The 1924 gold medalist of the marathon, Albin Stenroos, served as a stadium heater for a long time and lived there with his family. HS took Stenroos’ granddaughter Tuula Stenroos on a tour of the renovated Olympic Stadium – her old home and grandmother.
Childhood comes to mind when Tuula Stenroos gets acquainted with the renovated Helsinki Olympic Stadium.
Father of Stenroos, Olympic winner of the 1924 Paris Marathon Albin Stenroos worked for a long time as a heater for the Olympic Stadium and also lived at the Stadium.
“Pretty confusing,” Tuula Stenroos, 67, compares in August reopened Olympic Stadium in the 1950s he remembered.
Director of Marketing and Communications at the Olympic Stadium Marju Paju has invited Stenroos to a tour with HS.
“My interest in the Stadium is special. Many Finns have not lived in such a great cultural environment. This has always been a matter of great pride for me, ”Stenroos says before the tour.
The stadium was his home from 1953 to 1957. Tuula Stenroos’ parents lived at the Stadium from 1947 to 1957. Tuula’s parents also held their wedding party at the Stadium, from where they moved to North The Hague.
“The stadium was the right environment for the Olympic winner. The carbon cellar was his own kingdom. ”
Albin Stenroos moved to the Stadium the very same year that Yrjö Lindegren and Hope Jäntin The funky building designed by the public was opened in 1938. Before the Stadium, Albin worked for eight years as a heater in the house of Hotel Kluuvi, so his professionalism was appreciated.
“The stadium was the right environment for the Olympic winner. The carbon cellar was his own kingdom, ”says Tuula Stenroos.
When the heating switched to district heating, Albin Stenroos ’work also stopped. He retired and moved to Maunula in the early 1960s.
Albin Stenroos ‘first wife and Tuula Stenroos’ grandmother died in 1949. Tuula Stenroos never had time to see her. Albin Stenroos remarried in 1954.
“As a child, I couldn’t understand the special value of the place. Stadikka was just an ordinary grandmother, albeit without a grandmother. In our family, we have always talked about mom, not grandma, ”says Tuula Stenroos.
“There will be a warm blast as it passes by.”
Stadium as a caretaker, Stenroos was tasked with heating six large coal furnaces. After coal, oil was used as fuel.
“He makes sure every day that our sports sanctuary doesn’t get snarled in the grip of the frost and that all the offices and halls of the stadium are warm to those who work in them,” says an old press story found in Tuula Stenroos ’scrapbook.
In the story, the former big runner is described as cheerful and relaxed, but one thing deeply annoyed him. His most valuable item, the 2024 Olympic Gold Medal in Paris, was lost.
In the story, Albin thinks “it went past the roar of war, and nothing has been heard of it since”. During the war, Albin Stenroos participated in the bombing of the Olympic Stadium.
However, some memory of the Paris Golden Run remained. In addition to the medal, the Olympic winners received a vase, which is now in Tuula.
“Mom said yes the vase was in Dad’s armpit when it came home from Paris. My mother told me to take care of the vase, ”says Tuula Stenroos.
“That’s when everyone wanted to come to our village just then.”
From the stadium he has fond memories left. The zoo’s races were followed from the Olympic Stadium’s auditorium, which was well visible to the driveways. Eltsu’s rides were great folk fun in the 1950s.
“It was then that everyone wanted to come to our village. We rocked in the upper auditorium with a plateau, ”says Tuula Stenroos.
The stadium also had the Säilä Ballet School, where Tuula’s sister attended classes.
“Paula then taught me and showed the movements to Dad.”
Albin often offered his son’s daughters a Pommacia Stadium cafe that was in the same location as the current one.
“The journey felt long when many doors were opened. It felt festive when I didn’t have to go to the cafe from the outside. ”
In addition to heating, Albin Stenroos also took care of the janitor’s job.
“Your time will come.”
To Helsinki Albin Stenroos moved in with his family at the age of seven from Vehmaa, where his memorial stone is. He ended his active racing career at the age of 39 after running for as much as 25 years before that. The company was HKV, Helsinki Kisa-Veikot.
Tuula Stenroos’ scrapbook contains information that Albin started training as a runner at the age of 16. He practiced with his friends in Kaisaniemi Park, but only after dark, as the boys did not want bystanders to witness their “funny running exercises”.
According to Tuula Stenroos, the priest talked a lot Hannes from Kolehmainen, who was born in the same year as Albin (1889). Kolehmainen won three Olympic golds in the endurance race in Stockholm in 1912 and a marathon in the 1920 Olympics in Antwerp.
Stenroos also had medals already in Stockholm, where he was silver in the cross-country team competition and bronze in the 10,000 meters. In 1920, he skipped and decided to run a marathon in Paris in 1924, even though he had not run it for 15 years.
He won the marathon by far. Silver Medalist of Italy Romea Bertini lost for almost six minutes.
“Marathon running is not human cruelty if you have trained for it. Never hos in the early stages of a run. Let your rival comrades run ‘into the yard of their lungs’. Your time will come. Even if you are a few hundred meters behind the tip, ”Stenroos said of his winning run.
Albin Stenroos died at the age of 82 in April 1971.
“Bruce Springsteen also came to the gig with a guitar from this former front door of ours.”
Caretaker the apartment was located at the back of the Tower yard at the bottom of the current Sports Museum. The apartment was at some point converted into a changing room. Today, there is a large meeting room in the same location, and locker rooms are elsewhere.
When world stars performed at the Olympic Stadium, their locker room was thus Stenroos’ former two-room and kitchen apartment. Players and other athletes also used the same locker rooms.
“Bruce Springsteen, too came to the gig with a guitar from our former front door, ”Stenroos shows an old but redesigned route.
Albin lived in another room before remarriage and son Ragnar with his family for a few years in another room.
Because of the need for cold storage, Albin Stenroos had imaginatively built a locked cage closet in one corner of the apartment. It was located in the hallway through which the players entered the field.
“Pappa had probably invented it as a cold cellar himself. According to my memory, the corridor was a bit wider than now, and the players did not run into the closet, ”laughs Tuula Stenroos.
The tunnel is still in use, although the routes for athletes and performers have been changed. “Papa’s closet would no longer fit in this current hallway.”
The player tunnel no longer smells like a potato cellar, but fresh and new. The stairs are also covered with the same coating as the treadmill, mondo.
What feelings has the renovation of the stadium evoked in you?
“There will be a warm blast as it passes. I watched with interest the changes that you have ruined everything. ”
“The frame looks great and the doors are similar to those of the 1950s. The stadium is great. No wonder the construction took time, ”says Tuula Stenroos of the nearly five-year contract.