August 24, 2010 / 10:53 AM / 8 years ago

Ski jumping-Olympic champion Nykanen handed 16-month jail term

HELSINKI, Aug 24 (Reuters) - Finland’s Olympic ski jumping champion Matti Nykanen was sentenced to 16 months in jail on Tuesday for attacking his wife with a knife on Christmas day last year, a local court ruled. “A knife was used in the assault and the crime is ... considered aggravated,” the Pirkanmaa court said after noting that Nykanen’s wife Mervi had numerous cuts and scratches on her head and body.

The two are in the process of divorcing.

Since the end of his competitive days in the early 1990s, Nykanen has become notorious at home and abroad for his turbulent relationships, bar brawls and career ventures into the entertainment business.

In 2004, Nykanen received a 26-month jail sentence for aggravated assault following a stabbing incident at a cottage in Nokia, around 180 kms north of Helsinki.

Nykanen, 47, won four Olympic gold medals, three of them at the 1988 Calgary Games, and one silver.

Reporting by Brett Young, editing by Pritha Sarkar; To query or comment on this story email sportsfeedback@thomsonreuters.com

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