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Tapio Rautavaara

Full name: Kaj Tapio Rautavaara
Nickname(s): Tapsa, Tapika
Gender: Male
Height: 6-2 (189 cm)
Weight: 85-87 kg
Born: March 8, 1915 in Pirkkala, Pirkanmaa, Finland
Died: September 25, 1979 in Helsinki, Uusimaa, Finland
Affiliations: Oulunkylän Tähti, Helsinki (FIN)
Country: FIN Finland
Sport: Athletics

Medals: 1 Gold (1 Total)

Biography

Tapio Rautavaara achieved fame in his native Finland as an athlete in several sports, as a singer, and as an actor. Born to a single mother he entered the Finnish Navy after elementary school. Transferred to the Army during World War II, he spent two years fighting on the front line. But in 1943 he was transferred to entertain the troops where his excellent singing voice first achieved notice.

After the war, Rautavaara competed as a javelin thrower. He was bronze medalist at the 1946 European Championships, and 5th at that meet in 1950, and was Finnish javelin champion in 1944-45, and 1947-49, in addition to his Olympic gold medal. But he was also a top archer and competed on the Finnish team that won the World Team Championship in 1958, and he was Finnish champion in archery in 1955. But Rautavaara is best remembered in Finland for his singing and acting. He toured Finland performing in the 50s and early 60s, and eventually recorded over 300 songs. He began acting in films and television after World War II, and appeared in over 20 movies. At one time, he was considered for the role of Tarzan. Though his popularity waned slightly in the 70s, he continued to perform until his untimely death.

On 25 September 1979, Rautavaara slipped and fell at the Tikkurila Swimming Center and struck his head on the floor. Taken to a nearby clinic, his injuries were neglected as it was felt that he was possibly drunk. But the next day he collapsed from his head injury and died from a cerebral hemorrhage. A memorial to him was erected in downtown Oulunkylä, the Helsinki district where he spent most of his life.

Personal Best: JT – 75.47 (1945).

Results

Games Age City Sport Event Team NOC Rank Medal
1948 Summer 33 London Athletics Men's Javelin Throw Finland FIN 1 Gold

Men's Javelin Throw

Games Age City Sport Country Phase Unit Rank D
1948 Summer 33 London Athletics Finland Final Round 1 69.77
1948 Summer 33 London Athletics Finland Final Round Round One NP 69.77
1948 Summer 33 London Athletics Finland Final Round Round Two NP foul
1948 Summer 33 London Athletics Finland Final Round Round Three NP 57.59
1948 Summer 33 London Athletics Finland Final Round Round Four NP 59.43
1948 Summer 33 London Athletics Finland Final Round Round Five NP 61,86
1948 Summer 33 London Athletics Finland Final Round Round Six NP 58.95
1948 Summer 33 London Athletics Finland Qualifying Round 3 QU 64.68
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