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In Memoriam Pekka Kare 1931–2022

Mr. Pekka Kare, the Honorary President of Finnish Weightlifting Federation, passed away in Siuntio, Finland,  after a short illness on November 8, 2022. He was born in Perojoki in the Viaborg municipality on April 14, 1931, and was 91 years old at the time of his death.

War was present in Pekka’s early years. In the beginning of the Winter War between Finland and the Soviet Union in December 1939, when the Soviet Union bombed Viaborg, Pekka’s mother took Pekka and his two siblings away from the area. The father served in the Finnish army driving a fuel truck. After the war the family settled down in Valkeakoski in Finland where Pekka was active in founding a local weightlifting club. He moved to Helsinki to study law and in the early 1960s he became an attorney of law.

Pekka’s younger brother Tauno Kare was one of the best weightlifters in Finland as he competed for Finland in over forty national competitions. As the little brother succeeded as a lifter, Pekka built his career as a sports official in leadership positions.

When Pekka became the President of Finnish Weightlifting Federation, he told that he would follow in the footsteps of Mr. Bruno Nyberg, the Finn who was President of the International Weightlifting Federation in the 1950s. Mr. Nyberg had valued international work beyond political borders both nationally and internationally.

Mr. Pekka Kare was elected into the IWF Executive Board in 1968. The next year he was a part of the delegation in Poland which founded the European Weightlifting Federation. Pekka served on the IWF Executive Board in 1968-1974 and again in the 1990s and he was a member of the European Weightlifting Federation Executive Board since it was founded in 1969 until 2003.

At the Mexico City Olympic Games in 1968 Mr. Pekka Kare was the Team Leader of the Finnish weightlifting team. In these Games Mr. Kaarlo Kangasniemi became the first Finnish Olympic Champion and consequently the best ever Finnish weightlifter. Four years later Mr. Kare was elected as the Team Leader of the Finnish Olympic Team in München Olympic Games 1972. In those Games Finland had a full weightlifting team with a lifter in each bodyweight category – the only time it has ever happened at the Olympic Games.

At the national level Pekka’s greatest acheivement was to secure the 1998 IWF World Championships to Lahti, Finland. He was the President of the Finnish Weightlifting Federation in 1967-1974 and 1980-1992, after which he was nominated the Honorary President of the Finnish Weightlifting Federation.

Pekka was elected as Vice President to the Finnish Olympic Committee as well as the national sports organization (SVUL) which governed over all sports in Finland. Professionally Pekka worked at the CEO of Kvartto Inc., a printing house.

Pekka’s memoirs were published only a half a year before his death. He will be missed by his children, grandchildren and relatives as well as a large circle of friends. They will miss Pekka as a reliable friend and a lover of poems and singing.

Text by Kalle Virtapohja, a friend of Pekka and the writer of his memoirs.
Translation by Karoliina Lundahl