Flying Finn storms centre stage

Flying Finn storms centre stage

Flashback - Paris 1924

Flying Finn storms centre stage

The legend of Paavo Nurmi was born in Antwerp 1920 when the long-distance runner kicked off his Olympic journey with three gold medals. In Paris, Nurmi embellished it with an awe-inspiring performance, winning five gold medals.

The most famous of Flying Finns, Nurmi won the 1500M, 5000M, 3000M team events and two cross country races, all in the space of four days. Stunning was the fact that he competed in the 5000M a mere 55 minutes after winning the 1500M. Nurmi's compatriot Ville Ritola picked up four gold medals.

The Paris Games, in contrast to the 1900 edition, were well organised, with athletes from 44 nations taking part. Among those was Johnny Weismuller, an American swimmer who picked up a brace of gold medals and a bronze in water polo. Weismuller, who also won two gold in the 1928 Olympics, attained fame in Hollywood, acting as Tarzan in 12 movies.

Tennis made its last appearance at Paris before being added back again in 1988. Also in Paris, the athletes were accommodated in an Olympic Village.

[] Did you know?

[] It was in 1924 that the Olympic motto Citius, Altius, Fortius (Faster, Higher, Stronger) was introduced.