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Matti Nykänen. Picture: Tony Öhberg for Finland Today

The government is considering a state funeral for the former ski jumper, Matti Nykänen, who passed away on the night between Sunday and Monday.

Minister for European Affairs, Culture and Sport Sampo Terho (Blue Reform) has asked government officials to investigate the possibility.

Usually, state funerals are arranged to former presidents but the government has sometimes been known to grant exceptions to authors, academics, generals and prime ministers—and sometimes even to sportsmen; for example, in 1989 to cross-country skier Tapani Niku, who won bronze at the 1924 Winter Olympics.

Nykänen is considered the greatest ski jumper of all time. He won four Winter Olympic gold medals, five World Championship golds and 22 Finnish Championship medals.

On the flip side, he was in his later years known for his turbulent life ruled by alcohol.