B. 1895-05-16, USA; D. 1971-05-10
Shooting (2 gold, 1 silver, 2 bronze)
|Small-Bore Rifle, team||gold||1600|
|Military Rifle, 300m, standing||bronze||640|
|Military Rifle, 300m, standing, team||silver||250|
|Running Deer, single shot||7th||400|
|Running Deer, single shot, team||bronze||640|
|Running Deer, double shot||fourth?||1600|
|Running Deer, double shot, team||fourth||400|
Fencing (2 gold)
From Mülhausen/Mulhouse in the (French) Alsace, which was German between 1870 and 1918. His family has most likely remained in that village throughout, so according to the nephew-rule, I count him as French.
Olympic Competitor nr 1150
Weight-Lifting (2 gold)
B. 1897-06-13, Turku, Finland; D. 1973-10-02
Track & Field Men (9 gold, 3 silver)
|3000 m Team||gold||1600|
|3000 m Steeple||silver||6000|
In 1924 he ran the finals of the 1.500 m and 5.000 m with only 26 minutes
interval. He also wanted to compete in the 800m and the 10km, but he was
not allowed to run these by his federation. Other Finnish athletes finished
1,3 and 4, but it is said that even while Ville
Ritola was winning the 10 km in a world record time of 30.23.2, Nurmi
was on a training run over the same distance, which he completed in 29 min
58 sec. Nurmi did set an official world record of 30.06.2 later on, and that
was to last 13 years.
Two days after hit two gold medals, the cross-country was run. It would be called the heat battle at Colombes. 23 out of 38 competitors did not complete the race, but Nurmi kept his cool and won with ease. The next day, while most other competitors were still in hospital, Nurmi was back on the track to win his fifrth gold medal of the 1924 games (the.team race).
The fourth gold medal at Paris was the team cross-country race. Nurmi thanked that gold to Heikki Liimatainen, who finished in eighth place despite needing two minutes to cover the final 30 meters, yet another victim of the heat.
Nurmi always ran with a stopwatch and was very dissapointed when at Amsterdam he fell during the semi final of the steeple-chase and damaged his watch in the water jump. Frenchman Lucien Duquesne helped him get up and Nurmi thanked him by shepherding him to the tape, even offering him the first place, which the Frenchman declined.
Nurmi wanted to compete in Los Angeles, but was barred from doing so over allegations of professionalism. This embittered him, and the decision was not upheld in Finland, where he was allowed to continue competing.
He set 22 world records in his career, from 1500m to 20 km.
He carried the torch into the Olympic stadium in 1952. There is a statue for him outside the Helsinki stadium.
B. 1978-04-26, La Canada Flintridge, CA, USA
Softball (2 gold, 1 silver)
Written 2002-08-02 - last modified 2002-10-31
This page is part of the site "Full Olympians" by Herman De Wael. See here for a full Introduction.