Matti Järvinen

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Matti Järvinen
Matti Järvinen.jpg
Matti Järvinen at the 1932 Olympics
Personal information
Born 18 February 1909
Tampere, Finland
Died 22 July 1985 (aged 76)
Helsinki, Finland
Height 1.86 m (6 ft 1 in)
Weight 76 kg (168 lb)
Sport Javelin throw
Club Kerkkoon Nuorisoseuran Urheilijat
Helsingin Kisa-Veikot

Matti Henrikki Järvinen (18 February 1909 – 22 July 1985) was a Finnish javelin thrower. He won the Olympic gold medal at the 1932 Summer Olympics ahead of two other Finns, Matti Sippala and Eino Penttilä, with a throw of 72.71 metres.[1] Four of his other five throws would also have been enough to take gold.[1] The three Finns did not take off their tracksuit trousers during the event.[2]

Besides his Olympic gold, Järvinen is remembered for his numerous world records. From 1930 to 1936, he broke the javelin throw world record a record ten times in a row.[1] He also became the European champion in 1934, setting a new world record with 76.66 m, and defended his title successfully in 1938.[1] In the 1936 Summer Olympics, Järvinen finished fifth.[1] Järvinen continued throwing after World War II, recording a 71.70-metre throw in 1945.[1]

Järvinen was the son of Verner Järvinen, an Olympic bronze medalist in discus throw. His brother Akilles Järvinen was a decathlon world record holder and two-time Olympic silver medalist. His other brother Kalle was a shot putter and also an Olympian.[1][3]

The exact distance of his gold-winning throw, 72.71 metres, was used as the height of the Helsinki Olympic Stadium in commemoration of his achievement.

World War II and after[edit]

Matti Järvinen 1983 Paraguay stamp.jpg

In 1939 Järvinen, with his fellow javelin thrower Yrjö Nikkanen, served together on the Karelian Isthmus, where they trained soldiers in throwing hand grenades.[4] After the War he became a noted economic councillor.

World records[edit]

Result (m) Date Venue
71.57 8 August 1930 Viipuri
71.70 17 August 1930 Tampere
71.88 31 August 1930 Vaasa
72.93 14 September 1930 Viipuri
74.02 27 June 1932 Turku
74.28 25 May 1933 Mikkeli
74.61 7 June 1933 Vaasa
76.10 15 June 1933 Helsinki
76.66 7 September 1934 Turin
77.23 18 June 1936 Helsinki


  1. ^ a b c d e f g Torro, Mikko. "SUL 100 vuotta – Matti Järvinen". Elite Games (in Finnish). Archived from the original on 13 February 2013. Retrieved 9 August 2012. 
  2. ^ Raevuori, Antero (2009). Järviset – Legendaarinen suomalainen urheilijaperhe (in Finnish). Kustannusosakeyhtiö Revontuli. p. 153. ISBN 978-952-5767-18-6. 
  3. ^ Matti Järvinen.
  4. ^ Free Europe – Volume 1 -1939 Page 168 "The world record javelin throwers Matti Jarvinen and Nikkanen are serving together on the Karelian Isthmus. They have adapted their style to throwing hand grenades and their battalion, trained by such champions, holds all the hand grenades ..."