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LAJUNEN Samppa
LAJUNEN Samppa

Samppa LAJUNEN

  • G 3
  • S 2
  • B 0

Samppa Lajunen entered his first cross-country race when he was only two years old. By the time he was five, he was skiing 300 miles a year. He added ski jumping to his pursuits when he was 9 years old. In 1997, Lajunen, still only 17 years old, won the overall World Cup title in Nordic combined.

First Olympic champion in the sprint

The following year he earned silver medals at the Olympic Games in Nagano in both the individual and team events. A third Nordic combined event, the sprint, was added for the 2002 Olympic Games in Salt Lake City and Lajunen took full advantage of the expanded programme. In the individual event, Lajunen trailed teammate Jaako Tallus after the ski jump and gave up 53 seconds at the start of the 15km race. However he came from behind and won by 24.7 seconds. In the team event, Lajunen recorded the two best jumps of the competition and then anchored the Finnish team to victory. He earned a third gold medal in the sprint.

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Gallery

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OLY 75km Sprint NC X winners

22 Feb 2002: Felix Gottwald of Austria, silver, Samppa Lajunen of Finland, gold, and Ronny Ackermann of Germany, bronze, celebrate their medal finish in the 7.5km sprint nordic combined event during the Salt Lake City Winter Olympic Games at Soldier's Hollow in Heber City, Utah. DIGITAL IMAGE. Mandatory Credit: Agence Zoom/Getty Images
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NORDISCHE KOMBINATION OLYMPIA SALT LAKE 2002

HEBER CITY, UNITED STATES - FEBRUARY 22: OLYMPISCHE WINTERSPIELE SALT LAKE CITY 2002, Heber City; NORDISCHE KOMBINATION/EINZEL/SPRINT/SKILANGLAUF/7,5km; Samppa LAJUNEN/FIN - GOLD - (Photo by Martin Rose/Bongarts/Getty Images)
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OLY 75km Sprint NC X

22 Feb 2002: Samppa Lajunen of Finland in action in the 7.5km Sprint Nordic Combined at Soldier Hollow in Heber City during the Salt Lake City Winter Olympic Games in Utah. DIGITAL IMAGE. \ Mandatory Credit: Robert Laberge/Getty Images
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OLY Sprint K120 NC

PARK CITY, UT - FEBRUARY 21: Samppa Lajunen #38 of Finland was first in the sprint K120 Nordic Combined event during the Salt Lake City Winter Olympic Games on February 21, 2002 at Utah Olympic Park in Park City, Utah. (Photo by Robert Laberge/Getty Images)
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OLY Sprint K120 NC X

21 Feb 2002: Samppa Lajunen of Finland competes in the sprint K120 nordic combined event during the Salt Lake City Winter Olympic Games at Utah Olympic Park, Utah. DIGITAL IMAGE. Mandatory Credit: Brian Bahr/Getty Images
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OLY Opening Ceremony X

17 Feb 2002: Samppa Lajunen, Hannu Manninen, Jari Mantila and Jaakko Tallus of Norway receive their gold medals in the nordic combined 4x5km relay at the medal awards ceremony at the Olympic Medals Plaza during the Salt Lake City Winter Olympic Games in Salt Lake City, Utah. DIGITAL IMAGE. Mandatory Credit: Gary M. Prior/Getty Images
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Results

  • Games
    Result
    Sport
    Event
  • G 39:11.7
    Skiing
    Individual men
    G 00:48:42.200
    Skiing
    Team men
    G 16:40.1
    Skiing
    Individual sprint men
  • S 55:30.4
    Skiing
    Team men
    S 41:48.6
    Skiing
    Individual men

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