Arto Härkönen

Biographical information

Medals OG
Gold 1
Silver 0
Bronze 0
Total 1
RolesCompeted in Olympic Games
Full nameArto Kalevi•Härkönen
Used nameArto•Härkönen
Born31 January 1959 in Helsinki (FIN)
Measurements190 cm / 88-92 kg
AffiliationsHKV, Helsinki (FIN)
NOC Finland


Arto Härkönen had a short athletics career, but one which culminated with Olympic victory. Coached by his father Kalevi, he won his first international medal in 1977, when he won silver at the European Junior Championships, followed by a 1979 silver at the Universiade. At the 1982 European Championships, Härkönen was fifth and at the inaugural World Championships in 1983, held in his home town of Helsinki, he did not make it out of qualifying.

In 1984, Härkönen was not considered a favorite at the Olympics, although he had thrown his personal best of 92.40 just a month before the Olympics. With the Soviet-led boycott leaving the top East German and Soviet throwers out of Olympics, Tom Petranoff of the USA was considered the favorite, but he threw completely below his form in the Olympic final, and the gold went to Härkönen who threw 86.76 in round four, a metre more than second placed Dave Ottley of Great Britain. Härkönen won his only Finnish title in 1982. He retired from sports after his Olympic victory and concentrated on his studies in theology, eventually receiving a masters of theology degree, and he later worked as an evangelist with Logos Ministries of Finland and as a pastor in Klaukkala.

Personal Best: JT – 92.40 (1984).


Games Discipline (Sport) / Event NOC / Team Pos Medal As
1984 Summer Olympics Athletics FIN Arto Härkönen
Javelin Throw, Men (Olympic) 1 Gold

Special Notes