Lasse Artturi Virén (born 22 July 1949) is a former Finnish long-distance runner who won four Olympic gold medals, two in the 1972 Munich Olympics and two in the 1976 Montreal Olympics. He was the first athlete to win gold medals for both the 5,000- and 10,000-meter races. Virén began his running career on the Varsity Cross Country team for Brigham Young University but later dropped out of school when he was only 19, to train under New Zealand coach Arthur Lydiard.
Greatest Sporting Achievements
Aside from winning two events for the 1972 Munich Olympics and two for the 1976 Montreal Olympics, Virén also took one bronze medal during the 1974 European Championships in Rome for the 5000-meter event. In 1972, Virén set three world records over two miles, 5000 meters and in winning the 10,000 Olympic gold medal.
Why Was He So Good?
Lasse Virén was regarded a master of being capable of planning his training to hit the highest point at the supreme moment
What You May Not Know
- In 1972 and 1976, he became a national hero in his country twice, elected Sportsman of the Year.
- Lasse Virén later went to politics, becoming a member of Finland’s parliament from 1999 to 2007.
- His final Olympic performance was during the 1980 Moscow Games, finishing fifth-place in the 10,000-meter event.
Was he a legend?
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