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Lasse Virén: Athletics

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

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Profiles Extra

There are profiles of past athlete champions from a large range of sports. See also profiles of Olympic athletes and pages about sporting heroes.

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