In July 1999, the fifth European Youth Summer Olympics were held in Esbjerg, Denmark.

The organizers were happy to talk about the Olympics, but this was not an official term. In this millennium, the name of competitions was changed even more to a form that emphasizes the celebration of sport with the Olympic Youth Festivals (EOYF).

Jacques Rogge, who chaired the International Olympic Committee from 2001 to 13, wanted the event to inspire the spirit of the Olympic Movement among young people.

The article was originally published in Urheilulehti 23/2020. You will find similar stuff in the publication every week. Ordering instructions are here.

A team of 59 people from Finland took part in the Esbjerg Games: 42 bright-headed athletes aged 13–18, 10 coaches, 3 judges and 4 clerks - and one young journalist, the author of this story. In total, there were 2,324 participants in the competition.

One successful athlete in the Finnish background was Päivi Alafrantti, the 1990 European champion in javelin throwing. The competitors, on the other hand, probably had about twenty future Olympic winners. That's how young people tend to think. Even at that age, it feels like at most the sky is the limit of your own possibilities, not your dreams either.

Finland did better in Esbjerg than team leader Kari Niemi-Nikkola expected. It may come as a surprise that two of the five medals came from the boys ’sprint. Tomi Javanainen took silver from the 200 meters and the boys' 4x100 meter instant messaging team Javanainen – Markus Vilén – Kari Asumaniemi – Tuomo Salo (now Korppi) also got silver. Riina Tolonen (now Hyöky) won silver from 3,000 meters and Jukka Vastaranta from block cycling. Judoka Jaana Sundberg (now Jokinen) grabbed the bronze.

The Finnish girls' handball team participated in the tournament organized by the International Olympic Committee for the first time. The 13th place in the team competition of the girls' gymnastics team Maria Skyttä – Jaana Palmu – Anna Nguye is still the best in the history of Finland's EYOF.

Maria Skyttä (left) in 1998.

Photo: Hannu Vierula

The international Olympic atmosphere with its inauguration, athlete villages, medal ceremonies and everything left an eternal burning mark on the souls of young athletes. From Esbjerg returned a team of more motivated athletes.

For a moment they felt like kings, invincible.

It’s fascinating how the trails have taken them to different places in 21 years. A few converging anchor points can be found on the paths. With the advent of adulthood, realism begins to challenge idealism. What do I want to do with my life? Where does the livelihood when individual sports do not live? Many find that development has slowed down, perhaps stalled. Maybe there will be a wall in front, miles full. There will be a fork in the road, a choice. In the path of childhood dreams, or at least alongside, comes adult life.

Now these athletes can be found on a farm in Pärnu and on a bank in Hong Kong. Three made it to the Adult Olympics, someone’s career ended in the words of a doctor before they even had time to begin.

The greatest hopes for success - yes, in Finland, the people put their own hopes on the necks of athletes - were placed on the delicate shoulders of runner Riina Tolonen.

In June 2001, Helsingin Sanomat wrote about the 18-year-old Tolose, who practiced nine times a week.

»Riina is one of the most talented young runners seen on the track in Finland. He is both physically and technically talented and runs almost perfectly. Mentally, Riina is very brave. Riina has every opportunity to go anywhere. It’s just a matter of whether he stays healthy. I believe that Riina and coach Eero Hosio will move forward in moderation », said Kari Sinkkonen, the sport manager of the endurance race.

Did that happen?

"No", Riina Hyöky answers.

»2001 was my best year. Then came an overwork condition from which recovery took a long time. I could no longer train as much and hard as I should have. The body did not recover normally, ”he says.

Riina Tolonen won in Otaniemi, Espoo in 2000.

Photo: Martti Kainulainen / Lehtikuva

In the summer of 2001, he won the 19-year-old European Championships bronze and Finnish Championship gold in 1,500 meters. A year later, the U19 series became the Finnish Championship bronze in 24 seconds worse than the European Championship bronze run.

»I saw when the top of the world escaped farther. Finland's top level was not enough for me. I said that I am not prepared to be a poor runner, but it is better to focus on studies and working life. "

His best season ended dramatically.

»After the match in Sweden, the father and mother said the mother has incurable cancer. Too much physical exertion and mental strain probably together caused an over-exertion state. The mother’s death in 2003 was the last staple, ”she says.

The young athlete had run out too early.

»There were too few rest days. And the powers were always loud. I ran a basic fitness loop with the older boys. That’s when it was fun to keep up the pace. But it wasn’t a basic fitness or restorative workout. The next day was a so-called hard workout. The coach did not intervene in this fundamental matter, but of course I was also a fool myself, ”he says.

The attack was one of those who thought they would win Olympic gold sometimes.

»The young person must firmly believe that he can become anything. But that faith began to falter. I began to wonder if I could do anything against the Kenyans. I realized that running for them is the way to a good life, for me it is the way to misery, ”Hyöky says.

He invested in studying, graduating in 2008 with a master’s degree in political science and in 2011 with a master’s degree in economics. He now works at Finnair with responsibility for developing customer experiences.

»Quitting a little annoying because I was really talented. I have a really hard oxygen uptake, I have a small size and a running technique is good. I was able to run hard for a long time without lactic acid. My body is made for running. I have not enjoyed anything else as much as those feelings when I feel like I am flying. ”

Minna Lamminen at the half marathon at the European Championships in Amsterdam 2016.

Photo: Martti Kainulainen / Lehtikuva

The career of Minna Lamminen (formerly Nummela), the long-term racing and training partner of Hyöky, has been completely different. This won its first outdoor track Championship gold at 1,500m in 2001. The next gold came in 2013 (5,000m) and the third in 2014 (10,000m). In the summer of 2016, at the age of 33, Lamminen participated in his first adult championships, the half marathon of the Amsterdam European Championships.

There are numerous twists and turns in Lamminen's journey. The basis of the long career is good foundations and the meaning of running. At a younger age, asthma and allergy symptoms hindered going. In recent years, symptoms have subsided and journeys lengthened. Lamminen's »second career» began in 2011. Her husband got a job in Sweden and Lamminen left his job as sales secretary for the football club FC Inter.

»My Achilles tendon had been cut, and I thought the runs had run. There was nothing else to do in Sweden, so I used all my energy to rehabilitate my leg. The leg improved incredibly well and I was completely full of enthusiasm when I was still able to run, ”says Lamminen.

The passion roared even louder, and in the summer the end of the career of the mother, who is two years old, may not have been seen yet.

“Now I’m just starting to have an idea of ​​how long distances to run,” he laughs.

However, now the days are filled with the care of the child and the duties of the farm hostess in Perniö.

»My husband took his parents’ grain farm at the turn of the generation. Yes, this works. In addition, I am the president of the Chamber Salon Vilppaan athletics and preparing young people for endurance running », Warm says.

The career of Tomi Javanainen, the most successful sprinter in Denmark, was overshadowed by foot problems in adulthood. The best results came in 2004, and the bulging of the spacer in 2005 began to predict the end of his career.

»Features evolved, but were not directly reflected in the results. When the chiropractor asked at each appointment how long you thought you were still running, I began to understand the realities. Over time, you will get caught up with the fact that not everything goes as planned, ”says Javanainen, who works in the software design industry.

Markus Vilén played the most successful sport on the instant messaging team. He won the 110-meter fences at the Kaleva Championships in the summer of 2008 and won three dimmer medals in 2004-10. Vilén quit at the age of 27, even though he had run a record 13.91 in the same summer of 2010.

»Still, the season was disappointing as I missed 0.06 seconds from the European Championship result limit. I finished school, and when there was no clear enough rise, it was time to move on to a new career, ”he says.

Markus Vilén won the quick fences at the 2008 Kaleva Games.

Photo: Ari-Veikko Peltonen / IS

Vilén emphasizes that sport at its best is much more than success on the field.

"I did not achieve my goals and my dreams, but I am extremely grateful for what sports taught otherwise. I got to experience strong feelings from side to side. Sports have also helped in job search. In 2010, right after the start of the Elite Championships, I received a job offer that I accepted. Although there was no medal of honor, sports threw on a good career », Vilén, who is currently working as a director in the world of acquisitions, points out.

The girls ’handball team practiced a lot together during the spring of 1999, and the result was nice. Finland was the sixth of eight hard countries in Esbjerg.

»At first the training group was quite big. The motivation for the whole spring was huge, when Pamela Degerman from BK-46, who played in the Finnish Championship until spring 2018, wanted to join the team ».

Goalkeeper Satu Helosvuori's career went differently. The very promising goalkeeper had to quit at the age of 18 due to severe neck ailments.

»The cervical vertebrae were worn so that the upper and second highest vertebrae rubbed against each other. It caused immense pain. There had been a lot of hits on the head, and according to the doctors, that too could have been affected when the hands were constantly up and the blows came through the hands as well. I don't know if there has been a structural defect in the neck, ”says Helosvuori.

The end of his sports career was as if the world had collapsed.

»My whole life revolved around handball. It felt so unfair, especially when the decision to quit was not allowed to be made yourself. I broke the gap with almost all my teammates and the entire handball community. I dropped out of high school and left almost immediately as an au pair in England. He had to get out, ”he says.

"I may have naively thought that I would play for a long time, even though I knew I didn't live with handball in Finland."

Former handball player Satu Helosvuori is playing ball with his daughter Fiona, who started the sport, in Vantaa.

Photo: Joonas Salo / IS

After returning from England, Helosvuori attended high school and still tried to play. Did not work out.

"Furthermore, I see the dreams that I'm playing either Ruskeasuo or Pirkkola. Often sleep ends when I realize that this is bound to be a dream; I can no longer play. "

The passion for the species has not faded. At the beginning of the 2010s, Helosvuori was for a short time the assistant coach of the women's team founded in Hyvinkää.

»I got to visit the old halls, and the scents and everything came to mind. I once thought I would throw a little and go to the finish line. The next day the head did not turn. That's when I knew that my own games are over at every level, ”he says.

Helosvuori's 7-year-old daughter, who works as a customer relationship manager, has started his handball hobby in Vantaa Atlas.

»The girl's eyes show the same fire as I sometimes do. Now it has felt good to go watching the games again. My childhood friend is coaching the team, and the halls still show familiar faces. ”

Many of the Finnish players played for a long time and advanced to the women's national team. Pamela Degerman tried out the semi-professionalism of the 2004-05 season in Sweden for the Stockholm team. Annamari Jääskeläinen played the Finnish Championship series in HIFK last season. There are nine SM golds in the cabinet.

Annamari Jääskeläinen raises the trophy when HIFK players celebrate the 2012 women's handball championship.

Photo: Markku Ulander / Lehtikuva

During his academic year, he played second division in the Netherlands and won the Dutch University Championship on the team of the University of Groningen. Cecilia Avellan combined sports and study in Norway, where she played 1-3. divisions. Today, he is a neurosurgeon at Turku University Central Hospital.

Essi Laine and Jari Viitala, who competed in tennis in Esbjerg, know that the national peak does not mean anything in the sport yet. In her career, Laine won numerous Finnish championships, especially in doubles, and toured international fields with her sister, Finland's most successful female player Emma Laine.

»During high school and after five years, everything went on the terms of tennis. It was nice to tour the world, work out and play with Emma. Got to see how far the curds are enough. But it was known that one could not make a living from it and could not just play for a long time. I had to start studying and do a little work, ”says Laine, who works as a laboratory nurse.

Essi Laine at the Finnish Tennis Championships 2003.

Photo: Jaakko Avikainen / Lehtikuva

Today, Laine plays triathlon. He only grabs a tennis racket in a Christmas tournament.

"When I occasionally played seriously, I can not dabble. In a triathlon, you only have to compete against yourself, and progress is easy to follow. It has become a way of life, ”he says.

Jari Viitala won six junior Finnish championships and about 30 Finnish Championship medals and toured abroad.

»In the army, I had to decide if I would still put everything in the game for tennis. I began to wonder if the curds were enough anyway. There would have been risks involved in continuing your career. I chose a safer path and moved into working life. ”

The economy was connected to the decision in many ways. Tennis is an expensive sport, especially if you tour abroad for competitions and camps.

»My parents burned a lot of money to play. In Germany, for example, about the top 20 juniors received all the money from sponsors. It made for stress-free sports. It would have been difficult to play with the parents if it hadn't become anything. "

The family was passionate about the hobby. It might not always have been just a good thing.

»Dad coached me. I didn't always have to decide for myself whether to go to training or not, »Viitala smiles.

Former tennis player Jari Viitala in his current work in Tikkakoski.

Photo: Hannu Rainamo

Since 2007, Viitala's bread has come from the Finnish Defense Forces. In the early 2010s, he participated in two military sports competitions and won both.

»That's my race for 15 years. It was a little annoying that it came to an end so sharply. Sometimes I went sparring with Masi Sarpola and a few other good juniors, but now tennis is gone again. Many times I wondered, that one should visit the playing hall, or otherwise, even if I would have something to help. "

Jere Jännes coached at Vuokatti Sports College in April.

Photo: Kimmo Rauatmaa / Lehtikuva

Finnish swimmers noticed in the Esbjerg pools that the tip of Europe went far.

»I still remember the feeling when I realized that otherwise there is a damn journey to fold. It pulled me down. Until then, there had been completely invincible thoughts about himself. At first I got depressed, but then the training enthusiasm increased », says Jere Jännes.

»In the hot tub, we watched the athletes from Eastern and Southern Europe, who grew a handsome beard, not even a hint of themselves. It was wondered if we were on the same line with these. But when you saw that difference in level, you started to think about what you could do better yourself to catch the tip. It clearly increased motivation », Aleksi Rajansuo recalls.

They had the ability to observe and analyze - as well as the desire to develop activities. Not surprisingly, they became coaches. Jännes trains for his profession at the Tampere Workers' Athletes, Rajansuo Riihimäki Swimming Club.

»Your own coaching is a huge help from what you have experienced yourself. There are a lot of things that cannot be understood by studying, ”says Rajansuo.

Aleksi Rajansuo won the 400 meters medley in the Finnish Championship gold in 2000.

Photo: Kimmo Mäntylä / Lehtikuva

Jännes has given special consideration to how a sports career would look more attractive to young people.

»You should be able to make solutions that support the courage to go serious about trying your limits. The outlook for the future should be more secure, ”says Jännes.

Of the judokas, Jaana Jokinen (formerly Sundberg) is the coaching manager of the Judo Federation and Johanna Ylinen is the executive director of the Päijät-Häme Sports Academy.

»Towards the end of my career, it started to irritate me why making sports so difficult in Finland. I wonder why anyone would want to become an athlete when it is not a properly accepted profession in Finland. Especially economically, the equation is very difficult », Johanna Ylinen, who competed in the Beijing and London Olympics, thinks.

»I asked the Olympic Committee how I could make a difference. When I was long-term unemployed, I was employed at a sports academy, and that’s the way to go, ”he says.

Judoka Johanna Ylinen.

Photo: Tuukka Ylönen

Judoka Jaana Sundberg.

Photo: Lauri Rotko

Jaana Jokista succeeded. He got to pursue his passion for his profession. He received a five-year position from the Defense Forces Sports School and was responsible for coaching the judo team.

»I was in the Defense Forces for a total of eight years. Those were the best years of my racing career. A long post brings security. I wish there were more of these posts. In Europe, many of the competitors were police officers or soldiers. In Finland, most of them are students or work part-time », Jokinen, who competed in the 2012 London Olympics, compares.

Jukka Vastaranta in 2003. He is currently considering the continuation of his career.

Photo: Veli-Matti Parkkinen / Lehtikuva

This could not be a more illustrative path difference. Of the cyclists, Jukka Vastaranta was ninth in the 10-kilometer time trial in Esbjerg, and Marcus Palosaari was 39th. From the block race, Vastaranta won silver.

When he turned right at the crossroads, Palosaari went left.

Vastaranta is one of Finland's most successful cyclists, and he wonders whether he will continue his career. Palosaari, now Hartell, who represented Kokkola GIF, stopped competing for juniors.

»In Esbjerg I lost ten minutes to the winner by ten kilometers. The following year, I was still in an international competition, and at least the difference was not closed, ”Hartell says.

Targeted competitive sports, let alone top sports, are ultimately only suitable for a few. And nothing young, no matter what the super promise, can predict. There may be a thousand different intersections and obstacles on a road that seems to lead to the stars.

“This is definitely the last time a sports reporter will call me,” Hartell hoses.

»Yeah, because of me were the Tokyo Olympics postponed? After all, age is not yet an obstacle, at least for a marathon. As I have learned in my life, I would never say never, "37-year-old Minna Lamminen laughs.

And wherever the path goes, love for sports and one's own sport almost always remains. Maybe it hides beneath the surface, even deep, but somewhere it stays simmering.

»Even today I have to run. It’s recovery and my own therapy. But I don't measure anything. Now running is not an accomplishment, ”says Riina Hyöky.

Finnish team in Esbjerg


  • Johanna Ylinen, Pori Judoseura Fudoshin at the 2008 Beijing and London 2012 Olympics dropped in the first round. MM-9. 2005, -09 and -10. EM-7. 2012. In the World Cup 1 gold (Minsk 2011), 2 silver, 3 bronze. Moscow Grand Slam Bronze 2010. U17 European Championship Gold 2000. U20 European Championship Bronze 2002. U23 European Championship Silver 2004. 2 PM Gold (2004 and -09). 8 SM gold (2004-08, 2010-12). Ended his racing career in 2012.

  • Jaana Sundberg (now Jokinen), Riihimäki Judoseura Esbjerg 1999: Bronze. The 2012 London Olympics fell in the first round. MM-5. 2013. Three times EM-5. (2005, -09, -11). Under 23 EM-3. 2005. 2 PM Gold (2003 and 2004). 11 Championship gold (2000–13). Silver of the Paris Grand Slam Tournament 2014. 3rd in the world list (2013). Ended his racing career in 2016. Married to Valtteri Jokinen. 1-year-old daughter.

  • Valtteri Jokinen, Riihimäki Judo Society 9th place at the London Olympics 2012. World Championships-16. 2009 and -10. EM-9. 2006. 1 Grand Prix bronze. Four bronzes in the World Cup. 3 PM gold (2003, -08, -14). 5 SM gold (2003, -04, -05, -08, -13). Ended his racing career in 2014. Previously served as assistant coach for the youth national team. Today in the real estate industry. Married to Jaana Jokinen.

  • Petteri Luukkainen, Kippon, Kitee Two Finnish Championship gold medals (2003 and -13). One SM silver, five SM bronze. U23 European Championships 2004. U21 European Championships 2002. Coordinator of Tampere Sports Academy. Formerly head of education and youth at the Judicial Association. Married to ex-Olympic judoka Nina Luukkainen (formerly Koivumäki). Three children.

  • Tatu Saarinen, Lahti Judoseura 5 Finnish Championship silver 2004–09. 3 SM bronze medals 2010–17. U21 European Championships 2003. International matches until 2009. Coach at the Lahti Judose Club. LAB University of Applied Sciences lecturer in Lahti. Promotes a dual career project for athletes with the Päijät-Häme Sports Academy.

  • Jani Pohjola, Ju Shin kan, Ähtäri U21 EM-7. (2001). Finnish Championship bronze 2003. The racing career ended in the bulges of the septum in 2004. Studied as a doctor in Estonia, graduated in 2016. After that, first as a doctor in Tornio and now in Enontekiö. Holds emergency services throughout the arm in the Lapland area. Unmarried and 1-year-old son.

  • Kari-Pekka Mikkonen, Judoseura Yanagi, Heinävesi 3 U17 Finnish Championship silver. Stopped competing in 2002. As a firefighter in Äänekoski. Children aged 10, 8 and 5 years.

Information: Finnish Judo Federation.


  • Nina Selkälä (now Väistö), Hämeenlinna Swimming Club One Finnish Championship final place in the 100-meter medley, no medals. Bronze of the Multinations competition 1999. EasySwim swimming school instructor. Lives in Hämeenlinna.

  • Eveliina Kauppinen (now Salmi), bronze of the Hämeenlinna Swimming Club Multinations competitions in 1999. She stopped competing at the age of 17 after a leg fracture. Lives in Turku.

  • Anna Ailio, Raisio Athletes Breaststroke age championships at the age of 11–15. Stopped competing at the age of 16 after knee surgery. Studied as an exercise instructor, worked as a water exercise instructor. Store Manager at Nanso Group. Lives in Turku.

  • Sara Vilske, Laaksolahti Viri Youth Championship medals. Lives in Espoo.

  • Sakari Lehtinen, Lahti Swimming Club at the Finnish Youth Championship «bad quad places that stopped interest». Adult SM 100m year 8th place in 2002. Graduated as a sports advisor in 2004. Lives in Lahti.

  • Miko Okko, Tapiola Swimmers SM-silver and bronze in the 200-meter medley. »Jani Sievinen was always pretty much better! There was no development after the army, and I quit. ” In the banking industry, the last 10 years in Hong Kong.

  • Jere Jännes, Tampere Uimaseura Finnish Championship final places in breast and butterfly wrestling. At best, fourth. Works as a swimming coach for Tampere Workers' Athletes. To be coached e.g. Ida Hulkko. In 2019, he was elected TUL's Coach of the Year.

  • Aleksi Rajansuo, Simmis Hyvinkää 4 Finnish Championship gold in the 400-meter medley (2000–04), Finnish Championship gold in the 1,500-meter freestyle (2001). European Youth Championships 2000. Works as a coach for the Riihimäki Swimming Club. In 2018, colleagues chose the Finnish Championship Coach of the Year. To be coached e.g. Niko Mäkelä.

Information: Finnish Swimming Association.


  • Minna Nummela (now Lamminen), KU-58, Vantaa Esbjerg 1999: Eliminated from the final in the 800 meters. Outdoors: 3 Finnish Championship golds: 1500m (2001), 5000m (2013), 10000m (2014). 3 SM silver, 4 bronze. In the hall: 1 Finnish Championship gold: 1500m (2008). 5 SM silver, 6 SM bronze. Adult Championships: 2016 Amsterdam European Championships Half Marathon 67th. »Suddenly there was a really depressing weather, really a plastic bag, which is bad for an asthmatic. At 7 miles I noticed that my breathing wasn’t playing and I wasn’t sweating at all. Already halfway through, there were symptoms of heat stroke. I would have suspended any other competition. "

  • Riina Tolonen (now Hyöky), KU-58, Vantaa Esbjerg 1999: Silver from 3000 meters. Outdoors: European Bronze and Championship Gold 1500m for under 19s (2001). SM bronze 5000m (2005). In the hall: 3 SM gold 1500m (1999, 2000 and -01). Numerous age championships and records for 14-22 year olds.

  • Tomi Javanainen, Heinola Isku Esbjerg 1999: Silver from 200 meters and 4x100 meters from the message. Outdoors: 100m: 15- and 17-year-olds SM-gold. In the hall: 200m: 2 SM silver (2004, 2007). 1 19-y. and 2 22-yrs. SM-gold. Numerous Junior and Youth Championship medals.

  • Markus Vilén, Vyborg Athletes Esbjerg 1999: Silver from a 4x100 meter message. Length 12: s. Outdoors: 110m fences: 1 SM gold (2008), 1 SM silver (2010), 2 SM bronze (2004 and 2007). In the hall: 60m fences: 1 SM gold (2008), 1 SM silver (2009), 2 SM bronze (2006 and 2007). Numerous youth SM medals. In the long jump, 14- and 15-year-old Finnish Championship gold.

  • Tuomo Salo (now Korppi), Vihti Message Esbjerg 1999: Silver from a 4x100 meter message. Qualified in the 400m final. Outdoors: 100m: 14th and 17th SM-gold. 300m: 14th, 15th and 17th years SM-gold. In the hall: 60m: 17- and 19-years. SM-gold. 200m: 19-y. SM-gold. 300m: 2 17-yrs. SM-gold. »The sports gradually ended in 2002-04. With minor injuries, I began to think about what I wanted to do in life and how I could earn a living. Datanomi, I twist webbisoft for the automotive industry. »

  • Kari Asumaniemi, Vihannin Athletes Esbjerg 1999: Silver from a 4x100 meter message. 100 meters 7th p. Outdoors: 100m: 2 17-year-old SM silver. 200m: 2 19-year-old Finnish Championship bronze. 100m fences: 17-year-old SM silver. Length: 15-year-old SM bronze. In the hall: 60m: 17-year-old Finnish Championships gold and silver. 19-year-old Finnish Championship silver and bronze.

Data: SUL, Statistics Workshop.


The 13th place in Esbjerg's 1999 team competition is still Finland's best ranking at the European Youth Olympic Festivals. Also in 2017, the Finnish team reached 13th.

  • Maria Skyttä, Finnish Gymnastics Club Junior Championships: 1997 quadruple, 1998 leaning, 1999 leaning and permanto, 2000 leaning and boom. Senior Championships: 1998 Permanto, 2001 Boom, 2003 Permanto. Youth PM silver jumping 1999. Championships: Senior World Championships 2001, -02 and -03. In 2002, the 19th, to date the best Finnish women's gymnast gymnast World Championship ranking with leaning trees. European Championships for Seniors 2004. European Championships for Juniors 1998 and 2000. Today the best climbing athletes in Finland. Finishes the professional qualification of a coach, graduates as a climbing coach.

  • Jaana Palmu, Tampere Gymnasts Senior Championships: 2001 leaning, 2003 quadruple and leaning, 2004 leaning. Value competitions: Senior World Championships 2001, -02 and -03. Senior European Championships 2002, -04 and -05. Junior European Championships 1998 and 2000.

  • Anna Nguyen, Tampere Sisu Junior Championships: 1999 jump. 7th place in the Northern European Championships 1999. 11th place in the PM Championships 2000. Did not compete at the senior level.

Information: Finnish Gymnastics Association.


  • Elina Väisänen, Tapion Sulka, Espoo Finnish champion in doubles 2005. Finnish champion in doubles with his sister Maria 2007. Coordinator of the Badminton Federation's federal groups. Coach in Tapion Sula.

  • Petri Hyyryläinen, Finnish champion of Östersundom IF Nelipel 2003 (pair Tuomas Karhula), 2004 (Alexander Böök), 2005 and -09 (Karhula). Finnish champion in mixed doubles 2003, -04 (Maria Väisänen) and 2007 (Sanni Rautala). Tuomas Karhula was placed 9–16 in the Junior World Championships in 2000 and 5–8 in the Junior European Championships in 2001. Selection as Junior Player of the Year 2000 with Tuomas Karhula. He worked as a coach for the Finnish junior country team for many years at the turn of the 2010s. Lives in Espoo. Works as UPM's Energy Director. Children 5 and 7 years old.


  • Jukka Vastaranta, Tampereen Company Esbjerg 1999: Silver from the block, 10 km in the time trial 9th. Numerous victories in international competitions and stages of road and mountain biking. He considers himself the winner of the 3rd stage of the Ster Electro Tour on the road (2005) and the European Championship silver of the marathon on the road (2011) and the 5th place of the World Championships (2014). Driven in many professional stables. "I've been in the last few years lopettamismielellä a little bit, but I still have not fully been able to stop. One has to look at the world after the corona if there are still opportunities to compete. 2020 is at least an intermediate year. I live with my cohabitant in Tampere. »

  • Marcus Palosaari (now Hartell), GIF, Kokkola in Juniors one Finnish Championship silver in 3 km time trial. One SM team gold. Finished his racing career before the adult series. Business Development Director in Health Technology. Lives in Helsinki with his wife and 6- and 4-year-old boys.


  • Essi Laine, Lahti Network Duel: 2 indoor gold medals (2003 and 2007). On the World List 939. (September 2003). Foursome: 6 Finnish Championship golds from outdoor fields 2001–2008. 2 indoor gold medals (2001, 2002) and mixed doubles Finnish championship gold 2003. 444. (April 2005). Selection for the Finnish Tennis Honor Gallery 2018.

  • Jari Viitala, Jyväskylä Tennis Club Juniors have six Finnish championships and 31 Finnish Championship medals in doubles and doubles. One men's B-class Finnish championship (at the age of 14). Finnish championship in racketlon, ie racket games (tennis, badminton, table tennis, squash) for people under 20 years of age. Two Military Sports Championships.

Team handball

  • Cecilia Avellan, HIFK, Helsinki Clubs: HIFK, Furuset IF (Norway), Rälingen HK (Norway), Ullensaker / Kisa IL, HIFK / C. Finnish championship in HIFK C. Women's and youth national matches. Neurosurgeon at TYKS.

  • Pamela Degerman, BK-46, Karjaa Clubs: BK-46, Stockholmspolisens IF (Swedish main series), ÅIFK. The most effective scorers of this millennium in the Women’s Championship Series: 11 seasons, 223 matches, 1,655 goals. 28 national matches, 85 goals. Multiple paint series queen. Winning the European Union Challenge Trophy in 2008 and 2011. Finished in the Championship Series in spring 2018 in bronze. Played until the turn of last year in the 1st Division. Will graduate this year as a community nurse. Lives in Karelia, 14- and 9-year-old children.

  • Satu Helosvuori, Kiffen Ladies, Helsinki A very promising goalkeeper had to end his career due to neck ailments at the age of 18.

  • Heidi Holmberg, GrIFK, Kauniainen Clubs: GrIFK, Kiffen, HIFK, HIFK / C, SSV VEG Dornbirn Schoren (Austria), HCT MGT B / W Feldkirch (Austria). Women's Finnish Championships in HIFK / C. Women's national matches.

  • Annamari Jääskeläinen, Kiffen Ladies, Helsinki Clubs: Kiffen, HIFK / C, V&S Groningen (Netherlands), HIFK. Still played last season in the Finnish Championships. 9 SM gold. More than 350 matches and more than 800 goals. 13 women's national matches, 9 goals. Played at the 19-year-old European Championships in Helsinki in 2002. Dutch University Championship on the team of the University of Groningen.

  • Katri Koskela, Sparta, Helsinki Clubs: Sparta, Stockholmspolisens IF (Swedish main series). Multiple Finnish champion, last championship 2011. Sparta has frozen Koskela jersey number 3. 46 national matches, 86 goals. Winning the European Union's Challenge Trophy in 2008 and 2011. Played at the 19-year-old European Championships in Helsinki in 2002. Served as Sparta's chairman for a long time. Women's national team team leader.

  • Anu Kylmälä, Kiffen Ladies, Helsinki Clubs: Kiffen, HIFK / C, HIFK. Multiple Finnish champion. Played one women's championship league match in Kiffen already in the 1994-95 season. 2 national matches, 7 goals.

  • Annika Lindström (now Lindlöf), HIFK, Helsinki Clubs: HIFK, Skånela IF (Sweden), AIK (Sweden), HIFK / C. Multiple Finnish champion. SM series star field goalkeeper for the season 2013–14. 8 national matches.

  • Elina Sagne GrIFK, Kauniainen Clubs: GrIFK, HIFK. 3 national matches, 1 goal. Youth national matches.

  • Malin Sandberg, HIFK, Helsinki Clubs: HIFK, HIFK / C. Multiple women's Finnish champion. 32 national matches, 56 goals. Winning the European Union Challenge Trophy in 2008 and 2011.

  • Mervi Veijonen, Kiffen Ladies, Helsinki A few seasons of the Finnish Championship series at HIFK / C. Finnish championships. Youth national matches.

  • Christa Westerholm, BK-46 Finished young, lives in Karelia.

Information: Finnish Handball Association and Jens Backlund.