Carl Schuhman (Kayaking)

There is no doubt that Carl Schuhman is the most versatile athlete in the Olympics. He was at his peak form when he won four gold medals in the gymnastics and Greco-Roman wrestling in the 1896 Athens Olympics. He also participated in athletics and weightlifting.

Schuhmann, was one of members of the triumphant German gymnastics team that annexed the horizontal bar and parallel bars team events. He secured his third gold medal by capturing the men’s horse vault event. Schuhmann also took part in the parallel bars, pommel horse, rings and horizontal bar events but fell short of landing in the top three positions.

The durable athlete showed no signs of fatigue as he participated in the wrestling competition which boasts of many participants that are much bigger and heftier than him. He toppled wrestlers from Great Britain and Ireland and Greece en route to bagging his fourth gold medal.

The multi-talented athlete also competed in the two-handed weightlifting competition which is now known as the clean and jerk but came out empty handed. He hoisted 90 kilograms to wound up tied for fourth place. He also tried his luck in the long jump, triple jump and shotput events in the track and field competition.

Aside from Schuhamann, only two other athletes have took part in four different sports in the same Olympiad, and he happens to the most prolific of the troika, a feat that will not be possibly equaled or surpassed in the future.

He died at the age of 76 and the phrases “Germany’s first Olympic champion” and “Athens 1896” are inscribed on his tomb.


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