Fitness | At breakfast, Kari-Pekka Ourama asked superstar Arnold Schwarzenegger a bold question – and got a dull but gentle answer

At breakfast, Kari-Pekka Ourama asked superstar Arnold Schwarzenegger a bold question and got a dull but gentle answer. “I wanted to sink underground,” he says. The case is part of the colorful history of Finnish fitness sports.


All began with a special television program that Kari-Pekka Ourama saw in 1991 in the United States.

On the ESPN channel, the women presented their bodies and muscles on stage. Ourama had never seen anything like it before, even though he had been working on bodybuilding for a long time.

For the first time in her life, Ourama saw women’s fitness sports. It was not yet known in Finland, though Kike Elomaa was the first Finnish woman to win the bodybuilding Ms. Olympia competition in 1981.

Ourama liked the species he saw. Fitness was an applied version of bodybuilding, bodybuilding.

By that time, Ourama from Lahti had already received an international bodybuilding judge card. Based on that, he started making rules for fitness.

“They still last the time,” says 58-year-old Ourama at a gym in Lahti. The K&M fitness center is closed due to the pandemic. Three gyms and 1,300 square feet are vacant.

“The foundation of everything is good muscle condition. Muscles were brought out thousands of years ago. ”

“Fitness and gym training are the basis of all sports,” says Kari-Pekka Ourama.

Gym training has risen to a whole new level in 30 years from what it was still when Ourama became acquainted with fitness.

Now, almost all sports are based on gyms, and there are more enthusiasts than top athletes in the gyms,

“Every athlete uses gyms today, and if he doesn’t, can he even be called an athlete? The foundation of everything is good muscle condition. Muscles were brought out thousands of years ago, ”says Ourama.

In total, about 300,000 Finns do bodybuilding, weight lifting in various forms and fitness sports. Many have their own fitness coach, personal trainer.

But going back to fitness, which many still don’t consider a sport. For example, the Federation of Sports Journalists does not select a fitness athlete of the year at all, although there are many other lesser sports on the lists.

“It’s conservative thinking,” Ourama says.

In the media, things related to fitness, lifestyle, well-being and fitness have exploded and are widely read. This is exactly what Ourama is talking about: people want to be in good shape and work out.

Last year, Finnish fitness athletes did well in international competitions. Finland was the third best among a hundred countries.

“I’m not bitter, although success doesn’t show up in the Athlete of the Year selections. We work head on and on the principle of doing and being able to do it. ”

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Stateside Ourama used to travel a lot because of bodybuilding, but fitness was something new. After reflection, Ourama founded a new sports federation in 1992, the Finnish Fitness Association.

The federation has about a thousand competing licensed athletes. It is impossible to say the exact number of enthusiasts. There are about 1,500 gyms in Finland, 800 of which are commercial.

The Finnish Championships culminate in the Nordic Fitness Expo in every fitness sport. The most significant of these are: bikini fitness, body fitness, men’s physique and growing at a rapid pace wellness fitness.

Ourama is the founder and rights holder of the Nordic Fitness Expo.

The latest Finnish star in fitness is Pernilla Böckerman, who won World Cup gold in bikini fitness in November.

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Doping was banned in fitness sports in 1995. In a member survey, enthusiasts supported joining the sport as a member of the Finnish Anti-Doping Commission (FINADA).

Fitness is also a member of FINADA’s successor, the Finnish Sports Ethics Center (Suek).

“Suek has praised that fitness is one of the most transparent sports and that we do good doping work, but we can’t go to the bathroom or grocery store to be supervised with a customer.”

Doping carts have not been avoided either.

“There have been carts in the sport and they are coming. The field is wide. People think not to be tested, and then there are dark coaches and lucky ones all over the world, ”Ourama says.

He emphasizes that bodybuilding is not tested for doping and is not part of the Fitness Association.

“Strength has a doping mark, not fitness.”

Fitness became a member of the Finnish Olympic Committee in 2016. As President of the Fitness Association, Ourama negotiated joining the then Chairman of the Olympic Committee. Risto Nieminen with.

“I was ready to talk about it for four hours, but after five minutes, Ripa [Nieminen] said the matter is clear: he will take it forward, ”Ourama recalls a conversation at the Olympic Stadium.

KP Ourama at the Junior Bodybuilding Championships in Lahti in 1982. Since then he has not competed.

Bodausk spark Ourama got a young high school boy. He went to the swimming pool when he had to do something physical. Ourama’s father was athletic and encouraged his son to pursue hobbies.

In connection with the swimming pool, there was a gym where Ourama started visiting a couple of times a week.

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“The hustle and bustle led me to look at the gym where the sounds came from. The species took with it. The swimming ended there. ”

In 1982, the Finnish Youth Bodybuilding Championships were held in Lahti. Ourama’s father was involved in the arrangements, although he himself did not practice the sport.

Ourama took part in the race and finished last. It also remained the last race of his career, but interest in the sport only grew.

Dead Member of Parliament and professional boxer Tony Halme was in the same race. Later, Ourama often met Halme in Los Angeles, where he tried to support himself as a show wrestler.

Ouramaa, on the other hand, was interested in Los Angeles because the city was the hub of bodybuilding.

“Even though I raced myself, I wanted to live in the world I had read about. I created a network, even though I didn’t know anything about the whole word then. ”

In addition to judging, Ourama photographed and wrote stories about bodybuilding and fitness.

In all, he has been involved in five fitness magazines, from which he has co-founded Muscle & Fitness and the ever-emerging Fitness Athlete. Ourama is the magazine’s editor-in-chief and ad salesman but no longer judges the races.

“Joe Weider was like a deity to me.”

Joe Weider and KP Ourama in Los Angeles.

In Los Angeles Ourama became acquainted with the legend of bodybuilding To Joe Weider.

Joe founded his brother Ben Weiderin with the International Bodybuilding Federation IFBB as early as 1946. Ourama is currently the Deputy Secretary General of the Federation and President of the Nordic Bodybuilding Federation.

Weider (1919–2013) was known to everyone in Hollywood, where he lived surrounded by bodybuilders and movie stars. Weider also founded Mr. Olympia and Ms. Olympia bodybuilding competitions, which were giant events in the sport.

“Joe Weider was like a deity to me. He made a huge impression, and apparently I made an impression on him too, ”Ourama says and shows his correspondence with Weider years ago.

In the letter, Joe Weider thanks Ouramaa for meeting and taking photos.

“I liked Los. I’ve been there maybe about a hundred times, and it’s not a lie. I wandered into Weider’s studios and went along to all the chores. I was a kind of helper. ”

Ben and Joe Wider sent a letter of encouragement to KP Ourama in March 1996.

Weider also got excited about our bodybuilding workbook written by Ourama in 1994 Mega Duty.

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Weider was willing to make it a new edition in the United States if it was translated into English. Weider promised to advertise the book in his own newspapers. He also offered Ourama jobs and relocation assistance to the United States.

What did Ourama respond to with such unique offers?

“I said let’s cover up,” Ourama laughs.

“I was a pretty tight hub in my stuff, but maybe that’s why I got appreciation from these moguls. I myself sometimes wonder how many in their thirties would refuse twice if asked to work for the world’s leading bodybuilding magazine. Uh, I prefer to live in Lahti and pay a lot of taxes. ”

“Arnold said ‘posture, KP’ and showed the right position.”

KP Ourama and Arnold Schwarzenegger first met at the restaurant in 1992.

Ramble on trips to Ourama Arnold Schwarzenegger, who won the Mr. Olympia title a record seven times.

Nicknamed “Iso-Arska”, Schwarzenegger was born in Graz, Austria, from where he moved to the United States in 1968 to develop into a better bodybuilder. Joe Weider took the young Austrian under his protection.

In 1993, Ourama was invited to judge Schwarzegger’s Arnold Classic bodybuilding competition, but the men’s acquaintance had already begun in Los Angeles.

Ourama had gone for breakfast at the Schwarzenegger-owned Schatzi on Main restaurant in Santa Monica.

While waiting for breakfast, Ourama noticed that his wife, Iso-Arska, was sitting on the terrace of the restaurant Maria Shriverin with whose uncle was the assassinated president of the United States John F. Kennedy.

Ourama realized his opportunity had come and went to the terrace to introduce himself.

“I asked permission to take a photo. Arnold said no. I wanted to sink underground, but he invited me to their table to have breakfast. I was talking about seeing her mother in Graz and the gym where Arnold started training with weights, ”Ourama says.

At the Arnold Classic, Schwarzenegger remembered the breakfast meeting and stopped with his bodyguards at Ourama to inquire about the news.

“Apparently I had impressed him in a silly way. We got along well, even though we’re not actually friends. I gained courage from the meetings. It was another step forward. ”

In Madrid after the Arnold Classic in 2013, Schwarzenegger asked for Ourama’s dinner, which was attended by thirty people.

“When the photo was taken, Arnold said‘ posture, KP ’and showed the correct position. I realized what it was all about. Since then, I’ve always crawled into photos. ”

Kari-Pekka “KP” Ourama brought fitness sports to Finland.

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