Nurmi’s winning time is 8:32.0, and Ritola comes second, 8.6 seconds behind. Finland middle-distance runner Paavo Nurmi won an incredible 9 gold medals in the 1920s Olympic games and is still a legend in his homeland. In 1932 he went to Los Angeles with one goal in mind - to win the marathon. Finns have a well-planned team strategy for the race. Paavo Nurmi in 1925. At the half-way point these three have already developed a hundred-meter lead to the others. Then in the 5,000m, Ritola was eager for revenge and it proved to be a highly tactical race in front of a packed, expectant crowd at the Olympic Stadium. This nearly ended in disaster, as Nurmi caught the barrier before the water jump and fell on his back, injuring his hip and ankle. On 1 August, he lined up for the 3,000m steeplechase heats. Edvin Wide starts again fastest, trailed by Paavo Nurmi and Ville Ritola. For a while it seems that no third Finn has made the journey home. In 1952 the 55 year old Nurmi lit the olympic fire at the opening of the olympic games in Helsinki. Only Ray Watson of the United States tries to keep up with Nurmi but he too gives up before the last lap. A near-scientific approach to his methods earned him such names as the "man-machine" and the "scientific runner". Much like the Kenyans and Ethiopians dominate distance running now, in the 1920s success in the longer events was the sole preserve of the Finns. Ritola tries to answer, but Nurmi’s sprint is faster. Paavo Nurmi was excluded from the Los Angeles games and in this way the great Finnish athlete had a quite cheerless ending to his international career. This prompted the IAAF to brand him a professional, causing him to miss out on the 1932 Olympic Games and a possible 10th gold medal. Monday, August 16th 5000 metres, Qualifying Heat. Nurmi’s time of 30.18,8 is twelve seconds slower than his own world record.

During the course of three Olympic Games he won nine gold medals and three silvers. Nurmi, who died in 1973, is perhaps the greatest of the Finnish distance runners, known as the “Flying Finns.” Inspired by 1912 Olympic great Hannes Kolehmainen, Nurmi won three gold medals at the 1920 Antwerp Games, five in Paris and one more in Amsterdam in 1928. IOC. Paavo Nurmi makes his first Olympic appearance in a relaxed manner. Instead, Nurmi had to settle for gold medals in the 1,500, 5,000 and cross-country races in Paris, as well as the 3,000 and cross-country team events. He won the cross-country event and led Finland to the team gold medal. Everyone now expect another sprint victory for Nurmi.

At three Olympic Games from 1920 to 1928 Nurmi won a total of nine gold and three silver medals. Nurmi is now full of self-confidence and one by one others fall behind. Guillemot, who had eaten a substantial lunch just before the race unaware of the change of schedule, vomits on Nurmi’s shoes. Thus Nurmi competed in twelve Olympic races and won nine gold medals and three silvers. Back in Finland Nurmi was allowed to participate in national races under the heading "national amateur" until he retired in 1933. “On the evening after I’d won the 1,500 and the 5,000 on the same day, I went dancing at a nightclub in Montmartre. Born in June 1897, his first Olympic foray took place in Antwerp in 1920. This is the first time Nurmi and Ritola meet in an Olympic race: in allocating races between their two stars the Finnish team officials had prevented Nurmi from taking part in the 10 000 metres. Wednesday August 1st 3000 meters Steeplechase, Qualifying Heat. Contacts: Jari Salonen Two races and two gold medals in one hour — and then the “Phantom Finn” went dancing to relax. His teammate, Ville Ritola, did almost as well. From every nation six men enter the race: the placings of the best three are added together to make the team score. Nurmi remained sat on the grass for a long while after the race, exhausted and suffering from the pain in his hip. Javascript must be enabled for the correct page display. Ritola leads the rest of the pack before he, too, leaves it behind at the beginning of the final lap. Nurmi was one of 12 children born into a poor family, according to Olympic historian David Miller.

Paavo Nurmi set an Olympic record in the 1,500-meter race at the 1924 Paris Games and then set an Olympic record in the 5,000 less than an hour later… In the final stretch they even wait for the third Finn, Sameli Tala. With these victories he laid the foundation for a glorious career as the world's dominating long distance runner during the 1920's.

Many other cross-country racers are still recovering in hospital when Paavo Nurmi and Ville Ritola start for another Olympic final. Lucien Duquesne of France stops to help Nurmi up. The heat is intense. His time is one minute slower than his world record mark set in June. Friday August 3rd 5000 metres Final: SILVER MEDAL. Nurmi established 22 official world marks at distances that ranged from 1500 meters and 20 kilometers. After two laps Nurmi moves up front and Ritola follows, clearly in pain. Nurmi is a true sporting and cultural icon in his country, and numerous statues have been built in his honour, including in the capital and in his home town of Turku. There were no qualifying heats. Closing the Stadium, Nurmi has a 50-metre lead on Backman, but then allows the Swede to catch him. Ritola leads all the time, but Nurmi keeps close with ease. Highlights of some of the best Finnish athletes from the 1920 Olympic Games in Antwerp to the 2014 Winter Games in Sochi.

Paavo Nurmi, in full Paavo Johannes Nurmi, (born June 13, 1897, Turku, Finland—died October 2, 1973, Helsinki), Finnish track athlete who dominated long-distance running in the 1920s, capturing nine gold medals in three Olympic Games (1920, 1924, 1928), as well as three silvers. The trio crosses the goal line at a leisurely pace, Nurmi duly getting the honour to break the tape. At the 1928 Amsterdam Games, Nurmi completed his Olympic career by winning the 10,000m and earning silver medals in the 5,000m and the steeplechase. In the previous day Hannes Kolehmainen has won the gold medal in the marathon race. The temperature rises to 45 degrees Centigrade in the sun, and shade is nowhere to be found along the course. Wide falls behind, and the rest of the race is a duel between the two Finns.

Ritola burst clear and Nurmi immediately glanced back to ensure his silver was safe knowing his countryman’s burst of speed had put the gold beyond him. In total Paavo Nurmi took 5 gold medals at the games in Paris. Wide keeps up world record pace for 2000 metres but then begins to fade. Friday, July 11th 3000 metres Team Race, Qualifying Heat. Ritola and Swede Edvin Wide kept up with the Finn and as the event entered the final 400m it was a three-horse race.But with Ritola at the front, his head ducking inside to catch a glimpse of Nurmi on his shoulder, the decisive break came with 150 metres to go. Finnish distance runner Paavo Nurmi, was an Olympic legend whose dedication to a rigorous training schedule and mastery of pace judgment brought a new dimension to distance running. The image of Paavo Nurmi in a tough pace, round after round, on an olympic arena - while he repeatedly controlled his pace with his famous stop watch in his right hand - was typical for the best of the "flying finns" in the inter-war period. All rights reserved. The cross-country race is the last event in the Olympic track and field program.