Julius Saaristo

Biographical information

Medals OG
Gold 1
Silver 1
Bronze 0
Total 2
RolesCompeted in Olympic Games
Full nameJuho Julius•Saaristo
Used nameJulius•Saaristo
Born21 July 1891 in Tampere (FIN)
Died12 October 1969 in Tampere (FIN)
Measurements181 cm / 81 kg
AffiliationsViipurin Urheilijat, Helsinki (FIN) / Tampereen Pyrintö, Tampere (FIN)
NOC Finland


In 1912, Julius Saaristo became the first Finnish Olympic javelin champion. At the Stockholm Olympics, Saaristo won gold in the javelin throw, both hands event and silver in the javelin throw behind the renowned Eric Lemming. Saaristo competed at his second Olympics in 1920, finishing fourth in the javelin. Saaristo was also Finnish champion in javelin throw, both hands in 1910, 1911 and 1919.

Saaristo studied at the Tampere Industrial School (now Tampere University of Applied Sciences) in 1909-12, and from 1912-15 studied machinery and electrical engineering at the Mitweida Technicum (now University of Applied Sciences Mittweida) and at the Strelitz Technicum (now Technical School of Civil Engineering Neustrelitz) in Germany.

In 1915 Saaristo voluntarily enlisted with the Finnish 27th Jäger Battalion, a German light infantry unit which consisted mainly of Finnish volunteers. With the 27th Jäger Battalion, he took part in World War I and saw action during the Battle of Misa River and the Battle of the Gulf of Riga in Latvia. In early 1918 Saaristo moved back to Finland and fought in the Finnish Civil War, seeing action during the battles of Kalevankangas, Tampere, Rajamäki, Tarpila and Raivola. After Finnish independence, Saaristo continued to serve in the Finnish Army as commander of the 2nd Pori Infantry Regiment from 1920-25 and as commander of the 2nd Savo Light Infantry Regiment from 1925-27. In the 1930s, Saaristo served with the Finnish Border Guard and at the start of Winter War, Saaristo was commander of the 23rd Pioneer Company. During the Continuation War, Saaristo served as commander of the 3rd Engineer Battalion and later as commander of Military Prison Camp No. 6. Saaristo retired from the force at the end of World War II.

Personal Best: JT – 62.39 (1920).


Games Discipline (Sport) / Event NOC / Team Pos Medal As
1912 Summer Olympics Athletics FIN Julius Saaristo
Javelin Throw, Men (Olympic) 2 Silver
Javelin Throw, Both Hands, Men (Olympic) 1 Gold
1920 Summer Olympics Athletics FIN Julius Saaristo
Javelin Throw, Men (Olympic) 4