Adolf Schmal

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Adolf Schmal, Olympic champion 1896

Adolf Schmal (born September 18, 1872 in Dortmund , † August 28, 1919 in Salzburg ) was a successful Austrian fencer and cyclist . To date (2016) he is the only Austrian Olympic champion in cycling.


Adolf Schmal was best known as a saber fencer . In the Olympic fencing tournament in 1896 he was already in the lead with two victories when the Greek king came to the stadium. In order to enable him to observe the entire tournament, all competitions were canceled and rerun. In this second round, Schmal lost both fights and ended up only fourth.

In the following days he was able to fight back in the cycling competitions . There he secured two third places in one day in the sprint over 333 and over 10,000 meters in the Velodrome Neo Faliro . Two days later, he won the 12-hour race; he covered 314.997 km. In his memoirs How I lost an Olympic laurel - and won one, he described the course of the rather monotonous race that was carried out with a pacemaker . Then he used the early morning hours and the growing reluctance of his competitors to gain a lap advantage, which he was able to defend until the finish line. After only Schmal and Keeping could hope for a win, both agreed to take a break.

After finishing his sporting career, Schmal turned to automobilism and under the pseudonym "Filius", later Schmal-Filius, became one of the most famous Austrian motor journalists at the turn of the century. He acted as editor of the Illustrierte Allgemeine Radfahrerzeitung , founded the Allgemeine Automobil-Zeitung, which existed between 1900 and 1919, with Felix Sterne, and published early car travel guides and technical advice. Schmal-Filius died surprisingly of a heart attack in the Salzburg train station.


  • Without a chauffeur. A manual. 1904
  • The art of driving
  • Elmar Samsinger (ed.): An automobile trip through Bosnia, Hercegovina and Dalmatia . Löcker Verlag, Vienna 2012 (reprint of the original edition from 1908), ISBN 978-3-85409-596-5

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. a b Volker Kluge : Summer Olympic Games. The Chronicle I. Athens 1896 - Berlin 1936. Sportverlag Berlin, Berlin 1997, ISBN 3-328-00715-6 , p. 39.
  2. Elmar Samsinger (Ed.): An automobile trip through Bosnia, Hercegovina and Dalmatia . Löcker Verlag, Vienna 2012, p. 108.