Eero Mäntyranta

Eero Antero Mäntyranta (20 November 1937 – 29 December 2013[1]) was one of the most successful Finnish cross-country skiers. He competed in four Winter Olympics (1960–1972) winning seven medals at three of them. His performance at the 1964 Winter Olympics earned him the nickname "Mister Seefeld", referring to the venue where the cross-country skiing and biathlon competitions took place.[2] The Finnish Ministry of Education endowed him with the Pro Urheilu letter of recognition in 2000. There is also a museum centered on Mäntyranta in his birthplace of Pello.

Eero Mäntyranta
Mäntyranta at the 1964 Olympics
Full nameEero Antero Mäntyranta
Born(1937-11-20)20 November 1937
Turtola, Lapland, Finland
Died29 December 2013(2013-12-29) (aged 76)
Oulu, Northern Ostrobothnia, Finland
Height170 cm (5 ft 7 in)
Ski clubPellon Ponsi

Genetics and dopingEdit

Mäntyranta had primary familial and congenital polycythemia (PFCP) causing an increase in red blood cell mass and hemoglobin due to a mutation in the erythropoietin receptor (EPOR) gene, which was identified following a DNA study that found the mutation in a high proportion of members of his extended family, as reported in 1993.[3] The elevated hematocrit caused by the condition increases the ability of the blood to transport oxygen; the EPOR mutation is speculated to have contributed to Mäntyranta's remarkable endurance.[2][4]

In 1972 Mäntyranta tested positive for amphetamine at a Finnish competition, becoming the first of his countrymen known to be caught doping.[2] He later admitted taking hormones, which were not yet prohibited.[2]

Cross-country skiing resultsEdit

All results are sourced from the International Ski Federation (FIS).[5]

Olympic GamesEdit

  • 7 medals – (3 gold, 2 silver, 2 bronze)
 Year   Age   15 km   30 km   50 km   4 × 10 km 
1960 22 6 Gold
1964 26 Gold Gold 9 Silver
1968 30 Silver Bronze 15 Bronze
1972 34 19 DNF

World ChampionshipsEdit

  • 5 medals – (2 gold, 2 silver, 1 bronze)
 Year   Age   15 km   30 km   50 km   4 × 10 km 
1962 24 5 Gold Silver
1966 28 6 Gold Bronze Silver


See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Skiing legend Eero Mäntyranta dead at 76. 30 December 2013
  2. ^ a b c d Eero Mäntyranta Archived 9 March 2016 at the Wayback Machine.
  3. ^ de la Chapelle. A; Traskelin AL; Juvonen E. (1993). "Truncated erythropoietin receptor causes dominantly inherited benign human erythrocytosis". Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. 90 (10): 4495–9. Bibcode:1993PNAS...90.4495D. doi:10.1073/pnas.90.10.4495. PMC 46538. PMID 8506290.
  4. ^ Interview with Malcolm Gladwell. The Guardian. 29 September 2013
  5. ^ "MAENTYRANTA Eero". FIS-Ski. International Ski Federation. Retrieved 19 January 2020.

External linksEdit

  Media related to Eero Mäntyranta at Wikimedia Commons