Marja-Liisa Kirvesniemi

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Marja-Liisa Kirvesniemi
Born (1955-09-10) 10 September 1955 (age 62)
Simpele, South Karelia, Finland
Height 176 cm (5 ft 9 in)
Ski club Simpeleen Urheilijat
World Cup career
Seasons 1982-1994
Individual wins 11
Indiv. podiums 25
Overall titles 2 (1982/83, 1983/84)

Marja-Liisa Kirvesniemi (née Hämäläinen; born 10 September 1955) is a Finnish former cross-country skier. She was the big figure at the 1984 Olympics in Sarajevo, winning all three individual cross-country skiing events (5, 10 and 20 km), and a bronze medal for Finland in the relay. In the process, she became the most successful athlete at the 1984 Winter Olympics. At the 1988 Winter Olympics in Calgary, she won another relay bronze medal, and at the 1994 Winter Olympics in Lillehammer, she won two more bronze medals in the 5 and 30 km.

At the FIS Nordic World Ski Championships, Kirvesniemi won three golds in the 10 km (1989) and 4 × 5 km (1978, 1989), and five silvers in the 5 km (1985, 1991), 10 km (1985) and 15 km (1989, 1993). She also won the 20 km double pursuit at the 1989 Holmenkollen ski festival.

Kirvesniemi won the Holmenkollen medal in 1989. Her husband, Harri, would be awarded the Holmenkollen medal in 1998. They were the third husband-and-wife pair that won this prestigious honor. They are the only married couple to have both competed at six Olympics, and are among the only five Finns to have done so - the others being Raimo Helminen (ice hockey), Teemu Selänne (ice hockey), Kyra Kyrklund (dressage), and Juha Hirvi (shooting).

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