Paavo Nurmi (1897–1973) dominated the world of long-distance running in the 1920’s. He won a total of nine gold and three silver medals at three Olympic Games from 1920 to 1928 and made 22 official world records in outdoor races.
The gilded spike shoe of Paavo Nurmi was first put on display in the Finnish pavilion at the 1939–40 New York World’s Fair. The “gilding” was actually made with copper alloy. The shoe was one of the first exhibits on display when the Sports Museum of Finland was opened for public at the Olympic Stadium in 1943.