Olympic Medals
Games Participations3
First Olympic GamesStockholm 1912
Year of Birth1892


Jonni Myyrä, the best javelin thrower of the world in the early 1920s, made his international début before the World War I, at the 1912 Olympics, where he placed eighth. After the war, Myyrä won his only two Finnish javelin titles in 1917 and 1918. In 1919, Myyrä threw his only ratified world record 66.10 m, a mark that stood until 1924. Later, Myyrä would better his official world record several times, but they were never ratified for various reasons, including his eventual personal best of 68.55, thrown in Richmond, Virginia in 1925. At the 1920 Olympics, Myyrä was resting on the grass before the javelin competition when his left, non-throwing arm, was struck near the elbow by American James Lincoln's warm-up throw. Despite that Myyrä managed to throw 60.63 during the first three rounds, enough to advance him to the evening final. On his fifth throw (his second throw of the final) Myyrä threw a new Olympic record of 65.78 m to win the gold. Four years later, at the 1924 Olympics, Myyrä successfully defended his title. After the 1924 Olympics, facing alleged financial irregularities in Finland, Myyrä emigrated to the United States and settled in San Francisco, where he invented a number of training methods that are still in use today. He is regarded as a pioneer of strength training and founder of the Finnish dominance in the javelin for many years.

Personal Bests: DT – 44.57 (1926); JT – 68.55 (1925).


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