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Olympian Juhani Salakka passed away

Olympian and long-term General Secretary of Finnish Weightlifting Federation from 1975 to 1991 Mr. Juhani Salakka (born Sept. 13, 1950) passed away on February 17, 2015. Mr. Salakka died of pneumonia in his hometown hospital in Finland.

Mr. Salakka was determined to achieve his goals as a weightlifter. He had set goals of becoming a Finnish Champion, a Nordic Champion and to participate in the Olympic Games, and he achieved each one of his goals. He was crowned a five-time Finnish and Nordic Champion as well as placing tenth in the Moscow 1980 Olympic Games in the 75 kg weight class. His best lifts in the 67.5 kg class were all Finnish records: he snatched 132.5 kg, clean-and-jerked 161 kg and made his best total performance of 290 kg. In the 75 kg class his best performances were 140 kg + 170 kg = 310 kg.

After finishing his lifting career ‘Jussi’ worked long and hard for the Finnish Weightlifting Federation. He will always be remembered as bringing weightlifting known to other sports by emphasizing the health aspects of Olympic lifting performed correctly.

Mr. Salakka will be missed in the Finnish and Nordic weightlifting families dearly as well as by his wife and family.

The International Weightlifting Federation presents its deepest condolences.