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Ville Ritola

Updated:2008-07-09 10:25 |

Amsterdam 1928, Games of the IX Olympiad. Athletics. Finns Vilho RITOLA and Paavo NURMI. The two great rivals traded medals in the distance events. RITOLA took the gold in the 5000m and silver in the 10000m. NURMI captured the silver in the 5000m event and the gold in the 10000m race. Credit: IOC Olympic Museum Collections
Amsterdam 1928, Games of the IX Olympiad. Athletics. 
Finns Vilho RITOLA and Paavo NURMI. The two great 
rivals traded medals in the distance events. 
RITOLA took the gold in the 5000m and silver in 
the 10000m. NURMI captured the silver in the 5000m 
event and the gold in the 10000m race. 
Credit: IOC Olympic Museum Collections

Other names:


RITOLA, William

Born: 18 January 1896

Deceased: 24 April 1982

Birthplace: Peräseinäjoki (Finland)

Nationality: Finland

Sport: Athletics


Paris 1924

Amsterdam 1928


Olympic medals:

Gold: 5

Silver: 3

Six Running Medals At One Olympics

During the 1920s Paavo Nurmi and Ville Ritola awed the sporting world with their domination of long-distance running. At the 1924 Paris Olympics, Ritola put on an incredible performance, winning four gold medals and two silver medals. In his first race, the 10,000m, he won by half a lap and obliterated his own world record by more than 12 seconds. Three days later, he won the steeplechase by 75 metres. The next day he finished second behind Nurmi in the 5,000m. Next he earned another silver medal behind Nurmi in the cross-country race and gained a gold medal as a member of the Finnish cross-country team. Finally, Ritola joined with Nurmi to win the 3,000m team race. In 1928, at the Amsterdam Olympics, Ritola placed second - behind Nurmi - in the 10,000m. His last Olympic appearance was in the 5,000m. This time Ritola pulled away from Nurmi in the final curve and won by 12 metres. This victory brought Ritola's career total to five gold medals and three silver medals.

(Credit: IOC. Click here for further information.)

Editor : LiuAnqi

Opening ceremony of Beijing Olympics