Erki Nool

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Erki Nool
IRL Erki Nool.jpg
Nool in 2011
Personal information
Full nameErki Nool
Born (1970-06-25) 25 June 1970 (age 50)
Võru, Estonia
Height1.84 m (6 ft 0 in)
Weight84 kg (185 lb)
Country Estonia
SportTrack and field
Achievements and titles
Personal best(s)8815 (2001)[1]

Erki Nool (born 25 June 1970 in Võru, Estonia) is an Estonian decathlete and former politician.

Life and career[edit]

Nool grew up in an impoverished environment in the southern part of Võru. His father was a worker in a furniture factory and his mother was in charge of the finances of a school. There were six children, with Erki the third youngest. When he was 13, from the suggestion of his father he moved to a sports-focused boarding school. There he could eat a warm meal three times a day for free.[1]

In those days the economy was in a poor condition. When traveling to competitions they didn't even get their own cabin in the cruise ship but instead just slept in the hallways and then competed and trained the next day. They also didn't even have winter athletics training facilities. Nool was brought to tears when he was gifted a new, pristine pair of sneakers. Getting to eat yogurt every morning was also new and memorable.[1]

After Estonia became independent on 20 August 1991, Nool was vocal about his dream of competing in the Olympics as part of the Estonian team. He took part in the Barcelona 1992 Summer Olympics decathlon but he ended up having to stop and pull out.[1] Little by little he developed and by the mid 1990s he was among the top athletes in decathlon.[1] On September 1997 he established the first private athletics school in Estonia.[2]

When he won gold for decathlon at the 1998 Budapest European Championships, he became a sports hero. Two years later, when he won the gold medal for decathlon in the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney, he became a national hero.[1] Although Nool did not place first in any individual event, his total score was the highest. Nool won the title after the competition referee decided to over-rule a discus judge, who had red-flagged his last and only valid attempt due to alleged step-out. The reinstatement of his 43.66-metre third throw sparked unsuccessful counter-protests from other teams. Nool took gold ahead of the Czech Roman Šebrle and American Chris Huffins.

He has been voted as Estonia's sexiest man and in the 2000s the most popular Estonian.[1] In 2006, Nool participated as a celebrity contestant on the first season of Tantsud tähtedega, an Estonian version of Dancing with the Stars. His professional dancing partner was Ave Vardja.

Since 2005, Erki Nool has been the Vice Chairman of the EOC Athletes Commission and since 2007, member of the European Athletics Development Committee. Since 2008, he is also member of the Executive Committee of the Estonian Olympic Committee.

On 4 March 2007, Nool was elected to the Estonian Parliament, the Riigikogu, representing the Union of Pro Patria and Res Publica.[3] He has since left politics and now focuses on his real estate business and athletics school, with 450 students.[1]

His son Robin Nool (born in 1998) is pole vaulter with a record of 540 cm.[1][4]


Year Competition Venue Position Event Notes
Representing  Estonia
1992 Olympic Games Barcelona, Spain Decathlon DNF
1994 European Championships Helsinki, Finland 10th Decathlon 7953 pts
1995 World Championships Gothenburg, Sweden 4th Decathlon 8268 pts
World Indoor Championships Barcelona, Spain 7th Heptathlon 5887 pts
1996 European Indoor Championships Stockholm, Sweden 1st Heptathlon 6188 pts
Olympic Games Atlanta, United States 6th Decathlon 8543 pts
1997 World Championships Athens, Greece 6th Decathlon 8413 pts
World Indoor Championships Paris, France 2nd Heptathlon 6213 pts
1998 European Championships Budapest, Hungary 1st Decathlon 8667 pts
IAAF World Combined Events Challenge 1st Decathlon 25,967 pts
1999 World Indoor Championships Maebashi, Japan 2nd Heptathlon 6374 pts
World Championships Seville, Spain 14th Decathlon 7568 pts
2000 European Indoor Championships Ghent, Belgium 3rd Heptathlon 6200 pts
Olympic Games Sydney, Australia 1st Decathlon 8641 pts
IAAF World Combined Events Challenge 1st Decathlon 26,089 pts
2001 World Indoor Championships Lisboa, Portugal 5th Heptathlon 6074 pts
World Championships Edmonton, Canada 2nd Decathlon 8815 pts
IAAF World Combined Events Challenge 2nd Decathlon 25,839 pts
Goodwill Games Brisbane, Australia 3rd Decathlon 8323 pts
2002 European Indoor Championships Vienna, Austria 3rd Heptathlon 6084 pts
European Championships Munich, Germany 2nd Decathlon 8438 pts
2003 World Championships Paris, France Decathlon DNF
2004 Olympic Games Athens, Greece 8th Decathlon 8235 pts
World Indoor Championships Budapest, Hungary 5th Heptathlon 6093 pts
2005 European Indoor Championships Madrid, Spain 12th Heptathlon 5712 pts


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i Silvennoinen, Santtu (25 June 2020). "Kun köyhä Erki rantautui Suomeen, KGB oli kintereillä – tamperelaisen rakennusmestarin upea teko sai itkun silmään: "Virolaisia luultiin varkaiksi"". Iltalehti. Retrieved 25 June 2020.
  2. ^ About Erki Nool on Archived 2007-06-27 at the Wayback Machine
  3. ^ Erki Nool politician career on
  4. ^ "Robin Nool". European Athletics. Retrieved 25 June 2020.

External links[edit]

Awards and achievements
Preceded by
Jüri Jaanson
Estonian Sportsman of the Year
Succeeded by
Andrus Veerpalu
Preceded by
Andrus Veerpalu
Estonian Sportsman of the Year
Succeeded by
Andrus Veerpalu
Olympic Games
Preceded by
Tõnu Tõniste
Flagbearer for  Estonia
2004 Athens
Succeeded by
Martin Padar