Prison term for former world champion ski jumper Matti Nykanen

Prison term for former world champion ski jumper Matti Nykanen{mosimage}HELSINKI, Finland – Former world champion ski jumper Matti Nykanen was sentenced to more than two years in prison Wednesday after stabbing a man during a drunken stupor in August. He was sentenced to 26 months for aggravated assault and had been charged with attempted manslaughter. Nykanen was taken to prison after the ruling in Tampere, 110 miles from Helsinki.

Nykanen and wife Mervi Tapola-Nykanen were detained a few days after the August 24 stabbing at her family’s summer cottage in Nokia, near Tampere. Both were drunk at the time, police said. Tapola-Nykanen, who was asleep during the stabbing, was released after questioning and did not testify. In court, Nykanen said he “really could not remember anything” about what happened.

Nykanen and the 59-year-old victim, Aarno Hujanen, had been drinking heavily before the stabbing. Nykanen stabbed Hujanen twice in the back with a 5-inch blade. The victim, a repairman who had been fixing the cottage windows, was released from the hospital after a few days.

In March, Nykanen drew a four-month suspended sentence for beating and attacking his wife with a knife during a trip to Austria.

Nykanen, 41, won 19 medals at the Olympics and world championships from 1982-90, the most by a ski jumper. Since retiring, he took up a career as a singer.

-The Associated Press

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