Heikki Liimatainen

Biographical information

RolesCompeted in Olympic Games
Full nameHeikki•Liimatainen
Used nameHeikki•Liimatainen
Born14 March 1894 in Karstula (FIN)
Died24 December 1980 in Porvoo (FIN)
Measurements164 cm / 58-60 kg
AffiliationsPorvoon Akilles, Porvoo (FIN)
NOC Finland
Medals OG
Gold 2
Silver 0
Bronze 1
Total 3


Heikki Liimatainen competed at the 1920 Antwerpen Olympics and in 1924 at Paris. Individually his greatest achievement was the bronze medal in the 1920 cross-country run, trailing only the legendary Paavo Nurmi, and Swedish runner Eric Backman. However, he won team cross-country gold medals at both Olympics. In Paris it took him two minutes to master the last 30 metres of the cross-country run, known as the “red-hot battle of Colombes,” because he was completely dehydrated due to ambient temperatures of about 45° C. Nevertheless, he finished 12th, to help Finland repeat as the gold medalists. Liimatainen was the Finnish 10 000 m champion from 1918-20.

Personal Best: 10000 – 32:08.2 (1920).


Games Discipline (Sport) / Event NOC / Team Pos Medal As
1920 Summer Olympics Athletics FIN Heikki Liimatainen
5,000 metres, Men (Olympic) DNS
10,000 metres, Men (Olympic) 7
Cross-Country, Individual, Men (Olympic) 3 Bronze
Cross-Country, Team, Men (Olympic) Finland 1 Gold
1924 Summer Olympics Athletics FIN Heikki Liimatainen
Cross-Country, Individual, Men (Olympic) 12
Cross-Country, Team, Men (Olympic) Finland 1 Gold