Ville Ritola

Ville Ritola was a  Finnish long-distance runner from Finland, Russia. Ville Ritola holds a record of winning most athletics medals at a single game.

Early life

On January 18, 1896, Ville Eino Ritola was born in Grandy Duchy of Finland, Russia. According to the nationality, Ville was a Russian. He was born to his father Johannes Ritola and his mother Serafia Gevar. Therefore, they both were farmers in western Findland near Seinajoki. Thus, Ritola had 19 siblings and he was the 14th child. Additionally, 5 of them died in infancy. Also, 6 of the children were from his father’s first marriage. Bille emigrated to the US with his siblings and worked as a carpenter. When he was 23, in 1919, she started training.


Sadly, On April 24, 1982, Ville died in Helsinki, Finland.


Ville joined the Finnish-American Athletic, in 1919. Later, he took part in a competition, a New York street race. Likewise, he was asked to join the 1920 Summer Olympics. Additionally, Ville Ritola stated that he was not ready for it. Similarly, in 1923, Finns started collecting funds to pay for Ville Ritola’s trip to Finland. Later, Ville took part in the Finnish Olympics qualification competitions, in May 1924. Likewise, Ritola won with a world record time of 30.35.4. Hence, it was Ritola’s first official world record.

Ville Ritola image

Caption: Ville Ritola image while participating in-game. Source( Urheilumuseo)

Ville won 4 gold and 2 silver medals, at the 1924 Paris Olympics. Later, Ville Ritola was officially selected by the Finnish for the race. Ville won the 3000m steeplechase by 75m, 3 days later. Likewise, Ritola also earned a silver medal behind Nurmi in the individual cross-country race. Additionally, he gained a gold medal as a member of the Finnish cross-country team. Similarly, Nurmi was joined by Ville to win the 3000 m team race.

More about career

He won 6 gold medals from Paris. It is still the biggest number of medals won by an athlete in one Olympic games event. Ville competed in the US and Canada, in winter 1924–1925. Ville worked in construction for more than a decade, in 1928. Additionally, he had not trained systematically. But, he managed to win four gold medals in the AAU Championships 1927. Therefore, Ritola’s last Olympic appearance was in the 5,000 m.

Ville has a sore ankle and Nurmi had a sore hip. Finally, the victory brought Ritola’s career total to 5 Olympic gold medals. And, Ville Ritola had three silver medals. In the AAU Championship, Ritola won a handful of medals, in the United States. In 1927, Ville was the AAU champion at 6 miles.

After the 1928 Olympics Games,  Ville Ritola retired from athletics. Later, in 1928, Ville took part in only a few US competitions. Likewise, he returned to American construction sites and worked in physically demanding jobs. In 1937, Ville Ritola took US citizenship. 

Net worth

Ville Ritola ha created and broke his own record. Thus, some of the records are still unbreakable. Undoubtedly, Ville Ritola has earned a hefty amount of money. But, the estimated net worth of Ville was not revealed. Probably, Ville had lived a lavish and luxurious life.

Personal life

Ville Ritola married Selma Nee Aaltonen. In November 1924, the duo was blessed with a daughter named Anja. Unfortunately, his wife dies in 1965. And, Ville remarried in 1967 to Liisa Lauren. The previous relationship of Ville is not known. Likewise, there are no rumors and controversies of Ville Ritola. Ville has managed his personal and professional life, Therefore, Ville is known for his skills and his records. In the memory of Ville, there is also a statue made.

Body measurement and Social media

Ville Ritola stood 5 feet 9 inches tall ( 175cm / 1.75m). And, Ville Ritola weighs around 66 kg ( 146 lbs). Ville Ritola is not active on any social media accounts. Undoubtedly, during the period there was no facility for the internet. So, there are no media accounts of Ville Ritola. But, there are some dance pages of him.