Erkki Vetten­­niemi

Lydiard’s lost legacy

Fifty years ago this spring Arthur Lydiard set foot on Finnish soil as the most expensive coach in the history of Finnish athletics. According to contemporary observers, the descendants of Paavo Nurmi and other…

Why letter-writing skiers should have remained illiterate

When I was young, cross-country skiers used to ski, and only after having retired, they might have picked up the pen and published an edifying memoir, guided of course by the invisible hand…

Olympics or bust

The year 2016 will go down in history as the year when Finnish sports went bust. Traditionally, ‘sports’ and ‘Olympic sports’ have been synonymous in Finland, and sports-loving Finns have been able to…

Lip cream for suckers

After toothpaste, beer, meat and other seemingly innocuous substances, lip balm is destined to be the next item on every self-respecting journalist’s list of Ten Best/Worst/Funniest/Craziest Doping Excuses. In fact, it already features…

The anti-gay games must not go on!

As the American academic Maylon Hanold demonstrates in her daring contribution to Endurance Running, a set of essays recently reviewed on idrottsforum.org, the discrimination of gay athletes is certainly not a thing of…

Rotten Russkies vs. noble Norwegians

Contrary to conventional wisdom, today’s Russia-bashing in sport is not a replay of Cold War animosities. Or, to put it otherwise, the furor over Russian athletes’ apparently liberal use of performance-enhancing substances is…

What would happen if…

Bedroom closets are practical for storing newspaper cuttings, as all serious scholars know, but every five years or so the stacks must be sorted out for fear of marital discord. And that’s what…

Triple victory for Norwegian sports medicine

Fifty years ago this week the most celebrated Norwegian was a cross-country skier. Valiant skiers, of course, have never suffered from lack of recognition in Norway, but the most remarkable thing about this…

Confessions of a failed myth buster

Until a few days ago, I enjoyed reading but failed to understand some of the more sophisticated contributions to sport studies. Take Doug Booth, for example. The Field: Truth and Fiction in Sport…

Cosmic calcio

In an exceptionally brilliant passage originally composed in the 1970s, Umberto Eco recalls having begged his father to take him to the ball game, which (in the Italian context) of course meant calcio….