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Lauri Lehtinen

Full name: Lauri Aleksanteri Lehtinen
Gender: Male
Height: 5-8.5 (174 cm)
Weight: 141 lbs (64 kg)
Born: August 10, 1908 in Kerkkoo, Porvoo, Itä-Uusimaa, Finland
Died: December 4, 1973 in Helsinki, Uusimaa, Finland
Affiliations: HT, Helsinki (FIN)
Country: FIN Finland
Sport: Athletics

Medals: 1 Gold, 1 Silver (2 Total)

Biography

Lauri Lehtinen broke the 5,000 world record (14:17.0) just one month prior to the 1932 Olympics, which marked him as a favorite for the Olympic 5,000 metres. In the Olympic final, Lehtinen and his teammate, [Lauri Virtanen], led the race from the early laps, but the race eventually turned into a battle between Lehtinen and American [Ralph Hill]. On the final straight, Hill moved out to pass Lehtinen, but the Finn blocked him, zig-zagging from one lane to the other to the great exasperation of the American crowd, and Lehtinen held off Hill for the gold medal. The crowd in the LA Coliseum was unhappy and severely booed Lehtinen, causing the address announcer, Bill Henry, to warn them, “Please, remember. These people are our guests.” Hill declined to protest, and they both were both given the time of 14:30.0.

At the 1936 Summer Olympics, Lehtinen couldn’t defend his title, finishing second behind fellow Finn [Gunnar Höckert]. Lehtinen won Finnish 5K titles in 1931 and 1935. In 1940, Lehtinen donated his Los Angeles gold medal to a soldier who had served with distinction on the Karelian Isthmus. Lehtinen’s gesture was a mark of respect for Höckert, who was killed in action on the Isthmus during the Winter War.

Personal Best: 5000 – 14:16.9 (1932).

Results

Games Age City Sport Event Team NOC Rank Medal
1932 Summer 23 Los Angeles Athletics Men's 5,000 metres Finland FIN 1 Gold OR
1936 Summer 27 Berlin Athletics Men's 5,000 metres Finland FIN 2 Silver

Men's 5,000 metres

Games Age City Sport Country Phase Unit Rank T(H) T(A)
1932 Summer 23 Los Angeles Athletics Finland Final 1 OR 14:30.0 14:29.91
1932 Summer 23 Los Angeles Athletics Finland Round One Heat One 2 QU 15:05.5
1936 Summer 27 Berlin Athletics Finland Final 2 14:25.8
1936 Summer 27 Berlin Athletics Finland Round One Heat Three 4 QU 15:00.0
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