 years ago." Ericksen eventually became a US citizen the year after his victory, while Bernhoff appears to have never done so. If the International Olympic Committee does indeed recognize them as Norwegian wrestlers, they'd be the country's earliest gold medal winners.

Two unidentified wrestlers compete in the 1904 summer Olympics.
Two unidentified wrestlers compete in the 1904 summer Olympics.   (Wikimedia)
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