|Competitor for Finland|
|1932 Los Angeles||5000 metres|
|1936 Berlin||5000 metres|
In the final, the Finns Lehtinen and Lauri Virtanen led early. They managed to shake off all other competitors except Ralph Hill from the United States. Soon the race turned into a battle between Lehtinen and Hill. On the last lap, Hill tried to overtake Lehtinen. Seeing this, the Finn blocked his way, zig-zagging from one lane to the other to the great exasperation of the crowd. At the finish, Lehtinen crossed first a mere 50 centimetres ahead. Although this was a common tactic in Europe, the American audience was unaccustomed to it, so they booed. Hill declined to file a protest. They both recorded an identical time of 14:30.0. This was the only Olympic race longer than 200 metres in which the top two finishers recorded identical times.
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.
In Kerkkoo village in Porvoo, there is a road named after him, "Lauri Lehtisen Tie."
|Men's 5000 m World Record Holder
19 June 1932 – 16 June 1939