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Nordic Giant

Giant Juha Mieto, who was 1.96m tall, first competed in the Olympics in 1972. In the 15km race he finished in fourth place, missing a medal by only six hundredths of a second. In 1976 he earned a gold medal as a member of Finland's 4x10km relay team. At the Lake Placid Games, Mieto skied in all four men's cross-country events and won medals in three of them. The most dramatic was the 15km race. Mieto finished in a time of 41 minutes 57.64 seconds and then watched as Thomas Wassberg beat his time by one one-hundredth of a second. This relegation of Mieto to second place seemed so unfair that the rulemakers changed the rules for subsequent Olympics so that times would be rounded to the nearest tenth of a second. In 1980 Mieto also won a bronze medal in the relay and another silver medal in the 50km race. At the Sarajevo Olympics in 1984, he added another bronze medal in the relay to bring his career Olympic total to one gold medal, two silver medals and two bronze medals.


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