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Selma and Liisa

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  • Selma and Liisa

    Happy birthday today (Saturday) to an Olympic champion who was born on a Saturday 124 years ago and died on a Saturday at the age of 86.

    This champion had citizenship in two different countries.

    Our birthday athlete came from a large family and competed in two Olympic Games.

    You'll be interested to know that this champion won five Olympic gold medals and three Olympic silver medals.

    The birthplace of our birthday athlete and the site of the two Olympic Games where this champion won Olympic medals are located on the same continent.

    At the age of 41, this person became a citizen of another country.

    Some of you will know this athlete, however there will be some who may not recognize this champion's name.

    Time to name our birthday athlete for this penultimate Saturday of January.

  • #2
    Sounds like Ville Ritola.

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    • #3
      Yes it does. When I saw "Liisa", that immediately suggested Finland, where it is a common female name. I guess Selma and Liisa were Ritola's wives.

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      • #4
        Ville Ritola it is, tandfman. Very good. Yes, Selma and Liisa were his wives, Olli. Ritola ran in the "shadow" of Paavo Nurmi during the 1920's, but still won four gold medals at his first Olympics in Paris (1924). Ritola was one of the Olympic greats in our sport winning gold medals in the steeplechase, 5,000, and the 10,000. Ville Ritola was the 14th child of 20 children in Finland. He became a U.S. citizen in 1937 and eventually moved back to Finland where he died in 1982.

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