Olympic Games A confusing fact describes Iivo and Kerttu Niskanen’s housekeeper – “We go upstream”

Vieremä, the birthplace of Iivo and Kerttu Niskanen, produces milk and forest machines. HS also visited the old village school of ski brothers, where Iivo taught skiing to other students at the age of ten.


Be King. An intentional or unintentional typo from the Olympic city of Beijing aptly describes what Iivo Niskasesta think of Vieremä.

Be king, be king. After all, such a three-time Olympic winner is in his hometown.

“Iivo is a very respected person here. A great person and a tough athlete in the same package, as well Kerttu. Such athletes are born every hundred years, ”says the mayor of Vieremä Mika Suomalainen About the ski artists of the Niskanen ski family.

Landslide is a municipality with 3,500 inhabitants in the neighborhood of Iisalmi in Ylä-Savo. The nearest largest city is Kuopio, which is a hundred kilometers away.

Kuopio is also the current domicile of Iivo Niskanen, while Kerttu Niskanen lives in Vuokatti. Both are often visited by their parents Eeron and Tarja Niskasen at Vieremä.

Other children in the family Katri Niskanen is a well – known fashion designer and Iita Niskanen baker.

Mayor The Finn has promised to become a hometown guide in Vieremä. The soberness of the village is quiet. To strive.

“Such a sparsely populated area is seen elsewhere as a resource area, but it is worth visiting,” says Suomalainen, emphasizing Vieremä’s vitality and high employment rate.

Vieremä is the keeper of milk and forest machines. It produces 37 million liters of milk a year. Ponsse, a manufacturer of forest machines, employs 600 people in the area.

“Let’s make milk come,” the mayor quotes an old slogan.

“There may come some sort of statue.”

Vieremä’s large information board is dedicated to Kertu and Iivo during the Olympics.

To the center There is a large light board next to the turning road, where Iivo or Kerttu Niskanen’s smiling face shines in turn. Congratulations Kerttu! Congratulations Iivo!

At the roundabout of the city center, at the intersection of the Municipal Office and the Cooperative Bank, there is Eva Ryynänen designed by Statue of Mati and Lisa. Matti and Liisa were Juhani Ahon a novel written by Railway protagonists.

If the mayor could decide, Matti and Liisa would be by their side Iivo and Kertu. Vieremä has already talked about the statue project.

The municipality has a so-called participating budget at its disposal, in which 30,000 euros have been set aside. Municipalities decide where the money will be spent.

“If someone shows up, there may be some kind of statue,” says Suomalainen as we walk past the intersection.

Beijing for the gold and medal celebrations, the skier statue will not be completed if it is ever ending. Some prizes for Iivo and Kertu are promised at the folk festival in Einar Park on Tuesday.

The arrangements for the folk festival are the largest owner of Ponsse Juha Vidgrénin in the fingers – or so far away.

“Let’s see what Juha comes up with. The last time Iivo was brought to the stage from behind an illuminated hill, ”says Suomalainen, and shows a small hilltop in Einar Park at the other end.

Founder of Ponsse Einari Vidgrénin (1943–2010), the park is still under a thick snow cover. By Tuesday, the park will be flattened as up to two thousand people are expected to attend.

“Here the message goes suddenly and the communality is high. The snow tractors were immediately ready to hit the park when Iivo won gold, ”says Suomalainen.

“It gave us the belief that one should not give up one’s dreams.”

About the actual The remuneration will be decided by the Vieremä Municipal Government, which will meet on Monday, suitably before the public holiday.

“Rewarding is no secret when it hasn’t even been decided yet, but somehow needs to be taken into account. Iivo’s Olympic victory is a matter that empowers the entire municipality. It gave us faith that one should not give up one’s dreams, ”Suomalainen ponders.

From his previous two gold medals – a win in the pair sprint in 2014 and 50 kilometers of traditional Olympic gold in 2018 – Iivo has received forest and money from the municipality.

“Money is safe in the forest. Iivo is starting to have a handsome pine there, ”says Suomalainen.

Kerttu Niskanen still represents Vieremän Koitto, while Iivo competes in the ranks of Puijo Ski Club in Finland. Iivo has had a cooperation agreement with Kuopio, and Kerttu receives a grant of 10,000 euros from the municipality of Vieremä.

In In 2018, it was also decided to build the Iivo Arena. The sports area, which will be used by all residents, was completed in 2020.

The modern and spectacular arena includes a running track, an artificial turf, an ice rink and a skating rink.

In winter, the arena has good ski trails, where Finns train nine ski girls aged 10–15.

“I don’t know if it’s because of Kertu’s example that everyone they train is girls. At least there is no need to look for role models here. Enthusiasm has been high in the exercises, ”says Suomalainen.

At the same time, the director of education of the municipality gets up from the yard of the Central School Eevariitta Mustonen. He was a teacher at Iivo and Kertu in primary school at the Southern School.

The two-story school was built in the late 1950s, but is still in use. Unlike many other small towns in Vieremä, there has been a desire to maintain small village schools.

“We’re going upstream,” says Suomalainen as we curl up in the yard of the Southern School.

The students of the southern school have drawn pictures of Kerttu Niskanen during the art class.

About school is a couple of three miles to Niskaste’s home. Iivo and Kerttu skied across the field to the school, with terrain Eero Niskanen made an additional track of about 800 meters.

Iivo toured that trail from one break to the next. Iivo and Kerttu came to school skiing whenever there was snow, and there has been a lot of it in Vieremä.

“In winter, skiing was always in between. There may have been more skiing in the program than in the curriculum, ”says Mustonen and laughs.

There was a hard ski boom at the school during Iivo. There, among the 30 students, up to eight skiers were found in the provincial message of the schoolchildren.

“As a ten-year-old, Iivo taught others in this yard the ski techniques Wassbergs, Mogrens and whatever,” says Mustonen.

Provincial messages did not yet distinguish between small and large schools in the early 2000s, as they did later.

“Vieremä did just fine, even though she didn’t win. Other schoolchildren were involved as an exclamation point. The students were really looking forward to it, ”says Mustonen.

There were also ski competitions in my own school every winter during Iivo and Kertu.

“Iivo and Kerttu always won. There were medal coffees after the Games. ”

“It could be a picture of Iivo.”

Vieremä’s mayor Mika Suomalainen is sitting behind the drums in the same place where Iivo Niskanen’s desk was. Eevariitta Mustonen, the municipality’s education director, taught Iivo and Kertu at the Southern Village School.

School in the upstairs classes you can still find the place of Iivo’s desk. It now has drums.

Next to the drums on the right wall is a portrait of the school’s long-time teacher and village influencer Sulo from Penttilä.

“It could be a picture of Iivo,” Mustonen says.

The long side table of the class has drawings still in progress in a neat row. The task of the visual arts class has been to draw a picture of “Kepa” or Kerttu Niskanen.

According to Mustonen, Kerttu still goes to school in the morning when she stops by her parents in Vieremä. Iivo has not been seen at school, but there would be a need.

“Terrible, like talking about a great man who’s already gone.”

School after the Sochi Olympics, large Olympic rings with the initials of Iivo or Kertu were made on the wall of the outbuilding in 2014.

It was. Iivo’s initials have dissolved into invisible things in eight years.

“I have to tell Iivo that he’s going to withdraw his name again,” says Mustonen.

Behind the building is a playhouse where Iivo had built a children’s stove at school.

“It’s awful, like talking about a great man who’s already gone,” Mustonen says, swearing it shouldn’t be “put in the magazine.” Well, play as a game.

And what kind of student was Iivo at school? Were he interested in things other than skiing and sports?

“Iivo was good at everything. Iivo was mathematically gifted. I am sure it has been helpful for him in skiing. ”

The school day is already over, and it is time for the mayor of Finland to go to work.

“It couldn’t be better when the municipality has such sports ambassadors,” he still exclaims.

The outbuilding of the Southern Village School received Olympic tires in 2014. Eevariitta Mustonen, Executive Director of Education, inspecting the condition of the tires.

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Read more: The shy teenage boy was a solid skier, but still won it all – The coach tells how Iivo Niskanen, who came to his sister’s training half-time, revealed an “exceptional individual”

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