Sulo Nurmela

Biographical information

RolesCompeted in Olympic Games • Other
Full nameSulo•Nurmela
Used nameSulo•Nurmela
Born13 February 1908 in Onkamaa, Miehikkälä, Kymenlaakso (FIN)
Died13 August 1999 in Hamina, Kymenlaakso (FIN)
Measurements173 cm / 62-69 kg
AffiliationsVehkaladen Veikot, Vehkalahti, Hamina (FIN)
NOC Finland
Medals OG
Gold 1
Silver 0
Bronze 0
Total 1


Sulo Nurmela made his international début at the 1934 World Championships, where he won gold in the 18 km and relay. At the next World Championships Finland sent only four skiers and one of them was Nurmela, who became ill while traveling to Czechoslovakia. Because of his high fever Nurmela did not compete in individual distances, but was forced to help his teammates in the relay. The first three Finnish relay skiers managed to open a two-minute lead ahead of Norway and Nurmela managed to stay ahead of the Norwegian anchor Oddbjørn Hagen to win his third World Championships title. At the 1936 Winter Olympic Games Nurmela was selected to ski the first relay leg, again racing against Hagen, but this time he lost over a minute, however, his teammates made up this margin, and Finland won the first Olympic cross-country skiing relay race, six seconds ahead of Norway. Nurmela made his last international appearance at the 1938 World Championships where he was eighth at 50 km. Nurmela also twice won the 17 km at the Lahti Ski Games, in 1934 and 1937, and won the 50 km in 1937. By profession Nurmela was a farmer.


Games Discipline (Sport) / Event NOC / Team Pos Medal As
1936 Winter Olympics Cross Country Skiing (Skiing) FIN Sulo Nurmela
18 kilometres, Men (Olympic) 7
4 × 10 kilometres Relay, Men (Olympic) Finland 1 Gold

Other participations

Games Role NOC As
1936 Winter Olympics Flagbearer at the Opening Ceremony FIN Sulo Nurmela

Special Notes