|Family name: Nurmi|
Given name: Paavo
Nickname: The Flying Finn
Date and place of birth: 13 June 1897, Turku (Finland)
Anvers 1920: gold medal in the 10’000m, team Cross Country and individual Cross Country, silver medal in the 5’000m
Paris 1924: gold medal in the 1’500m, 5’000m, 3’000m team event, team Cross Country and individual Cross Country
Amsterdam 1928: gold medal in the 10’000m, silver medal in the 3’000m steeple and 5’000m
This Finnish athlete, a specialist in long-distance, middle-distance and cross-country, won 12 Olympic medals during his career, nine of them gold. He was so popular that he was invited, as the star attraction, to athletics meetings held throughout the world. However, it was this popularity that would lead to his lifelong suspension, imposed in 1932. The IAAF deemed him officially a professional rather than an amateur. This decision prevented him from taking part in the Olympic Games in 1932. Although he was banned from the athletics tracks, Paavo Nurmi remained extremely popular in his home country, which earned him the honour of being the last torchbearer at the Opening Ceremony of the OG in Helsinki in 1952.