Frank Andersson, Greco-Roman wrestler from Sweden who won a bronze medal at the 1984 Olympics and medaled at five World championships before embarking on a pro wrestling career, died Sunday after complications from heart surgery. He was 62.
Born in Trollhatten, Sweden in May 1956, Andersson had an amateur wrestling career that spanned the world and two decades. The 6' 1" Swede usually competed in Greco-Roman as a light-heavyweight at 90 kilograms/198 pounds.
Andersson wrestled for Sweden at three Olympics at 90 kilograms. At the 1976 Montreal Games, the then-20-year-old Andersson placed fifth in Greco, and seventh in freestyle competition. Four years later at the Moscow Olympics, Andersson placed fourth in Greco. At the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics, Andersson placed third, earning a bronze medal at age 28.
Andersson earned his first world titles at the Junior World Championships in 1973 and 1975. He then won a total of three gold medals at the World Championships in 1977, 1979, and 1982, and two silver medals at the Worlds in 1978 and 1981. Anderson also earned a total of seven medals at the European Championships, bringing home gold medals in 1976, 1978, 1979, and 1981, and silver medals in 1977, 1980, and 1982.
Andersson was welcomed into the World Amateur Wrestling Hall of Fame in 2006, according to the United World Wrestling official website.
In the early 1990s, Andersson launched a career in professional wrestling. Trained by Brad Rheingans, a U.S. Greco-Roman Olympian who also became a pro wrestler, Andersson made his pro debut in 1991 in Japan with the New Japan Pro Wrestling organization. From 1993-1995, Andersson was seen in the squared circle on a regular basis on Atlanta-based WCW (World Championship Wrestling). Nearly twenty year after announcing his retirement from pro wrestling, Andersson climbed into the ring yet again, this time in his native Sweden, from 2014-2015.