The Finns returned in force for a Games which featured the first standardised track of 400 metres at a new stadium built on reclaimed land.
Finland won all the men's track events from the 1,500 metres onwards with Nurmi winning his ninth and final gold medal in the 10,000 metres.
He finished second in the 5,000 to team mate Ville Ritola and was runner-up in the steeplechase, despite tumbling at the water jump in the heats in his first competitive outing in the event.
Women competed in the Games for the first time in track and field, and gymnastics. After several competitors collapsed at the end of the 800 metres those in authority opposed to women competing at all banned women's events in the Olympics over 200 metres for the next 32 years.
In a sign that the Games were becoming truly international India won the first of six straight field hockey gold medals and Hungary earned the first of seven consecutive golds in team sabre fencing.