Pekka Niemi

Biographical information

RolesCompeted in Olympic Games
Full namePekka Kalevi•Niemi
Used namePekka•Niemi
Born14 November 1952 in Lohtaja, Kokkola, Keski-Pohjanmaa (FIN)
Measurements174 cm / 83-104 kg
NOC Finland
Medals OG
Gold 0
Silver 0
Bronze 1
Total 1


The high point of Pekka Niemi’s career was the 1984 Olympics, also considered that year’s World Championships, where he won a bronze medal in a sub-heavyweight class. Niemi’s bronze medal win was so surprising that he missed the medal ceremony and received his bronze medal a day later in a special ceremony. Niemi lifted in the B group based on his previous results and, although he led the B group, decided not to stay and watch the A group as never before had a B group lifter medaled in a major international. Niemi went sightseeing and only later that night, while watching track & field competitions at the Los Angeles Coliseum, and using the Electronic Messaging System, did he discover that he had won a bronze medal. Meanwhile, the officials at the weightlifting venue delayed the medal ceremony, searching for Niemi, but, after a few hours delay, they went ahead with the presentation leaving the bronze medal platform empty.

Niemi made his international début at the 1977 World Championships and competed in every major international tournament until the 1984 Olympics, which was his last major international tournament. He was rarely considered a favorite, however, and usually did not finish in the top 10, his best performances before the 1984 Olympics being fifth at the 1983 European Championships and seventh at the 1984 Europeans. Niemi was also Nordic champion in 1977-78 and won 11 Finnish titles between 1977-88. After finishing his sporting career, Niemi worked as a weightlifting coach, most notably as head coach of Finnish national weightlifting team from 1995-2001. He was also a member of the Finnish National Olympic Committee’s Athlete’s Commission beginning in 1985. A teacher by profession, Niemi later worked as a special needs education teacher with Pirkanmaa Educational Consortium in Tampere.


Games Discipline (Sport) / Event NOC / Team Pos Medal As
1980 Summer Olympics Weightlifting FIN Pekka Niemi
Heavyweight I, Men (Olympic) 10
1984 Summer Olympics Weightlifting FIN Pekka Niemi
Heavyweight I, Men (Olympic) 3 Bronze