Tuesday, 23 April, 2019

Legendary ski jumper Nykänen passes away

04 Feb 2019, 18:47 ( 2 Months ago) | updated: 05 Feb 2019, 21:32 ( 2 Months ago)

DF-Xinhua Report
Photo: Information Service of the Finnish Sports Museum / Olympic Committee.

Legendary ski jumper Matti Nykänen has died at the age of 55, the International Ski Federation (FIS) said.

The cause of death has not yet been revealed.

One of the sport's most famous names, Nykänen won four Winter Olympic titles, including a clean sweep of the normal hill, large hill and team golds at Calgary 1988.

He had previously won the large hill gold at Sarajevo 1984, where he also clinched silver in the normal hill.

Nicknamed the Flying Finn, Nykänen's career also included five World Championship gold medals, four overall World Cup titles and one Ski Flying World Championship title.

"Matti Nykänen was one of the most successful ski jumpers in history with four Olympic gold medals, whose great performances I remember very well," International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach said in a statement.

"He is a legend of his sport. Our thoughts are with his family and his friends."

Minister for European Affairs, Culture and Sport Sampo Terho praised Nykänen as a great sports hero.

After he retired from skiing, Nykänen became an entertainer and published music albums.

Nykänen married six times, with five persons. He had three children, a Finnish language newspaper Helsingin Sanomat reported.

He had an alcohol problems. In 2009 Nykänen was sentenced to prison for aggravated assault.