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Verner Järvinen

Biographical information

Medals OG IG
Gold 0 1
Silver 0 0
Bronze 1 1
Total 1 2
TypeCompeted in Olympic Games, Competed in Intercalated Games
Full nameVenne "Verner"•Järvinen
Used nameVerner•Järvinen
Born4 March 1870 in Ruovesi (FIN)
Died31 January 1941 in Tampere (FIN)
Measurements182 cm / 95 kg
AffiliationsHelsingin Unitas, Helsinki (FIN) / Helsingin Reipas, Helsinki (FIN)
NOC(s) Finland


In 1906, Verner Järvinen became the first Finn to win an Olympic gold. Järvinen took up sports, wrestling and the shot put and discus throw, when he joined the Army. During his career, Järvinen competed at three Olympics. In his first Olympics, in 1906, Järvinen was a solid medal candidate in multiple events. In the shot put he reportedly had the longest efforts, but was disqualified for throwing the shot. In the javelin he finished fifth behind four Swedes, less than a metre behind silver medalist Knut Lindberg. In the discus he finished third and then finally won gold in a Greek-style discus competition. At the 1908 Olympics, Järvinen finished third in the Greek-style discus and fourth in the regular discus. Järvinen appeared at the Olympics for one more time in 1912, this time competing only in the discus. At age 42, he finished 15th in the regular discus and 12th in the both hands competition. During his career, Järvinen also won three Finnish titles all of them in Greek-style discus throw in 1909-1911. Järvinen had four sons and three of them – Kalle, Akilles and Matti – would become noted Olympians in their own right. Kalle broke the European record in shot put in 1927 with a mark of 15.17, and competed in that event at the 1932 Olympics. Akilles was a two-time Olympic silver medalist (1928, 1932) and a world record holder in the decathlon. And Matti was a javelin thrower, who won the Olympic gold in 1932 and broke the world javelin record 10 times. All of the sons were originally coached by their father, Verner Järvinen.

Personal Bests: SP – 13.93 (1903); DT – 44.84 (1909); JT – 44.25 (1906).


Games Discipline (Sport) Event Status Team Pos Details
1906 Intercalated Games Athletics Shot Put, Men Intercalated AC Representing Finland    
  Stone Throw, Men Intercalated AC
  Discus Throw, Men Intercalated 3 Bronze
  Discus Throw, Greek Style, Men Intercalated 1 Gold
  Javelin Throw, Freestyle, Men Intercalated 5
1908 Summer Olympics Athletics Shot Put, Men Olympic AC Representing Finland    
  Discus Throw, Men Olympic 4
  Discus Throw, Greek Style, Men Olympic 3 Bronze
  Javelin Throw, Freestyle, Men Olympic AC
1912 Summer Olympics Athletics Discus Throw, Men Olympic 15 Representing Finland    
  Discus Throw, Both Hands, Men Olympic 12

Olympic family relations