Lasse Viren (301) leads the pack in the 5000m at the 1976 Olympics (Getty Images) © Copyright
General News 25 March 2003 – Helsinki, Finland

Former Finnish stars increase their success in Parliamentary elections

Helsinki, FinlandThe Finnish parliamentary elections took place on the 15 and 16 March, and once more some of the country’s former top athletes, and two current national athletics officials, were elected to represent the people of Finland. 
The elected athletes are:
Lasse Viren (National Coalition Party). 5000m & 10 000m Olympic Champion in Munich 1972 and Montreal 1976.  Re-elected.

Arto Bryggare (Social Democratic Party). 1983 World silver and 1984 Olympic bronze medallist at 110m Hurdles.  Previously a member of Parliament between 1995-1999, but out of office since 1999.

Antti Kalliomäki (Social Democratic Party). Olympic Pole Vault silver medallist in Montreal 1976. Re-elected.

Sari Essayah (Christian Democratic Party) - women's World 10km Race Walk champion in Stuttgart 1993. IAAF Race Walking Committee member. Elected to Parliament for the first time.
The elected officials are:
Ilkka Kanerva
(National Coalition Party). Current President of Finnish Athletics and an EAA Council member.  Re-elected.

Jan Vapaavuori (National Coalition Party). Current Chief Executive of Track & Field Finland marketing company. Elected to Parliament for the first time.

Some Government success for Athletics too:

The Foreign Minister of Finland Mr. Erkki Tuomioja (Social Democratic Party) was re-elected to Finnish Parliament, too. Mr. Tuomioja is a Finnish U45 Masters Champion at the 3000 metres Steeplechase.

Finnish Federation