Paavo Nurmi

Finland

Fact titleFact data
Sport:
Athletics
Olympics:
1920 Antwerp, 1924 Paris, 1928 Amsterdam
Medals:
9 gold & 3 silver

Paavo Nurmi was part of a golden generation of Finnish runners, known as the “Flying Finns”, who dominated the Olympics in the 1920s.

At the Paris Games in 1924, Nurmi won gold in both the 1500m and 5000m. Despite these races taking place on the same day, he set Olympic records in both and won a further three gold medals in Paris.

A systematic training plan was the secret to his success. He was one of the first athletes to train all year round and was a pioneer of “interval running”, varying between running at a fast and a slow pace. He eventually won a record total of nine Olympic gold medals.

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