Volmari "Vomma" Fritijof
Iso-Hollo (May 1, 1907 - June 23, 1969) was a Finnish athlete, winner of two gold
medals in 3000 m steeplechase at
the Olympic Games.
Ylöjärvi, Finland, Volmari Iso-Hollo was one of the last in
a group of Finnish runners called the "Flying Finns" who dominated distance
running in the period between the World
As a youth, Iso-Hollo did skiing
took up running as he joined the army. He was successful in wide
range of events, running all the distances between 400 m and
Iso-Hollo won his first Olympic gold medal in the 3000 m
steeplechase at the 1932 Summer
. He was denied a chance at the world record
because the officials lost count
of the number of laps, because the official lap-counter was looking
the wrong way, being absorbed in the decathlon
pole vault. When Iso-Hollo went to his
last lap, the official failed to ring the bell, and the entire
field kept on running and so the finishing distance was 3460 m. If
the distance were 3000 m, Iso-Hollo probably would have broken the
world record. He also won the silver in the 10 000 m in
Iso-Hollo broke the 3000 m steeplechase world record after all,
running 9.09.4 in Lahti and went to
the 1936 Summer Olympics as a
hot favourite. At Berlin, Iso-Hollo
won the steeplechase by three seconds, finishing with a new world
record of 9.03.8.
The top three competitors all broke the
existing world record. Iso-Hollo added a bronze in the 10 000 m to
complete a set of Olympic medals.
After the Olympics, Iso-Hollo fell ill with rheumatism
, but kept on competing until 1945.
Iso-Hollo died in Heinola, Finland,
- Wallechinsky, David and Kaime Loucky (2008). The Complete
Book of the Olympics - 2008 Edition. London: Aurum Press,
Limited. pp. 122, 169.