HS analysis The Olympic Committee is not looking for a sports director but a social leader

In The Finnish Olympic Committee, founded in 1907, has had fifteen chairs. The sixteenth chairman of the history will be elected at the committee’s autumn meeting on Saturday in Vantaa.

An equal and perhaps surprising election is promised. None of the four candidates is an overwhelming favorite. There are a lot of free votes to share. 88 organizations will vote in the election of the chairman of the committee. Of these, 44 unions have two votes. Two-voice federations include Olympic sports and other sports federations with more than 15,000 members, such as the Floorball Federation.

Finnish members of the International Olympic Committee Sari Essayahilla and Emma Terho has one vote, as do the Olympic Committee athletes Mikko Ronkainen and With Antti Kempaks. The total distribution is 136 votes.

If no candidate receives more than 50 percent of the votes in the opening round of the election, a second round of the top two will be held.

Isot sports federations, such as the Finnish Football Association, the Basketball Association and the Floorball Association, support the mayor of Helsinki Jan Free Mountain (kok), but previous choices show that their voices alone do not decide.

Free Mountain with the committee has not taken its position as a moving and social debater for the whole people seriously enough.

However, many sports federations are wary of the personality of Vapaavuori. Does a strong influencer roll on others, and is he just playing his own future political game? This is denied by Vapaavuori, 55.

Vice-Chairman of the Olympic Committee and Management Consultant Susanna Rahkamo is a favorite of small sports federations, according to HS. Rahkamo, 55, has had a good feel for federations representing individual athletes since 2004, when he was elected chairman of the Figure Skating Association.

There has been little discussion of the true purpose of elite sports. Apparently an Olympic win or even a medal is already so rare that it is not even necessary.

During that time, the umbrella organization for Finnish sports has changed its name three times from SLU (1993–2012) through Valo (2013–2017) to the current Finnish Olympic Committee (2017–). Rahkamo is thus known in the corridors of sports federations, but his speeches are not always clarified. The “I have to figure it out” attitude is typical of Rahkamo.

Value sailor Sari Multala In the election, the (Coalition Party) may seek more of a Vice-Chairman than a Chairman. At the same time, he wants a boost in his career as a Coalition opposition politician.

As chairman, he would add ball into the maternity pack and would insist that national elections not be held without a debate on sport, which in itself is a welcome idea. In the election, Multalan, 42, support is likely to remain low.

Member of Parliament and multiple minister Ilkka Kanerva (kok) has sharpened its grip on the final stage of the election. Heather always plays her own game, but she can shuffle the pack. In Yle’s otherwise mild election exam, Kanerva was the best and clearest, although he did not have time to justify his position on the “sports card” of sports and exercise or on household deductibility.

The candidates have unanimously emphasized how important it is for Finns to move. There has been little discussion of the true purpose of elite sports. Apparently an Olympic win or even a medal is already so rare that it is not even necessary.

The Olympic Committee is not now looking for a sports director, but a social leader.

Interesting would have been to see how Mika Anttonen would have been successful in the election. The main owner of the energy company St1 withdrew from his candidacy after he was forcibly made an advocate of hockey.

The Hockey Federation alone sent a backing paper on his behalf, although the Wrestling Federation and the Ski Federation had expressed support for Anto. Chairman of the Football Association Ari Lahti took the opportunity and started calling the big sports federations that Anttonen is too hockey-focused.

In hindsight, Anttonen abandoned his candidacy abruptly. The Ski Association was still trying to talk about Antoo being elected a black horse.

Banker Timo Ritakallio became chairman of the Olympic Committee four years ago without any actual application. The unelected election left scars on the organizational field. The end result wasn’t very good, but the different thing is whether the successor will get any better.

At the request of its chairman, the committee’s board withdrew from its shell for four years. Its members did not take Antti Zitting except to carry just about anything. This left the average sports and sports enthusiast with a gray image of the Olympic Committee. Or in the words of Vapaavuori: let’s take a hard stand on grievances.

In the future, Ritakallio, President and CEO of the OP Bank Group, will pilot the Orienteering Federation, of which he has been chairman before. Many of the background influencers interviewed by HS hope that Ritakallio would take with him the CEO of the Olympic Committee and his protector Mikko Salonen. He was elected to the position, even though no one in sports circles knew him properly. The committee board blessed the election.

The chairman of the Olympic Committee remains a major influencer. However, practical work is still done in clubs and sports federations.

According to information received by HS from several sources, staff job satisfaction with Salonen’s management style has been weak from time to time – big and small things get mixed up.

Olympic Committee the chairman remains a major influencer. However, practical work is still done in clubs and sports federations.

It is always a question of money as well. Instead of the Ministry of Education and Culture, the Committee would like to decide for itself how the money for sport and exercise is distributed.

The presidential candidates defend the current organizational structure. Yet now would be an excellent time to reflect on the future of the Olympic Committee: is the current organization of combining the ideology of top sport and Exercise for All still so good?

As a result of the merger, the organization of the Olympic Committee has expanded to about 60 people and a budget of 10 million euros. Critics have pointed out that there are too many overlapping tasks with regional sports academies, for example.

And how sensible is it that the government changes almost completely? The principles of good governance also include continuity.

When the new government finds its place, it will take a long time. During that time, the role of the Olympic Committee office as a power holder will only grow.


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