Hannes Kolehmainen

Hannes Kolehmainen, Stockholm 1912

Juho Pietari "Hannes" Kolehmainen [ hɑn ː ɛs kɔlɛhmɑi̯nɛn ] (actually Johan Petteri Kolehmainen, born December 9, 1889 in Kuopio, † January 11, 1966 in Helsinki) was a Finnish long-distance runner. He was the first of a generation of Finnish top skaters. Kolehmainen comes from an athletic family. His brothers Willy and Tatu were also strong long-distance runner.

Hannes Kolehmainen was in 1912 with three gold and a silver medal one of the most successful athletes in the 1912 Olympic Games in Stockholm. The most outstanding performance achieved Kolehmainen here in 5000 -meter run. There he delivered himself with the Frenchman Jean Bouin an exciting fight. After both were together almost the whole race at the top of the field, Kolehmainen hung from its competitors in the final meters and won in the new world record time of 14:36,6 minutes. Even the 10,000 m and cross-country running over 12,000 m Kolehmainen won. In addition, he won with the Finnish team, competed in the beside him Jalmari Eskola and Albin Stenroos, in the team standings of the terrain run the silver medal.

Although Finland was started with its own team, it made then still a part of Russia, which is why the Russian flag was hoisted at the awards ceremony. Kolehmainen is quoted, he would have " almost wished not to have won," at this moment.

Kolehmainen's athletic career was interrupted by the First World War. He remained, however, particularly on long-haul one of the strongest runners in the world. At the Olympic Games in Antwerp in 1920, the first after the war, Kolehmainen won his fourth Olympic gold medal in the marathon.

Also at the Olympic Games in Paris in 1924 took part in the marathon Kolehmainen, but did not finish the race. At that time he had already found in Paavo Nurmi a worthy successor from their own country.

When the Olympic Games were held in 1952 in their home country, they invited the 62 -year-old Kolehmainen and Nurmi, together to ignite the Olympic Flame. 14 years after the Games in Helsinki Kolehmainen died at the age of 76 years.


On November 14, 2013 Hannes Kolehmainen was inducted into the Hall of Fame of the World Association of Athletics Federations ( IAAF).