Remarkable Olympic Athletes - Paavo Nurmi - as part of the news and politics series by GeoBeats.
The flying Finn, Paavo Nurmi is one of the most distinguished runners in history, setting 25 world records at a variety of distances during his illustrious career. Winner of nine Olympic gold medals and three silver medals, Nurmi held the record for most gold medals won in a single Olympics with five from the 1924 games in Paris for over 30 years. He currently still holds the record for most medals won by a single athlete in the track and field division of the Olympic games, after competing in only three Olympic games.
Nurmi was not allowed to compete in the 1932 Olympics because he received money for running on a worldwide tour, which caused him to be labeled as a professional by Olympic regulations. But astoundingly less than half of the participants from the 1928 Olympics competed in the 1932 Olympics. Nurmi was chosen for the esteemed task of lighting the Olympic flame during the opening ceremony of the 1952 Olympic games in Helsinki, Finland.
He was known for being a man of few words, and also for checking his stopwatch while he was running and setting world records during the height of his career in the 1920’s.