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Matti Nykänen
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Athlete
    (July 17, 1963-February 4, 2019)
    Born in Jyväskylä, Finland
    Ski jumper
    Won Olympic gold medals in Normal Hill – Individual (1988), Large Hill – Individual (1984,1988) and Large Hill – Team (1988)
    Won an Olympic silver medal in Normal Hill – Individual (1984)
    He dropped out of school after the ninth grade.
    He was twice suspended from the Finnish national team for misbehavior.
    He was married six times, including twice to sausage heiress Mervi Tapola.
    He received a sixteen month sentence for aggravated assault for attacking Tapola with a knife and trying to throttle her with the belt from her bathrobe (2010).
    He had earlier been sentenced to sixteen months in prison for stabbing a family friend during a drunken brawl after losing a finger-pulling contest (2004).
    He worked briefly as a stripper.
    He noted in his autobiography, ‘I don’t have a private life, but I do have a bad image.’
    He began ski jumping at eight, in response to a dare from his father.
    He was the only ski jumper to win the sport’s five major events: a gold medal at the Winter Olympics (four times), the Ski Jumping World Championship (once), the Ski Flying World Championship (once), the World Cup (four times) and the Four Hills Tournament (twice).
    At the 1988 Calgary Olympics, he so dominated the individual events that in each one his lead over the silver medalist was larger than the gap between silver and tenth place.
    Finns often quote his one-liners, such as using his assessment ‘The odds are fifty-sixty’ for a situation that could go either way. (Sounds like Finland’s answer to Yogi Berra.)

Credit: C. Fishel


    For 2019, as of last week, Out of 59 Votes: 50.85% Annoying
 
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