A famous ski jumper
, with a brilliant career
earning him 4 gold medals
in the Olympics
, and many more awards in different championships
. Born in June 17, 1963
Although Matti was a very successful in ski jumping, his life has gone severely downhill after quitting the sport, with less-admirable stunts earning him a place on all the Finnish tabloids on a regular basis.
Some of Matti's post-career "highlights" in a roughly chronological order:
Believe me, none of this stuff was made up by me. Maybe by the tabloids, but not by me.
- marrying/divorcing/re-marrying/divorcing his wife Sari Paanala
- marrying/divorcing some other lady in between
- changing his surname 2 times
- confessing to being an alcoholic
- falling asleep at the wheel and driving off a bridge
- attempting to return to ski-jumping, failing miserably due to his lousy skill in V style
- suffering a heart attack
- trying out his wings as a pop vocalist while possessing no singing talent, releasing two albums
- recording a third album, which was (fortunately) never released
- venturing into politics, resigning from the city council after attending 1½ meetings
- planning to open a restaurant in Helsinki
- working as a male stripper
- posing for a hardcore porn magazine
- getting engaged to a 17-year-old Estonian girl and weaseling out of the whole deal a week later
- selling his vast collection of medals for a ridiculously cheap price, getting them back afterwards
- getting into a relationship with a rich heiress, subsequently breaking up and trying to get back together again
- drunk driving
- finding god
- beating up a female stranger, in public, without provocation
- drunk driving again
- committing himself into a mental institution
- facing 4 charges of assault and battery against his fiancee (the aforementioned heiress)
- hiding from the police who have issued a warrant for his arrest
- giving interviews from his secret hideout
- proclaiming on TV that he is the greatest ski jumper of all time, and nobody is going to beat him in the foreseeable future
- getting married once again to the heiress he has beaten up several times, and having a bachelor party with "celebrity" guests including Henry Saari.
- once again beating up his missus, after learning she had filed for a divorce (I bet you didn't see that one coming!)
- Getting his own brand of cider. I'm not kidding. Only in Finland would they use a wife-beating drunk to sell cider. The bottle even comes with a famous quote from Matti, "Elämä on laiffii".
- showing no signs of any originality by once more engaging into some good old wife-battering fun. probably due to drinking a bit too much of that sweet, sweet Matti-Cider.
- returning to music business by recording a new single "Elämä On Laiffii" and a forthcoming album
- Breaking up with his wife after getting a restraining order, then getting back together with here. Repeat approximately 10 times. Really.
- planning to move to Spain
- Apparently having returned from abroad, getting once again back together with his wife and then stabbing her. Yes, unfortunately you read that right. This is starting to get a little less funny right about now.
Needless to say, Matti is considered an alarming example of an athlete not finding his/her place in the society after getting too old for competiting. Or, alternatively, an example of a dumbass drunk and wife beater.
Nowadays Matti has an official home page at http://www.mattinykanen.fi/. Words fail to explain how hilarious the site actually is, so you'd better see it for yourself. Unfortunately the text is currently only available in Finnish.
Last Updated: February 6, 2002