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Paavo Nurmi

Biographical information

Medals OG
Gold 9
Silver 3
Bronze 0
Total 12
TypeCompeted in Olympic Games
SexMale
Full namePaavo Johannes•Nurmi
Used namePaavo•Nurmi
Nick/petnamesLentävä suomalainen, Haamusuomalainen, Suuri vaikenija
Born13 June 1897 in Turku (FIN)
Died2 October 1973 in Helsinki (FIN)
Measurements174 cm / 65 kg
AffiliationsTurun Urheiluliitto, Turku (FIN)
NOC(s) Finland

Biography

Finnish distance runner Paavo Nurmi, was an Olympic legend whose dedication to a rigorous training schedule and mastery of pace judgment brought a new dimension to distance running. Between 1920 and 1928 he won a record nine Olympic gold medals (seven individual; two team) and three individual silver medals. His medals came in a wide range of events: 1,500 metres, 3,000 metres (team), 5,000 metres, 10,000 metres, steeplechase and cross-country. In 1932, he was banned for alleged professionalism and missed the chance to add the 1932 marathon, for which he was one of the favorites, to his list of Olympic successes. Although subsequently reinstated as an amateur for domestic races, he continued to be excluded from international competition, a decision that left him embittered for the rest of his life. However, he returned to the Olympic arena in 1952 when he carried the torch into the Opening Ceremony. The incomparable “Flying Finn” set 22 official and 13 unofficial world records, and statues (done by Wäinö Aaltonen in 1925) honoring his feats stand in his hometown of Turku, outside the Olympic stadium in Helsinki, and in the park of the Olympic Museum in Lausanne.

Personal Bests: 1500 – 3:52.6 (1924); 3000 – 8:20.4 (1926); 5000 – 14:28.2 (1924); 10000 – 30:06.1 (1924); 3000S – 9:31.2e (1928).

Results

Games Discipline (Sport) Event Status Team Pos Details
1920 Summer Olympics Athletics 5,000 metres, Men Olympic 2 Silver Representing Finland    
  10,000 metres, Men Olympic 1 Gold
  Cross-Country, Individual, Men Olympic 1 Gold
  Cross-Country, Team, Men Olympic Finland 1 Gold
1924 Summer Olympics Athletics 800 metres, Men Olympic DNS Representing Finland    
  1,500 metres, Men Olympic 1 Gold
  5,000 metres, Men Olympic 1 Gold
  3,000 metres, Team, Men Olympic Finland 1 Gold
  Cross-Country, Individual, Men Olympic 1 Gold
  Cross-Country, Team, Men Olympic Finland 1 Gold
1928 Summer Olympics Athletics 5,000 metres, Men Olympic 2 Silver Representing Finland    
  10,000 metres, Men Olympic 1 Gold
  3,000 metres Steeplechase, Men Olympic 2 Silver

Olympic Records

Records may have been broken subsequently during the same competition.
Games Date Sport Event Phase Mark Pos
1924 Summer Olympics 10 July 1924 Athletics 1,500 metres, Men Final 3:53.6 1
1924 Summer Olympics 10 July 1924 Athletics 5,000 metres, Men Final 14:31.2 1
1928 Summer Olympics 29 July 1928 Athletics 10,000 metres, Men Final Standings 30:18.8 1

Special Notes