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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 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 NOC / Team Pos Medal As
1976 Winter Olympics Cross Country Skiing (Skiing) FIN Marja-Liisa Hämäläinen
10 kilometres, Women (Olympic) 22
1980 Winter Olympics Cross Country Skiing (Skiing) FIN Marja-Liisa Hämäläinen
5 kilometres, Women (Olympic) 19
10 kilometres, Women (Olympic) 18
4 × 5 kilometres Relay, Women (Olympic) Finland 5
1984 Winter Olympics Cross Country Skiing (Skiing) FIN Marja-Liisa Hämäläinen
5 kilometres, Women (Olympic) 1 Gold
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) FIN Marja-Liisa Kirvesniemi
5 kilometres, Women (Olympic) 5
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) FIN Marja-Liisa Kirvesniemi
5 kilometres, Women (Olympic) 31
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) FIN Marja-Liisa Kirvesniemi
5 kilometres, Women (Olympic) 3 Bronze
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 NOC As
1984 Winter Olympics Flagbearer at the Closing Ceremony FIN Marja-Liisa Kirvesniemi-Hämäläinen
1994 Winter Olympics Flagbearer at the Opening Ceremony FIN Marja-Liisa Kirvesniemi-Hämäläinen

Olympic family relations

Special Notes