Hannes Petter Davidsson Kolehmainen

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Hannes Petter Davidsson Kolehmainen

Also Known As: "Juho Pietari", "Johannes Petter", "Hannes"
Birthplace: Kuopio, Finland
Death: Died in Helsinki, Uusimaa, Finland
Immediate Family:

Son of Taavetti Vilho Martinpoika Kolehmainen and Helena 'Leena' Sofia Heikintytär Mönkkönen
Husband of Alma A Kolehmainen
Father of Hannes Kolehmainen
Brother of Heikki Taavetti Kolehmainen; August Wiljami (Wilie) Kolehmainen; <private> Kolehmainen and Maria Sofia Savolainen

Occupation: Bricklayer
Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About Hannes Petter Davidsson Kolehmainen

Juho Pietari "Hannes" Kolehmainen (9 December 1889, Kuopio – 11 January 1966) was a Finnish long-distance runner. He is considered to be the first of a generation of great Finnish long distance runners, often named the "Flying Finns".

Kolehmainen competed for a number of years in the United States, wearing the Winged Fist of the Irish American Athletic Club. He also enlisted in the 14th Regiment of the National Guard of New York, and became a U.S. citizen in 1921. See application form attached)

Kolehmainen, a devoted vegetarian and bricklayer by trade, was from a sportive family from Kuopio (his brothers Willy and Tatu, also an Olympian, were also strong long distance runners). He was one of the stars of the 1912 Summer Olympics in Stockholm, winning three gold medals. His most memorable was the one in the 5000 m. In that event, he ran a heroic duel with Frenchman Jean Bouin. After leading the field together for most of the race, Bouin was only defeated by Kolehmainen in the final metres – in World Record time. In addition, Kolehmainen won the 10000 m and the now discontinued cross country event. With the Finnish team, he also obtained a silver place in the cross country team event.

At the time, Finland was still a part of Russia, and although there was a separate Finnish team at the Olympics, the Russian flag was raised for Kolehmainen's victories, making him say that he "almost wished he hadn't won".

Kolehmainen's sportive career was interrupted by the First World War, but he remained an athlete to be reckoned with, although his specialty had now shifted to the longer distances, especially the marathon. At the first post-war Olympics in Antwerp, he won the gold medal in this event. He would also enter the Olympic marathon in 1924, but Kolehmainen did not complete that race.

By then, Kolehmainen had found a worthy successor in Paavo Nurmi. Together with Nurmi, he lit the Olympic Flame at the 1952 Summer Olympics in Helsinki. He died in that same city, fourteen years later

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Hannes Petter Davidsson Kolehmainen's Timeline

December 9, 1889
January 11, 1966
Age 76
Helsinki, Uusimaa, Finland
New York, USA