Erkki Vetten­­niemi

The World Cup that wasn’t

Make sure you are sitting safely and have sedatives at hand because this modest-looking post will expose the biggest fraud in the not-so-pristine history of global football business. The quadrennial extravaganza known as…

Bjørn Dæhlie’s bravest moment

Who is the mightiest of them all? The ultimate riddle deserves to be addressed right now, the day after the official closure of the 2017–18 skiing season (so far as yours truly is…

In praise of skiing traditions

It has come to my knowledge that a Finnish male skier recently won a major race – in fact, an Olympic contest – in East Asia, not far from the gentle shores of…

Of bicycles and Bolsheviks

While cycling may well be the first modern sport in the sense of having become a full-fledged sport upon its invention, a group of cyclists shares responsibility for one of the biggest social…

Stop smiling, you are running!

‘Did you see that runner?’ I asked my daughter the other day. We were cycling home along a lakeside road that positively teemed with ‘physically active people,’ as the sociologists of sport put…

Brexit must include athletics

It’s the day after the closing ceremony of the infamous IAAF World Athletics Championships in London, and Britain is still a legitimate member of the global athletics community. Why? Why wasn’t UK Athletics…

Camus on ice

It’s springtime in Scandinavia when waterways are no longer covered with a thick layer of ice and a shortcut across a lake turns into an adrenaline-boosting sport. Last weekend, however, I still discovered…

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…