Full Name: Lasse Viren
Date of Birth: 22 nd July, 1949
Sport involved in: Athletics
Winner of gold medals in the 5000 meter and 10,000 meter events at the 1972 Munich Summer Games
Gold medalist in the 5000 meter and 10,000 meter events at the 1976 Montreal Summer Games
Career: Lasse Viren appeared in the field of international athletics in 1971. He was a policeman by profession. Viren participated in the 1972 Munich Summer Games . In the Games, he won two Olympic gold medals in the 5000 meter and 10,000 meter events. In both the events, Viren set world records. In the 1974 European Championships, Viren won silver medal in the 5000 meter event losing to Brendan Foster of the United Kingdom. He reached the finishing line in 13:24.57 seconds. The same year, he also defeated Anders Garderud of Sweden and Steve Prefontaine of the USA in the event. This time he finished the race in 13:26.0 seconds. Viren set the world record in the 10000 meter event with a time of 28:22.6 seconds in 1974, when he won the event at an international match between Finland and Soviet Union. In the 1976 Montreal Summer Games , Viren successfully defended his Olympic titles in the events. In the 1980 Moscow Olympics, he could not win any medal. After the 1980 Olympics, Viren announced his retirement.
Performance at the Olympics: Lasse Viren made his Olympics debut in the 1972 Munich Summer Games . In the 10,000 meter event, Viren suddenly fell in the midway, when he was running at the fifth position. Recovering from the fall, he moved up to second place within 230 meters. Viren started pushing up, when it was still 1 and ½ lap to go. Viren won the event by 6 metres. In the process he broke the seven year old world record. In the 5000 meter final, Viren defeated Mohamed Gammoudi of Tunisia. In the 1976 Montreal Summer Games , in the 10,000 meter event, Viren overtook his opponent Carlos Lopes 450 meters from the finishing line. In the event, he won with a margin of 30 meters. In the 5000 meter event, Viren had to face a tough challenge from Dick Quax of New Zealand in the final turn. However, he defeat Quax and won his fourth Olympic gold medal. His last Olympic appearance was in the 1980 Moscow Summer Games. This time he finished fifth in the 10,000 meter event.