Heikki Savolainen (gymnast)
|Heikki Savolainen (gymnast)|
|— Gymnast —|
Savolainen at the 1932 Olympics
28 September 1907|
|Died||29 November 1997
|Height||172 cm (5 ft 8 in)|
|Discipline||Men'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. 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. 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.
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.
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.
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