Marjo Matikainen

Using Every Gram of Energy

In 1984, at the Sarajevo Games, Marjo Matikainen won a bronze medal in the 4x5 km relay when she was only 19 years old.

Four years later at the Calgary Games, she gained another bronze medal in the 10km race. In the 5km contest, she moved ahead of Tamara Tikhonova's pace after four kilometres and then used every bit of her remaining strength to push herself across the finish line 1.3 seconds faster than Tikhonova, before collapsing. Matikainen earned a third bronze medal, this time in the 1988 relay and then retired at the age of 23 in order to pursue her academic studies.

She was elected to the European Parliament in 1999 and distinguished herself as an anti-tobacco activist.