Jonny Nilsson

Biographical information

RolesCompeted in Olympic Games
Full nameErling Martin Jonny•Nilsson
Used nameJonny•Nilsson
Born9 February 1943 in Göteborg (Gothenburg), Västra Götaland (SWE)
Died22 June 2022 in Hindås, Härryda, Västra Götaland (SWE)
Measurements180 cm / 71 kg
AffiliationsBofors CK, Karlskoga (SWE) / IK Wega, Göteborg (SWE)
NOC Sweden
Medals OG
Gold 1
Silver 0
Bronze 0
Total 1


As a 19-year-old, Jonny Nilsson débuted successfully at the 1962 World Championships, winning the 10,000 m and placing second in the 5,000 m. His exploits resulted in that year’s Oscar Mathisen Award. The following year, Nilsson had improved on his weak sprint, and in the Japanese town of Karuizawa he won the world title, the first Swede to so since Sigvard Ericsson in 1955. His performance was marked by three world records: 5,000 m, 10,000 m and the allround points. Later that season, Nilsson would also better the 3,000 m world mark. Nilsson confirmed his prowess in the long distances in Innsbruck. Starting in the first pair of the 10,000 m, he set a time that remained unbeaten throughout the race.

The Olympic gold would also remain Nilssons last international title. He did break the 5,000 m world record in 1965, and placed third in the 1966 World Championships, but Nilsson retired after the Grenoble Olympics, at the age of 25. During his career, he earned 17 Swedish titles, 4 in allround (1964-67), 2 in 1,500 m (1966-67), 5 in 5,000 m (1962-66) and 6 in 10,000 m (1963-68).

Nilsson later worked as a real estate agent. Following his retirement, Nilsson became involved in politics. He was a candidate for the Kristdemokraterna in the 2009 European Parliament elections, but did not get enough votes for a seat. He suffered the same fate in the 2010 Swedish parliamentary elections.

Personal Bests: 500 – 42.2 (1966); 1000 – 1:33.1 (1969); 1500 – 2:08.2 (1966); 5000 – 7:32.9 (1968); 10000 – 15:33.0 (1963).


Games Discipline (Sport) / Event NOC / Team Pos Medal As
1964 Winter Olympics Speed Skating (Skating) SWE Jonny Nilsson
5,000 metres, Men (Olympic) 6
10,000 metres, Men (Olympic) 1 Gold
1968 Winter Olympics Speed Skating (Skating) SWE Jonny Nilsson
5,000 metres, Men (Olympic) 7
10,000 metres, Men (Olympic) 6

Special Notes