Lydia Wideman (later Wideman-Lehtonen, 17 May 1920 – 13 April 2019) was a cross-country skier from Finland and the first female Olympic medalist in cross-country skiing. In 1952 she competed in thirteen 10 km races and won all of them, including the 1952 Winter Olympics, national championships and Lahti Ski Games.[1]

Lydia Wideman
Wideman at the 1952 Olympics
Personal information
Born(1920-05-17)17 May 1920
Vilppula, Finland
Died13 April 2019(2019-04-13) (aged 98)
Tampere, Finland
Height163 cm (5 ft 4 in)
Weight61–62 kg (134–137 lb)
SportCross-country skiing
ClubTamperen Hiihtoseura
Medal record
Women's cross-country skiing
Representing  Finland
Olympic Games
Gold medal – first place 1952 Oslo 10 km

Wideman and her twin sister Tyyne were born in a family of ten siblings. Many members of her family were skilled cross-country skiers.[2] In particular, Tyyne won the national 10 km title in 1949–1951, beating Lydia in 1951, but retiring the same year.[3]

In February 2018, following the death of Durward Knowles, she became the oldest living Olympic champion.[4] She died on 13 April 2019, aged 98.[5][6]

Cross-country skiing results


All results are sourced from the International Ski Federation (FIS).[7]

Olympic Games

 Year   Age   10 km 
1952 31 Gold


  1. ^ Lydia Wideman.
  2. ^ Seppänen, Pekka (1980) ”Lydia Widemanin täysosumatalvi”, Kultaa, kunniaa, kyyneleitä, 3. osa, pp. 293–300. Pohjanlahden Kustannus Oy. ISBN 951-95416-5-9
  3. ^ Arponen, Antti O.; Hannus, Matti; Honkavaara, Aarne; Leinonen, Kimmo; Mäki-Kuutti, Tarmo; Raatikainen, Voitto; Raevuori, Antero (1986) Talviurheilun tähdet, p. 123. WSOY. ISBN 951-0-13095-8
  4. ^ "Eight Bells: Sir Durward Knowles >> Scuttlebutt Sailing News". Scuttlebutt Sailing News. 25 February 2018. Retrieved 25 February 2018.
  5. ^ "Olympiavoittaja Lydia Wideman-Lehtonen on kuollut 98-vuotiaana" (in Finnish). Ilta-Sanomat. 13 April 2019. Retrieved 13 April 2019.
  6. ^ "98-vuotiaana Tampereella kuollut Lydia Wideman-Lehtonen oli maailman vanhin elossa ollut olympiavoittaja - muistetaan hiihtohistoriaa tehneestä saavutuksesta" (in Finnish). Iltalehti. 16 April 2019. Retrieved 14 April 2019.
  7. ^ "WIDEMAN Lydia". FIS-Ski. International Ski Federation. Retrieved 21 December 2019.

  Media related to Lydia Wideman at Wikimedia Commons