Heikki Savolainen (gymnast)

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Heikki Savolainen (gymnast)
Heikki Savolainen 1932 Olympics.jpg
Savolainen at the 1932 Olympics
Personal information
Country represented Finland
Born(1907-09-28)28 September 1907
Joensuu, Finland
Died29 November 1997(1997-11-29) (aged 90)
Kajaani, Finland
Height172 cm (5 ft 8 in)
Weight62–66 kg (137–146 lb)
DisciplineMen's artistic gymnastics

Heikki Ilmari Savolainen (28 September 1907 – 29 November 1997) was a Finnish artistic gymnast. He competed in five consecutive Olympics from 1928 to 1952 and won at least one medal in each of them.[1] In 1928, he won a bronze on pommel horse, which was the first-ever medal in gymnastics for Finland. Winning his last medal at the 1952 Summer Olympics in Helsinki, he became the oldest gymnastics medalist, at 44 years old; he delivered the Olympic Oath in the opening ceremony of those games.[2] In 1932, Savolainen and his teammate Einari Teräsvirta had the same score on horizontal bar, but the Finnish team voted to give the silver medal to Savolainen. In 1948, he again had the same score as teammates Veikko Huhtanen and Paavo Aaltonen on pommel horse, and the gold medal was shared between the three.[3]

At the world championships, Savolainen won only one medal, a team silver in 1950. Domestically, he collected 20 titles between 1928 and 1950, including six individual all-around titles in 1928–37.[3]

Savolainen at a field hospital in his wartime duties as a physician with the rank of major

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. In parallel Savolainen worked for the Finnish sports magazine Urheilulehti in 1932–37. From 1946 to 1959 he served as vice-president of the Finnish Gymnastics Federation, and in 1946–56 as president of gymnastics federation of Kajaani, the town where he lived most of his later life.[3]

Savolainen is the only Finnish gymnast inducted into the International Gymnastics Hall of Fame (2004).[4]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Heikki Savolainen at the International Federation of Gymnastics
  2. ^ IOC 1952 Summer Olympics. olympic.org
  3. ^ a b c Heikki Savolainen Archived 4 March 2016 at the Wayback Machine. sports-reference.com
  4. ^ "HEIKKI SAVOLAINEN". International Gymnastics Hall of Fame. Retrieved 12 May 2007.