The Flying Finn

One of the few things I knew about Finland prior to arriving here was that they had a famous runner who broke all kinds of records. Paavo Nurmi, also known as the “Flying Finn” was a champion runner who won 12 track and field medals in 1920 and who broke 22 world records. He was also known to run with a stopwatch, which he threw out when he knew he had a hold on the lead. Britt and I knew that there was a statue of him here in Turku, and after a short search we found it smack in the middle of a 4-lane highway along the Aura river. When the statue was unveiled Paavo was famously quoted as saying, “I don’t run naked!”


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