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Finnish ski legend Matti Nykänen laid to rest in Jyväskylä

A group of close friends and relatives bid goodbye to the troubled former ski champion at an intimate ceremony on Saturday.

Matti Nykänen hautajaissaattue
Close friends and family gather for the procession. Image: Jonna Karjalainen / Yle

Close friends and relatives gathered in Jyväskylä on Saturday for the funeral service of deceased Finnish ski jump Olympian Matti Nykänen.

German Jens Weissflog, who represented East Germany when he competed against Nykänen in the 80s and early 90s, also attended the funeral service.

Other dignitaries included Finnish ski jumper Janne Ahonen and cross country ski star Juha Mieto. European, Culture and Sports Minister Sampo Terho laid a wreath on behalf of the state, which also funded the funeral.

Urheiluministeri Sampo Terho saapumassa Matti Nykäsen siunaustilaisuuteen Jyväskylässä 2. maaliskuuta.
European, Culture and Sports Minister Sampo Terho (right). Image: Jonna Karjalainen / Yle

Members of the public were also present, but remained outside the cemetery chapel where the funeral service took place. Before Nykänen’s coffin was placed in the hearse, his mother Vieno Nykänen, sister Tuija Nykänen and widow Pia Nykänen said their final goodbyes to the late ski champion.

Mäkihyppylegenda Matti Nykäsen äiti Vieno Nykänen (vas.) ja sisar saapuvat Nykäsen siunaustilaisuuteen Jyväskylän vanhan hautausmaan kappelille 2. maaliskuuta
Nykänen’s mother Vieno Nykänen (left) and sister Tuija Nykänen. Image: Jussi Nukari / Lehtikuva

People also lined the route of a procession from the chapel to Nykänen's final resting place, a family grave.

Matti Nykäsen hautajaiset
Members of the public turned out to pay their final respects. Image: Jonna Karjalainen / Yle

Nykänen died in early February. He racked up a total of five Winter Olympic medals, nine World Championship medals and 22 Finnish Championship medals during a decade-long career.

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