Heikki Savolainen (gymnast)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Olympic-winning gymnast Heikki Savolainen at a field hospital in his wartime duties as a physician with the rank of major
Heikki Savolainen (gymnast)
— Gymnast —
Country represented  Finland
Born (1907-09-28)28 September 1907
Died 29 November 1997(1997-11-29) (aged 90)
Discipline Men's artistic gymnastics

Heikki Ilmari Savolainen (28 September 1907 – 29 November 1997) was one of the most successful Finnish gymnasts and a double Olympic winner.

Savolainen's career as a top gymnast lasted for five Summer Olympics.[1] At Amsterdam in 1928 he won bronze on pommel horse, the first-ever medal in gymnastics for Finland. Winning his last medal at the 1952 Summer Olympics in Helsinki, he was the oldest gymnastics medalist ever at 44 years old. In the opening ceremony of the same Olympics, he was the one to deliver the Olympic Oath.[2] Together with Harri Kirvesniemi, Alexei Nemov, and Franziska van Almsick, Savolainen won a record-breaking six bronze medals.

In the 1932 horizontal bar event Savolainen and his teammate Einari Teräsvirta had the same score, but the Finnish team decided to give the silver medal to Savolainen. In the 1948 pommel horse event Savolainen again had the same score as teammates Veikko Huhtanen and Paavo Aaltonen, and the gold medal was shared between the three.

Heikki Savolainen graduated as a physical education teacher in 1931, and a Doctor of Medicine in 1939, after which he started working as a doctor in his home town Kajaani, Finland. During the Winter War he served with the rank of Lieutenant colonel as the head doctor in a military hospital.

Savolainen was inducted into the International Gymnastics Hall of Fame in 2004.[3]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Heikki Savolainen at Fédération Internationale de Gymnastique
  2. ^ IOC 1952 Summer Olympics
  3. ^ "HEIKKI SAVOLAINEN". International Gymnastics Hall of Fame. Retrieved 12 May 2007.