1928 Swiss Weightlifting Mysteries

Today on Oldest Olympians, we wanted to cover more of the Swiss Olympic mysteries from the 1928 Amsterdam Games that we have not yet addressed and for whom we cannot prove definitively that they are deceased (although, given their age, all of them almost certainly are). Today we are going to look at the next large group of competitors: the weightlifters.

Just as with the wrestlers, what we know about the 10 weightlifters that represented Switzerland at the 1928 Amsterdam Olympics varies, but not one of them has complete data. The closest is Edmond Donzé, who was 15th and last in the light-heavyweight event, as we have all of his biographical details except for his place of birth. Next closest is Joseph Jaquenoud, who finished fifth and ninth as a lightweight in 1924 and 1928 respectively. We know that he died January 29, 1988 in La Chaux-de-Fonds, but only that he was born around 1901. Otto Garnus, who was 10th in the light-heavyweight competition in 1928, but competed in shot put and discus throw in 1924, would be the bronze medalist for data: he was born c. 1896 and died February 1, 1960.

(Arthur Reinmann)

From there, our knowledge becomes increasingly scarce. Featherweight Arthur Reinmann won a bronze medal in 1924, but slipped down to fifth in 1928. We know that he was born in 1901 and died in 1983, both in Oberaargau, but we have not found the exact dates. For Albert Aeschmann, we have his complete date of birth, August 20, 1900, but nothing else. Aeschmann missed bronze by finishing fourth as a lightweight in 1928, but competed as a middleweight in 1924 and 1936, placing fifth and thirteenth respectively.

For the remaining weightlifters, we have no biographical data at all. The best finisher was Franz Riederer, who was 14th as a heavyweight, the same category in which Walter Gasser of Zurich was 16th. Justin Tissot of Le Locle was also 14th as a featherweight, but he shared that distinction with Aleksander Kask of Estonia. Ernst Trinkler of Thalwil was joint-15th in the middleweight division, with Lithuania’s Povilas Vitonis (another individual about whom we know nothing for certain). Hermann Eichholzer also competed in that event, but did not record a score in the clean and jerk and thus did not place.

Finally, to conclude this entry, we wanted to mention the one Swiss fencer from these Games for whom we have no biographical data: Jean de Bardel. De Bardel was a member of the foil fencing team that was eliminated in the quarter-finals. He was from Geneva, but we otherwise know nothing about him.