Timo Ritakallio new President of the Finnish Olympic Committee

Posted on | November 30, 2016 | Category: News

Photo: The Finnish Orienteering Federation

Timo Ritakallio has been elected new President of the Finnish Olympic Committee for the next four years. He has a vision of Finland hosting the Winter Olympics with SkiO on the programme.

The now former President of the Finnish Orienteering Federation, Timo Ritakallio, has been elected new President of the Finnish Olympic Committee for the next four years. In his new position, Timo Ritakallio will be responsible for all sports in Finland, but he will still have orienteering in mind:

– As the President of the Finnish Olympic Committee, I am responsible for all sport activities in Finland, and I see orienteering as a good example of long-life sports activity, he says.

Timo Ritakallio was a member of the IOF Council in the period 2008-2014 and in November 2015, he became President of the Finnish Orienteering Federation. His new position means his retirement from the Presidency of the Finnish Orienteering Federation and his successor is found to be Tuija Soanjärvi.

In an interview to the Finnish newspaper Turun Sanomat from 21 November, Timo Ritakallio mentioned a vision about Finland organizing the Winter Olympics and in that case with the possibility of having ski orienteering as a part of the games. It was well received on the SkiO community’s Facebook page but Timo Ritakallio calls for composure:

– During the last week, there have been a lot of discussion about my suggestion in the Finnish media and for example the Prime Minister of Finland and the Minister of Education and Culture have publicly supported the idea. I would like to emphasize that this was only a start for the national debate of the item, and there are a huge amount of open questions without answers before a start of the process of applying to organize the Winter Olympics. It is too early to say what will be the result of this national debate, Timo Ritakallio says.

However, if it does happen that Finland will host the Winter Olympics, SkiO might be among the sports:

– If, someday, Finland were to organize the Winter Olympics, it would be possible to have SkiO included as well, Timo Ritakallio says

The next Winter Olympics without a host is in 2026. Timo Ritakallio points out that Finland would struggle to organise the Olympics on their own, so if his vision is to come true, it would require that the IOC opens the possibility of two host nations at the same time.

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