Peter Lahdenpera

Biographical information

RolesCompeted in Olympic Games
Full namePeter Juhani•Lahdenpera
Used namePeter•Lahdenpera
Born29 December 1935 in Helsinki (FIN)
Died3 July 2019
Measurements183 cm / 80 kg
AffiliationsUS Army Reserve, (USA)
NOC United States


Peter Lahdenpera was born in Finland but came to the USA with his family when he was 12-years-old, when his father, an officer in the Finnish Army, was evading capture related to his leadership role in the 1945 Finnish Weapons Cache Case. Peter Lahdenpera grew up in Fitchburg, Massachusetts and then attended Middlebury College. After graduation, he joined the US Army in 1959 and later competed for the US in biathlon at two Winter Olympic Games and several World Championships. He later turned to coaching and led the US biathlon team for several years.

In 1963 Lahdenpera and his wife co-founded the Alpine Haus Sporting Goods Company in Fort Collins, Colorado, a store that spawned several franchise stores in Colorado and Wyoming. Lahdenpera later worked for Gart Brothers Sporting Goods and served on the Gart Brothers Board of Directors. He was involved in multiple sporting goods related ventures including Alpen Court Limited, On the Move – a women’s active wear store chain, and Promats, a sporting goods safety mat company. He was inducted into the US Biathlon Association Hall of Fame in 2019.


Games Discipline (Sport) / Event NOC / Team Pos Medal As
1960 Winter Olympics Cross Country Skiing (Skiing) USA Peter Lahdenpera
15 kilometres, Men (Olympic) 46
4 × 10 kilometres Relay, Men (Olympic) United States 11
1964 Winter Olympics Biathlon USA Peter Lahdenpera
20 kilometres, Men (Olympic) 36