Paavo Nurmi: Flying Finn – a Lifetime in One Hour
Turku-born runner Paavo Nurmi is the greatest Finnish athlete of all time. In the years 1920-1928, Nurmi won nine gold and three silver medals in the Olympics. Between 1921 and 1931, he had set all the world running records, from the 1,500 to the 20,000 metre. As an athlete, Nurmi was goal-oriented, independent and self-coached. When competing, he dominated - when training, he was ahead of his time. Paavo Nurmi came from humble beginnings, and he lived his entire life (1897–1973) in very ascetic conditions. He was generally characterised as being stingy. After his running career, he achieved a great deal of success in business, but he avoided publicity. When his running days were over, he lived in Helsinki. Nurmi was and still is the most well-known Finn in the world. He is very highly esteemed in the United States. Nurmi's international importance to a newly independent Finland in the 1920s cannot be overstated. Although has has long since passed away, his legend will live on for as long as people run.