Matti Nykänen

Matti Nykänen

Matti Nykänen was a Finnish ski jumper and one of the greatest athletes in the history of the sport. Born in 1963, Nykänen won numerous medals in the Olympics and World Championships, solidifying his place as a legendary figure in the world of ski jumping. He is remembered for his incredible talent and his significant impact on the sport.


NameMatti Ensio Nykänen
Born17 July 1963
Died4 February 2019
OccupationFinnish ski jumper (1981-1991), pop singer
Notable Achievements
  • Five Winter Olympic medals (four gold)
  • Nine World Championship medals (five gold)
  • 22 Finnish Championship medals (14 gold)
  • Three gold medals at the 1988 Winter Olympics
  • Gold medal at the Ski Jumping World Championships
  • Gold medal at the Ski Flying World Championships
  • Four World Cup overall titles
  • Two Four Hills Tournament titles
Other Notable Facts
  • Won all five of the sport’s major events
  • Shared the all-time male record of four World Cup titles with Adam Małysz
  • Remains the only male five-time ski flying world record holder in history
  • His celebrity status in the 1990s onwards was fueled by personal relationships, career as a pop singer, and various incidents related to heavy use of alcohol and violent behavior
  • Sentenced to 26 months in prison following a stabbing incident in 2004, and again for 16 months following an aggravated assault on his wife in 2009

Early Life

Matti Nykänen was born on July 17, 1963, in Jyväskylä, Finland. He was raised in a small town in central Finland and developed a passion for ski jumping at a young age. As a teenager, Nykänen moved to Lahti to pursue his ski jumping career and received training from some of the country’s top coaches. His dedication and talent quickly propelled him to national and international success, eventually becoming one of the most influential and celebrated figures in the sport.


Family MemberNameInformation
ParentsEsko Nykänen and Vieno NykänenEsko and Vieno Nykänen were the parents of Matti Nykänen. They played a significant role in supporting and shaping Matti’s career as a ski jumper. They provided the necessary encouragement and guidance for him to excel in his sport.
SiblingsSeven siblingsMatti Nykänen had seven siblings, but their names are not widely known. However, it’s clear that the family dynamic and support system played a crucial role in Matti’s life and contributed to his success as an athlete.

Height, Weight, And Other Body Measurements

Height180 cm
Weight75 kg
Chest100 cm
Waist82 cm
Hips95 cm

Wife/husband / Girlfriend/boyfriend

Matti Nykänen’s Relationships

Matti Nykänen is currently married to Mervi Tapola. They got married on July 8, 2001.

PartnerMarriage DateDetails
Tiina Hassinen1986 – 1988
Suvi Rutanen1989 – 1991
Mervi Tapola2001 – presentMatti’s current wife

Career, Achievements And Controversies

Matti Nykänen

Matti Nykänen became famous for his exceptional talent in ski jumping. He represented Finland in numerous international competitions and became a household name due to his incredible performances in the sport.

Nykänen’s career in ski jumping started in the early 1980s, and he quickly rose to prominence due to his exceptional skills. He is best known for winning numerous Olympic medals and World Championships in ski jumping, cementing his legacy as one of the sport’s greatest athletes.

Nykänen received several awards and accolades throughout his career, including multiple Olympic gold medals, World Championship titles, and recognition for his contributions to the sport of ski jumping.

Despite his remarkable athletic achievements, Nykänen’s life was also marked by controversies, including legal issues, struggles with alcoholism, and tumultuous personal relationships that often made headlines.


Matti Nykänen FAQs

Matti Nykänen was a legendary Finnish ski jumper who achieved great success in the sport, winning numerous Olympic medals and World Championships titles.

Matti Nykänen won a total of 5 Olympic medals, including 4 golds, and 4 World Championships titles during his career. He is widely regarded as one of the greatest ski jumpers of all time.

Nykänen’s exceptional talent and dominance in ski jumping elevated the sport’s popularity in Finland and globally. His extraordinary success inspired many aspiring ski jumpers and left a lasting legacy in the sport.

After retiring from ski jumping, Nykänen led a tumultuous life marked by personal challenges and public controversies. He ventured into music and also appeared in various reality TV shows.

Matti Nykänen passed away on February 4, 2019, at the age of 55. His death was widely mourned by the ski jumping community and sports enthusiasts around the world.

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