The cause of death was not immediately known. Matti passed away on February 4, 2019 at the age of 55 in Lappeenranta, Finland. Matti's cause of death was diabetes and illness. He was 55. Nykanen became an icon of sport in Finland. The cause of death was not immediately known. The famed Finnish ski jumper Matti Nykanen, who was dubbed the Flying Finn for his exploits, has died at the age of 55. Matti Nykanen, a Finnish ski jumper who dominated the sport in the 1980s and became a national hero, but whose legacy was tarnished by alcohol abuse and episodes of violence… info)) (17 July 1963 – 4 February 2019) was a Finnish ski jumper who competed from 1981 to 1991. Nykanen, who also won seven World Championship gold medals, died Sunday, the International Ski Federation (FIS) said. HELSINKI (AP) — Matti Nykanen, the four-time Olympic ski jumping champion whose personal life was affected by alcohol problems, has died. Matti Nykänen Death. HELSINKI (Reuters) - Matti Nykanen, the Finnish ski jumping great who soared to unprecedented Olympic glory but struggled with alcohol addiction and personal chaos, died on Monday at the age of 55.