Between 1920 and 1928, Paavo Nurmi won a phenomenal nine gold and three silver medals in the 12 events at which he competed in the Olympic Games. He is the only athlete to win five golds in one Games, which he achieved in 1924, and he holds the record for number of medals won (12) in athletics.
Known as ‘The Flying Finn’, Nurmi might have extended his medal haul had he not received money for running, which ruled him out of the 1932 Olympics. Almost 90 years after his first Games his legend remains, to the extent that he has even been mentioned in an episode of the popular cartoon, The Simpsons. He was chosen to light the Olympic Flame at the 1952 Summer Olympics in Helsinki . p>