Olympic Games Mika Kortelainen’s memory this time takes care of the winning championships for Leijon: “It’s in possession”

Mika Kortelainen is “our guys” for the players. The relaxed but hefty team leader has been to the championships three times. The balance is gold, silver and gold.


“I got this. As soon as we get to the booth, we start kicking, ”shouted the team leader Mika Kortelainenwhen the historic Olympic gold of the Lions was confirmed.

It was about champagne. When Kortelainen made his debut as a team leader in the spring of 2019, he forgot to take care of the bubbling. Harri Pesonen and Toni Rajala came to the beginning of the party to ask Kortelainen where the champagnes are.

“Goddamn it, champagnes … There is no champagne,” Kortelainen had replied.

The case of Bratislava was reported In the book Monster and the Miracle of Bratislava.

Because Kortelainen is Kortelainen, his fingers did not go into his mouth and the world champions were not left dry.

The team leader pressed the final to lose to the Canadian locker room and began rubbing shops. He eventually made a quick and good deal because the Canadians agreed to sell their useless quality drinks at an affordable price: a € 20 bottle.

In Beijing Kortelainen did not have to rub the shops with the Russians, but the drinks were ready.

No wonder, because ‘Kölli’ Kortelainen has a final guarantee as a team leader. The first World Championships brought gold, the others silver and now came the Olympic victory. A goalkeeper coach can also present a similar final series Kari Lehtonen.

The final guarantee makes Kortelainen turn his head.

“It simply came to our notice then. The most important thing is that everyone has fun, a good feeling and a relaxed atmosphere. ”

The answer is familiar from Kortelainen, but not just speech. The HIFK legend plays a big role in keeping the atmosphere good.

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“Our Dudes,” a veteran striker Leo Komarov praises.

“Kölli is a good person who can handle us. However, it is only a few hours a day. Everything else has to work so that the guys are happy. It’s nice to represent Finland here. ”

Similar definitions come from other players and members of the management team. Spokesman for the Lions Petteri Hietanen considers Kortelainen’s personality to be perfect for the position of team leader.

“When something unexpected happens, Köll’s most important character trait is that he doesn’t panic. It brings peace to others as well. ”

As a player, Mika Kortelainen did not get into the national team. The invitation to become a team leader felt like a mafia-style offer.

That is what the problem of drinking in Bratislava and its quick solution also spoke about.

“I’m kind of not taking thoughts terribly far. Things are always resolved one way or another, Kortelainen himself shapes

Solving the problems ahead is one of Kortelainen’s tasks – and strengths. There have been some surprises and problems in the Pekig project, thanks to Korona. The team leader admits that all the adjustment has made the working days longer than usual.

In Beijing, the Kortelainen character trait was especially needed as healthy thunderstorms began to be transported by ambulance to the isolation.

“Focus on what you do and what can be influenced. We can’t do anything for the Chinese state and its operating models, but there is always little stuff that can be done, ”Kortelainen thinks.

Kortelainen or anyone else on the Lions Management Team could not get Marko Anttilaa or Jussi Olkinuora out of isolation before the Chinese let them go. However, under Kortelainen’s leadership, the Finns immediately try to influence the conditions of those in isolation and, for example, the fact that there was more food available than cold spaghetti.

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Of course, Kortelainen himself belittles his role behind the success team. He only says he is available 24/7 and on the other hand is responsible for his part of the team atmosphere.

“But just about everyone on this team is responsible for the atmosphere.”

Lehtisen Jere and I am a beacon and trailer that we strive to ensure that both coaching, maintenance, the physiother, and the players can focus on what they are doing. Jere and I are looking at the big picture and finding out if there are any. ”

Kortelainen best known as the man of HIFK. Jersey number 22 is on the roof of Nordenskiöldinkatu ice rink. The job is also still at HIFK. He is in the company as a sales manager.

In his own playing career, the attacker was never able to carry a lion shirt. According to the wildest stories, he was once invited to the national team, but refused because he only wanted to play for HIFK.

Although the young Kortelainen started his league career with a loan agreement in Ace, he did not blink when the road opened in HIFK.

Kortelainen remained loyal to HIFK, even though he was the head coach at the time Raimo Summanen tried in the fall of 1997 to smoke the attacker out of the company. Hjallis Harkimo came from a neighbor immediately wasted. Harkimon is said to have offered double pay. Kortelainen did not even consider the offer.

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Loyalty is also an asset on the national team. He doesn’t play games and doesn’t talk bad behind his back. Kortelainen is described as an old covenant man in a good sense of the term.

And even though Kortelainen is a real dude of the stadium, the “peasants” of the Lions can’t help but like the cool but relaxed team leader who cultivates the changing room and situation humor and tells the stories of his own career.

“Köll’s stagnation only comes to the fore when he asks the management team which scratch (tie) and sprig (suit) to go into the game. Not everyone understood sprig, ”Hietanen laughs.

“But he doesn’t use slang in the locker room.”

Head coach Jukka Jalonen and GM Jere Lehtinen once asked Kortelainen to be the team leader.

Kortelainen thought that this was a mafia-style once in a lifetime offer. He also asked about another HIFK legend who had garnered praise for his role as team leader in the 1990s, Heikki from Riihiranta.

“Hexi just said yes you can do it. You know how things are handled, I’m not starting to advise, ”Kortelainen recalls.

It is Riihiranta that Kortelainen says he sees as a kind of role model.

“This thing is the closest thing to gaming. Going as a team, the feelings of victory and defeat are similar to those of a player. ”

“There has been more perspective when you have seen how committed and good guys there are in the management team, for example. At the same time, I have become more so that if there is success, I will feel happy for the people who are involved. ”

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