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Finnish Weightlifting Federation 75 year gala.

75 years of Finnish Weightlifting

On a beautiful summer day on June 28, 2009 in Pori, Finland, the ‘Who’s Who’ of Finnish weightlifting gathered together to celebrate 75 years of Finnish Weightlifting. The first weightlifting competition had been held over a hundred years ago back in November of 1892, but on November 25, 1934, the Federation began its existence. Mr. Bruno Nyberg, the Father of Finnish Weightlifting, read out loud the historic words of birth.

75 years later President Esa Lomma spoke in honor of all successful Finnish lifters such as European, World and Olympic Champion Mr. Kaarlo Kangasniemi, European and World Champions Mr. Kauko Kangasniemi and Mrs. Karoliina Lundahl as well as the first ever Finnish European Champion Mr. Eino Mäkinen, still young as ever at 84. Together with other medalists and record breakers toasting the vibrant federation was a room full of weightlifting enthusiasts, government officials and the Finnish Olympic Committee. Many were recognized of their relentless work to our beloved sport: internationally the IWF Golden Medal was given out to Mr. Matti Everi and IWF Silver Medals went to Mr. Ahti Hämäläinen and Mr. Matti Kitunen.

Finnish weightlifting has had many glorious performances. After an afternoon of basking in the sun of the glory days it is time to return to work to build a modern training system within the country. Already in place are the Olympic Training Center in Vierumäki just outside Lahti, home of 1998 World Championships, a modern coaching development center, and athletes who yearn to learn more about weightlifting from the heroes of the past. Finns have always been known to step up to the challenge: the next task is making unknown names the heroes of the future.