Tapani Niku

Biographical information

RolesCompeted in Olympic Games
Full nameTapani•Niku (Karsikas-)
Used nameTapani•Niku
Born1 April 1895 in Haapavesi, Pohjois-Pohjanmaa (FIN)
Died6 April 1989 in Lahti, Päijät-Häme (FIN)
Measurements171 cm / 65-67 kg
AffiliationsHaapaveden Hiihtäjät, Haapavesi (FIN)
NOC Finland
Medals OG
Gold 0
Silver 0
Bronze 1
Total 1


Tapani Niku, one of the best Finnish skiers of the early 1920s, started to compete in the 1910s, his first win coming in 1915, when he won the Oulun Tervahiihto 30 km race. He would win Oulun Tervahiihto on four more occasions – 1916, 1919, 1923 and 1925. Niku’s first Finnish Championship medal came in 1916, when he won silver at 60 km. In 1920 he won his second silver at the Finnish Championships, this time in the 30 km, and also competed abroad for the first time. He did not finish the Holmenkollen 50 km, but won at 30 km in Åre, Sweden. He repeated his victory in Åre in 1921 and was sixth in the 50 km at Holmenkollen that year. In 1921 Niku also won his first Finnish Championship, winning the 30 km. He would later win eight more Finnish titles (1923 10 km and 30 km, 1924 10 km, 1925 10 km, 30 km and 60 km; and 1926 10 and 30 km). In 1922 Niku also won silver in the 50 km at the Holmenkollen Ski Festival and in 1923 he won the 50 km in the inaugural Lahti Ski Games. In 1924 at the first Winter Olympic Games Niku did not finish the 50 km, which was contested in difficult conditions, but three days later won a bronze in the 18 km. In 1924 Niku also won the 10 km and 50 km at the Lahti Ski Games, adding silver in the 10 km and another gold at 50 km at the 1925 Lahti Ski Games. Niku also took part in the 1926 World Championships where he was sixth at 50 km and 13th in the 18 km. Niku’s last international start came in 1926 in Holmenkollen, where he finished fifth in the 50 km. After his sporting career Niku worked as a forester and made skis.


Games Discipline (Sport) / Event NOC / Team Pos Medal As
1924 Winter Olympics Cross Country Skiing (Skiing) FIN Tapani Niku
18 kilometres, Men (Olympic) 3 Bronze
50 kilometres, Men (Olympic) DNF

Special Notes