Oscar P. Osthoff Wisconsin Strength and Power HoF inductee 2023


Oscar P. Osthoff


1904 Olympic Team


Oscar won the gold medal in the All-around Dumbbell Contest and the silver medal in the Two Hand Lift.  The All Around Dumbbell contest was split between two days, with five lifts to be performed each day for a total of 10 lifts. For the first nine lifts, competitors were awarded 5 points, 3 points, and 1 point if they were first, second, or third. The final event was up to the judge’s discretion with the caveat that no more than 25 points could be divided between 3 competitors.


The two-hand lift was somewhat comparable to today’s Clean & Jerk. Essentially get the weight overhead anyway you can. Lifters were given three attempts to hit their target weights, with the top three athletes given three additional attempts to best their previous lifts.


This competition did not resemble a modern Olympic weightlifting contest, and while the Americans who competed in the “weightlifting” competition were excellent athletes, they were not the weightlifters of today.  At the time of the 1904 Olympics, weightlifting had not been organized as an official sport.


Oscar represented the University of Wisconsin and received ten letters competing in football, swimming, diving, gymnastics, and track & Field. He won the 1908 Big Ten shot, put title, and placed in the broad jump and discus. He was also the 1908 Big Ten in football. In 1909 Oscar won Big Ten on the flying rings. Oscar was also well-known as a sprinter and was inducted into the University of Wisconsin Athletic HOF. Oscar was the football coach at Washington State University from 1910-1911. Oscar also represented the Milwaukee Athletic Club and set records for the 100 yards in 1906 & 1907. Oscar remained with the Milwaukee AC swim team until 1924, still winning titles. Oscar had a lifelong career as a consulting engineer.

 Weightlifting at the 1904 Olympics - Physical Culture Study

Author: By Strength and Power Hall of Fame Completed: yes Created: Thu Jun 15 18:40:11 UTC 2023 | Last Updated: Sun Dec 24 17:12:50 UTC 2023