Paavo NURMI

Finland FIN

Athletics

  • Olympic Medals
    9 G
    3 S
  • Games participations
    3
  • First Olympic Games
    Antwerp 1920
  • Year of Birth
    1897
Olympic Results

Biography

Paavo NURMI

Golden debut

Nurmi was part of a talented group of Finnish athletes who were nicknamed the ‘Flying Finns’. He made his Olympic debut at the 1920 Antwerp Games. He took the competition by storm winning gold medals in the 10,000m, the cross-country individual and team event. He also claimed a silver in the 5,000m.

Brilliance in Paris

At the 1924 Paris Games, Nurmi made history by becoming the first athlete ever to win five gold medals at a single Olympic Games. In the space of four astonishing days, Nurmi won the 1500m, the 5,000m, the 3,000m team event and the two cross-country events.

The one that got away

Nurmi had hoped to defend his 10,000m title, but Finnish officials,  fearing for his health, refused to enter him in the event. Back in Finland, an angry Nurmi made his point by setting a 10,000m world record that would last for almost 13 years.

Professional controversy

At the 1928 Amsterdam Games, Nurmi completed his Olympic career by winning the 10,000m and earning silver medals in the 5,000m and the steeplechase. By this time, Nurmi was so famous he was invited to become the main attraction in athletic meets worldwide. This prompted the IAAF to brand him a professional, causing him to miss out on the 1932 Olympic Games and a possible 10th gold medal.

Olympic Results

More results
Olympic Results
Results Event Sport

Amsterdam 1928

S
5,000 metres
5,000 metres Athletics
G
10,000 metres
10,000 metres Athletics
S
3,000 metres Steeplechase
3,000 metres Steeplechase Athletics
Olympic Results
Results Event Sport

Paris 1924

G
1,500 metres
1,500 metres Athletics
G
5,000 metres
5,000 metres Athletics
G
Cross-Country, Individual
Cross-Country, Individual Athletics
G
Cross-Country, Team
Cross-Country, Team Athletics
G
3,000 metres, Team
3,000 metres, Team Athletics
Olympic Results
Results Event Sport

Antwerp 1920

S
5,000 metres
5,000 metres Athletics
G
10,000 metres
10,000 metres Athletics
G
Cross-Country, Individual
Cross-Country, Individual Athletics
G
Cross-Country, Team
Cross-Country, Team Athletics