Ranking the Most Dominant Gymnasts of the 1930s

Data Crunch #5.9
Link to: Ranking the Most Dominant Gymnasts of the 2010s
Link to: Ranking the Most Dominant Gymnasts of the 2000s
Link to: Ranking the Most Dominant Gymnasts of the 1990s
Link to: Ranking the Most Dominant Gymnasts of the 1980s
Link to: Ranking the Most Dominant Gymnasts of the 1970s
Link to: Ranking the Most Dominant Gymnasts of the 1960s
Link to: Ranking the Most Dominant Gymnasts of the 1950s

To explain this post: A gold is worth three points, silver is worth two points, and bronze is worth one point. Only individual medals will be counted as to avoid punishing gymnasts who competed for nations that aren’t established WAG powers. If there is a tie, both gymnasts get the full point total. For example Matylda Palfyeva and Vlasta Dekanova each get three points for sharing the gold medal on bars at the 1938 World Championships.

Name Country Points
Vlasta Dekanova Czechoslovakia 15
Matylda Palfyeva Czechoslovakia 4
Margit Kalocsai Hungary 2
Zdenka Vermirovska Czechoslovakia 2
Janina Skyrlinska Poland 1

Link to: Ranking the Most Dominant Gymnasts of All Time
Link to: Which Countries Have Produced the Most Medalists?
Link to: Ranking the Most Dominant Gymnastics Programs

Link to: Ranking the Most Dominant American Gymnasts
Link to: Ranking the Most Dominant Russian Gymnasts
Link to: Ranking the Most Dominant Romanian Gymnasts
Link to: Ranking the Most Dominant Chinese Gymnasts
Link to: Ranking the Most Dominant Soviet Gymnasts
Link to: Ranking the Most Dominant Ukrainian Gymnasts
Link to: Ranking the Most Dominant Japanese Gymnasts
Link to: Ranking the Most Dominant Hungarian Gymnasts
Link to: Ranking the Most Dominant East German Gymnasts
Link to: Ranking the Most Dominant Czechoslovakian Gymnasts


6 thoughts on “Ranking the Most Dominant Gymnasts of the 1930s

  1. Marie Provaznik/Provaznikova predated the 1930s by a fair bit. She was born in 1890. This photo you are using was probably not post-WWI. Although the women didn’t have their own competition at a Worlds until 1934, they attended and participated (non-competitively) at Worlds at least as far back as 1911, IIRC. If women had been awarded medals at Worlds back in the 1910s and 1920s, Provaznik/Provanikova would almost assuredly have her name on the medal record.


  2. Additionally, if you really wanted, you could take the 3 highest scorers on each apparatus at the Berlin Olympics and add them to this data in order to more fully flesh out this extremely limited data set. The Wikipedia pages for that can give you more ready data for that than the Official Olympic Report.

    If we ever get more complete data for the World Worker Games, that should probably be added to this. But, that data is probably holed up in some archives somewhere and would possibly need translation as well.

    The various slets (such as the Pan-Slavic Slet(s)) would also flesh this out, but they would probably not be on the same level as the Olympics, World Worker Games, or World Championships.


  3. Trudi Meyer – 6 points
    Kathe Sohnemann – 5 points
    Erna Berger – 4 points
    Anita Barwith – 3 points
    Gabriella Meszaros – 3 points
    Zdenka Vermirovska – 2 points
    Consetta Caruccio-Lenz – 1 point
    Margit Nagy – 1 point


  4. The men get ignored in this sport so often.

    I was thinking that since there were 5 Worlds/Olympics this decade in which the men competed, there would be a good amount of data to come up with a meaningful ranking for the men, like you’ve done for the women. In the 1910s, there were only 3 Worlds/Olympics, in the 1920s, there were actually 5, and in the 1940s, there was actually only 1!!!

    As intriguing as I think complete footage of the women’s competition would be in order to satisfy my curiosity around my suspicion of possible cheating at those games (as well as just to see the actual gymnastics, itself), I think that complete footage of the men’s competition would be just as intriguing, if not even moreso. I haven’t done a totally exhaustive survey of this, but at one point it dawned on me that at the 1936 Berlin Olympics, there was a total of 8 (!!!) different men who either already were or would become World or Olympic All-Around Champion – Leon Stukelj, Georges Miez, Josip Primozic, Alois Hudec, Romeo Neri (who interestingly placed dead last) at the 1936 Berlin Olympics), Eugen Mack, Alfred Schwarzmann, and Jan Gajdos!!! I’m pretty sure that’s the greatest number ever and that there has never been another Worlds or Olympics where there were more than 6 competing alongside – either on the men’s side or the women’s side. Additionally, there were some other big guns there, besides those 8.

    Seeing good footage of just that competition would yield an excellent retrospective of so much of the best of the Interwar (between WWI and WWII) Period in men’s gymnastics – a lot of the good male gymnasts from the 1920s were still in attendance, competing, with the notable exception of 2-time World AA Champ Peter Sumi who was there in a non-competitive capacity. (From what it looks like to me, Peter Sumi has his own very interesting story to tell, that I don’t has ever been told, and his absence as a competitor from both these and other Olympics raises eyebrows). The Berlin Olympics were a Summer Olympics like had never been seen before, in its overall scope. Reading what the FIG had to say about it as well as comparing the Official Olympic Reports of the various games that had been held up to that point reflect that.

    Here’s what I came up for the men:

    *Eugen Mack – 30 (or 28)
    Alois Hudec – 24
    Istvan Pelle – 16
    Josip Primozic – 13
    Michael Reusch – 13
    Jan Gajdos – 12
    Georges Miez – 10
    Konrad Frey – 10
    Romeo Neri – 9
    *Emanuel Loffler – 8 (or 7)
    Alfred Schwarzmann – 8
    **Heikki Savolainen – 7 (or 10)
    Eduard Steinemann – 4
    Josef Walter – 4
    Alfred Krauss – 3
    Leon Stukelj – 3
    Hermann Hanggi – 3
    Dallas Bixler – 3
    George Roth – 3
    George Gulack – 3
    Raymond Bass – 3
    Rowland Wolfe – 3
    Savino Guglielmetti – 3
    Ernst Winter – 3
    Aleksanteri Saarvala – 3
    Vratislav Petrack – 3
    Walter Beck – 3
    Peter Sumi – 2
    Bedrich Supcik – 2
    Miklos Peter – 2
    Philip Erenberg – 2
    Omero Bonoli – 2
    Bill Denton – 2
    William Galbraith – 2
    Edwin Gross – 2
    Al Jochim – 2
    Mathia Logelin – 2
    *Jaroslav Kolinger – 2 (or 1)
    Matthias Volz – 2
    Jan Sladek – 2
    Georges Leroux – 1
    Mario Lertora – 1
    Einari Terasvirta – 1
    William Kuhlmeier – 1
    Frank Haubold – 1
    Giobanni Lattuada – 1
    Thomas Connolly – 1
    William Hermann – 1
    Ed Carmichael – 1
    *Kurt Krotzsch – 1 (or 0)
    *Lajos Toth – 1 (or 0)
    *Jan Sladek – 1 (or 0)
    *Melchior Wezel – 1 (or 0)
    *Walter Bach – 1
    Heinz Sandrock – 1
    Albert Bachmann – 1
    Leo Schurmann – 1
    Hans Nagelin – 1
    Ladislav Vacha – 1

    * As for all the men whose names have a single asterisk beside them, their “points” for the decade are a little in question. I have seen conflicting reports of the results of the 1934 Worlds and my alternative points here reflect that. Without something more authoritative from the FIG (I have actually emailed them inquiring about this, to no response), this is the best that I can do.

    ** The big score difference in Heikki Savolainen, as I put it, is my own ‘invention’. He was the top scorer in the all-around at the 1931 Worlds, but due to a special clause in the FIG’s rules, the gymnast who ended up becoming world champion had to demonstrate a certain level of competency among ALL apparatuses. Savolainen apparently came up short on one or more, so 2nd-place Alois Hudec ended up becoming World All-Around Champion. I don’t have any idea whether silver or bronze medals were rewarded at these games. For the individual apparatuses, I have only found the names of the first-place finishers. I awarded both the 2nd and 3rd place finishers in the all-around at those Worlds 2 and 1 points, respectively. I wasn’t sure what to do with Savolainen, so I give an alternative 3-point differential to him because I didn’t factor in his unawarded first-place finish at all.

    Lastly, there are a few names on this list that would rank much higher on it if results from the preceding decade were added. Josip Primozic, Jan Gajdos, Georges Miez, Romeo Neri, Emanuel Loffler, Leon Stukelj, Hermann Hanggi, Peter Sumi, Bedrich Supcik, and Ladislav Vacha would all be higher – at or near the top of this list if their results from the 1920s were included.

    One last thing – about Eugen Mack. He was definitely the most decorated male gymnast from the first half of the 20th century at the World and Olympic level. He is one of the true all-time greats.


  5. One little error in my most recent response to this blog entry. There were actually 6 Worlds/Olympics in the 1930s, if you include the 1931 Worlds, as I did. Those have been referred to as the first-ever World Championships in at least one FIG publication.


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