Matti Järvinen

Biographical information

Medals OG
Gold 1
Silver 0
Bronze 0
Total 1
TypeCompeted in Olympic Games
Full nameMatti Henrikki•Järvinen
Used nameMatti•Järvinen
Born18 February 1909 in Tampere (FIN)
Died22 July 1985 in Helsinki (FIN)
Measurements186 cm / 76 kg
AffiliationsKerkkoon Nuorisoseuran Urheilijat/Helsingin Kisa-Veikot
NOC Finland


Matti Järvinen dominated javelin throwing from 1930-36, setting 10 world records in that period. To win the Olympic gold medal in Los Angeles 1932 he never took off his sweat pants. He was hampered by a back injury when he placed fifth in 1936. He was 1934 and 1938 European champion, the first title with a world record of 76.66, and he won eight Finnish championship titles. His father was the legendary Verner Järvinen and all his brothers were outstanding athletes including Olympians Kalle Järvinen and Akilles Järvinen.

In 1939, Matti Järvinen served in the Winter War on the Karelian Isthmus and trained soldiers to throw hand grenades. After the war he became a prominent economic adviser and was executive director of Otaniemi Sports Foundation. When he finished his active career in 1945, Finland’s Post Office honored him with a stamp showing his image.

Personal Best: JT – 77.23 (1936).


Games Discipline (Sport) / Event NOC / Team Pos Medal As
1932 Summer Olympics Athletics FIN Matti Järvinen
Javelin Throw, Men (Olympic) 1 Gold
1936 Summer Olympics Athletics FIN Matti Järvinen
Javelin Throw, Men (Olympic) 5

Olympic family relations

Special Notes