Former Ski Jumping Champion Sentenced To Jail

FasterSkierNovember 4, 2004

Former Olympic champion Matti Nykanen of Finland was found guilty of serious violent crimes last week and sentenced to serve two years and two months in jail. The 41-year old former jump-king and national hero has been in jail since August, when he was arrested and charged for having stabbed a drinking buddy in the back with a 13 cm long knife. Nykanen had a blood alcohol level of 3.4 when he was arrested by the police.

– I don’t remember anything, said Nykanen during the trial in Tammerfors.  
He was also accused of attempted murder, but the court found him not guilty on this charge. The 59-year old victim survived the attack, which was also witnessed by Mervi Tapola, Nykanen’s fifth wife.

According to the witnesses, the stabbing occurred following a drunken argument that started when Nykanen got mad after losing in finger-hock pulling to his drinking buddy.

Nykanen's jail time of two years and two months includes four month of suspended jail time which Nykanen was sentenced to in March for having beaten up his wife (at that point she was his ex-wife, but is now his wife again). The new crime occurred during his probation time and was therefore added to his last sentence. 


Nykanen was the World's best ski jumper in the 1980-ties. He won gold and silver in the Sarajevo Olympics in 1984, followed by three gold’s in Calgary four years later. He also won six World Championship gold’s.


Nykanen came out with a self biography book last year titled “Greeting from Hell”.

I was about his turbulent life, the violence, the parties, his failed marriages and drug problems.



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