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Marja-Liisa Kirvesniemi-Hämäläinen

Biographical information

Medals OG
Gold 3
Silver 0
Bronze 4
Total 7
TypeCompeted in Olympic Games
SexFemale
Full nameMarja-Liisa•Kirvesniemi-Hämäläinen
Used nameMarja-Liisa•Kirvesniemi-Hämäläinen
Nick/petnamesMaisa
Born10 September 1955 in Simpele, Rautjärvi (FIN)
Measurements176 cm / 65-72 kg
AffiliationsSimpeleen Urheilijat, Simpele, Rautjärvi (FIN)
NOC(s) Finland

Biography

After competing without distinction at the 1976 and 1980 Winter Olympic Games, Finnish cross-country skier Marja-Liisa Hämäläinen achieved unprecedented success at the 1984 Olympic Winter Games. With victories in the 5, 10 and 20 km races she became the first woman to win three gold medals for Nordic skiing at one Winter Games. After her triple victory in 1984 she married Harri Kirvesniemi, himself an Olympic bronze medalist. She also won a bronze medal in the relay in 1984 and won her second relay bronze in 1988 but illness prevented her from adding to her medal tally at her fifth Olympics in 1992. At the 1994 Olympic Winter Games, she finished her Olympic career with bronze medals in both the 5 and 30 km races, giving her a total of seven Olympic medals. Hämäläinen-Kirvesniemi was the first woman to have competed in six Olympic Winter Games. At the World Championships, she won eight medals as follows: gold – 1978 and 1989 relay, 1989 10 km; silver – 1985 5 and 10K, 1989 15 km, 1991 5 km, 1993 15 km. In 1989 Kirvesniemi-Hämäläinen won her only Holmenkollen title in the 20 km race, and was awarded the Holmenkollen Medal that same year. She also won the World Cup in 1982-83 and 1983-84 and won a bronze in 1987-88. At the Finnish Championships, Hämäläinen-Kirvesniemi won 30 titles and 46 medals and was named the 1984 Finnish Athlete of the Year and the Finnish Female Athlete of the Year in 1985 and 1991. After her sporting career ended, Hämäläinen-Kirvesniemi suffered with clinical depression, but she announced in 2009 that she will be opening a biomedical facility in her hometown of Simpele.

Results

Games Discipline (Sport) Event Status Team Pos Details
1976 Winter Olympics Cross Country Skiing (Skiing) 10 kilometres, Women Olympic 22 Representing Finland     as Marja-Liisa Hämäläinen
1980 Winter Olympics Cross Country Skiing (Skiing) 5 kilometres, Women Olympic 19 Representing Finland     as Marja-Liisa Hämäläinen
  10 kilometres, Women Olympic 18
  4 × 5 kilometres Relay, Women Olympic Finland 5
1984 Winter Olympics Cross Country Skiing (Skiing) 5 kilometres, Women Olympic 1 Gold Representing Finland     as Marja-Liisa Hämäläinen
  10 kilometres, Women Olympic 1 Gold
  20 kilometres, Women Olympic 1 Gold
  4 × 5 kilometres Relay, Women Olympic Finland 3 Bronze
1988 Winter Olympics Cross Country Skiing (Skiing) 5 kilometres, Women Olympic 5 Representing Finland     as Marja-Liisa Kirvesniemi
  10 kilometres, Women Olympic 9
  20 kilometres, Women Olympic 11
  4 × 5 kilometres Relay, Women Olympic Finland 3 Bronze
1992 Winter Olympics Cross Country Skiing (Skiing) 5 kilometres, Women Olympic 31 Representing Finland     as Marja-Liisa Kirvesniemi
  15 kilometres, Women Olympic 6
  5/10 kilometres Pursuit, Women Olympic DNS
  4 × 5 kilometres Relay, Women Olympic Finland 4
1994 Winter Olympics Cross Country Skiing (Skiing) 5 kilometres, Women Olympic 3 Bronze Representing Finland     as Marja-Liisa Kirvesniemi
  30 kilometres, Women Olympic 3 Bronze
  5/10 kilometres Pursuit, Women Olympic 13
  4 × 5 kilometres Relay, Women Olympic Finland 4

Other participations

Games Role Details
1984 Winter Olympics Flagbearer at the Closing Ceremony Representing Finland    
1994 Winter Olympics Flagbearer at the Opening Ceremony Representing Finland    

Olympic family relations

Special Notes