At a glance

13 Jun 1897 Turku, Finland
Lentävä suomalainen, Haamusuomalainen, Suuri vaikenija
174 cm / 65 kg 5'9'' / 143 pounds
Male
Finnish distance runner Paavo Nurmi, was an Olympic legend whose dedication to a rigorous training schedule and mastery of pace judgment brought a new dimension to distance running. Between 1920 and 1928 he won a record nine Olympic gold medals (seven individual; two team) and three individual silver medals. His medals came in a wide range of events: 1,500 metres, 3,000 metres (team), 5,000 metres, 10,000 metres, steeplechase and cross-country. In 1932, he was banned for alleged professionalism and missed the chance to add the 1932 marathon, for which he was one of the favorites, to his list of Olympic...

Finnish distance runner Paavo Nurmi, was an Olympic legend whose dedication to a rigorous training schedule and mastery of pace judgment brought a new dimension to distance running. Between 1920 and 1928 he won a record nine Olympic gold medals (seven individual; two team) and three individual silver medals. His medals came in a wide range of events: 1,500 metres, 3,000 metres (team), 5,000 metres, 10,000 metres, steeplechase and cross-country. In 1932, he was banned for alleged professionalism and missed the chance to add the 1932 marathon, for which he was one of the favorites, to his list of Olympic successes. Although subsequently reinstated as an amateur for domestic races, he continued to be excluded from international competition, a decision that left him embittered for the rest of his life. However, he returned to the Olympic arena in 1952 when he carried the torch into the Opening Ceremony. The incomparable "Flying Finn" set 22 official and 13 unofficial world records, and statues (done by Wäinö Aaltonen in 1925) honoring his feats stand in his hometown of Turku, outside the Olympic stadium in Helsinki, and in the park of the Olympic Museum in Lausanne.

Personal Bests: 1500 – 3:52.6 (1924); 3000 – 8:20.4 (1926); 5000 – 14:28.2 (1924); 10000 – 30:06.1 (1924); 3000S – 9:31.2e (1928).

Paavo in numbers

3
Olympics
Olympics
12
medals
Gold medal:9 Silver medal:3 Bronze medal:
  • Amsterdam
    Amsterdam 1928
    Games
    Results
    Sport
    Event
    Amsterdam
    Amsterdam 1928
    • 2 Silver medal
      Athletics
      5,000 metres
    • 1 Gold medal
      Athletics
      10,000 metres
    • 2 Silver medal
      Athletics
      3,000 metres Steeplechase
  • Paris
    Paris 1924
    Games
    Results
    Sport
    Event
    Paris
    Paris 1924
    • 1 Gold medal
      Athletics
      1,500 metres
    • 1 Gold medal
      Athletics
      5,000 metres
    • 1 Gold medal
      Athletics
      Cross-Country, Individual
    • 1 Gold medal
      Athletics
      Cross-Country, Team
    • 1 Gold medal
      Athletics
      3,000 metres, Team
  • Antwerp
    Antwerp 1920
    Games
    Results
    Sport
    Event
    Antwerp
    Antwerp 1920
    • 2 Silver medal
      Athletics
      5,000 metres
    • 1 Gold medal
      Athletics
      10,000 metres
    • 1 Gold medal
      Athletics
      Cross-Country, Individual
    • 1 Gold medal
      Athletics
      Cross-Country, Team

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