FIN flag 2001 Rovaniemi FIN

90 & 64 Hills
K-90, K-64 and massive judges stand

The Old Boys of the ski jumping world gathered in late March 2001 in Rovaniemi, FIN for competition and for fellowship in the twelfth annual International Masters Championship. This was the second visit to Finland for IMC and the second successive year that the event was held at the Arctic Circle. The ski center is is located across the river in Ounasvaara (see Ounasvaaran Hiihtoseura Ski Club page) where skiers jumped on four hills (K-24, 36, 64 and 90 meters) and contested the cross country races for Nordic Combined on trails starting in the cross country stadium right at the base of the jumps.

The IMC family welcomed another new nation as a team of four skiers, clad in bright yellow jackets travelled to Rovaniemi from Harrachov in the Czech Republic.

The IMC events shared the weekend with Finland's National Championships in Nordic Combined and Club-Team Jumping so hosts scheduled IMC competitions on Thursday, Friday and early Saturday, March 22-24. With large start lists, the 36 and 64 meter competitions were each split into two sessions. Each day, the first event started at eight o'clock in the morning and later sessions followed, with brief breaks, running late into the afternoon.

Blue skies and mid-winter weather prevailed all week with morning temparatures near zero (F) and daily highs only in the teens to the low twenties. Steady breezes put a bite into the cold and on Friday it built into winds strong enough to force changes to the competition schedule. At the Ounasvaara Nordic Complex across the river from the city of Rovaniemi, skiers found hills which were well designed, well constructed and well prepared, and many participants made up for previous shortage of training by taking numerous practice jumps.

Competition started with a bang at eight o'clock Thursday morning as forty nine athletes from eight nations competed in six age groups on the 90 meter hill. This scheduling seemed strange but was due to the elite Finnish Championships scheduled for Saturday. In the long run, it was lucky because the big-hill event had none of the strong winds which plagued later events. Older jumpers were handicapped by an unfortunate IMC policy decision obliging all skiers over 55 to compete in a single class.

Thursday afternoon was occupied with two sessions on the 36 meter hill, first 39 competitors aged 30-49 beginning their competition at noon and then 56 Old Boys over fifty years old having their chance, starting at 4:00 pm.

Friday morning, eighty one Old Boys aged 30-49 started their 64 meter competition in a head-wind that got stronger and stronger as the morning wore on. Mid-way through the final round of jumping, the competition jury ruled, in the interest of safety, to stop the jumping, leaving the championships for classes III and IV (40-44 and 45-49) to be decided on just one competitive jump. The jury also decided to postpone the start for the older classes from 1:30 to 6:00 pm in the hopes that the wind would abate. The winds did not cooperate, and at supper time, that competition was again postponed to 8:00 Saturday morning. The fallout of this change was varied:

  • First, a special short competition was held immediately on the 36 meter jump where the skiers in Classes III & IV would score their Nordic Combined points
  • Second, the Saturday 64 meter championships would consist of a trial ride and one competitive jump.
  • Third, the team competition previously scheduled for Saturday morning was cancelled.
In the midst of all this, the Grand Masters (jumpers over 65 years old) had their own special competition Friday at 5:00 pm on the K-24. Medals were presented after each event.

Cross country races ran as scheduled on Saturday afternoon. The Grand Masters (60+) used points earned on the 36 meter hill and raced 3 km, skiers in their forties or fifties earned their points on the 36 and raced 5 km, while those under 40 jumped the 64 and raced 10 km.

Snow conditions were good throughout the Championships, the cold made the wintery snow squeak underfoot. The hill crew formed a new track on the 90 meter hill Wednesday afternoon for the Thursday morning competition, and the 64 meter jump had a good ice track which tolerated thousands of jumps during training and competition.

The cross country races followed various out-and-back trails, depending on the distance, involving a flat area near the cross country stadium punctuated by two bridge crossings and then offering hills at both ends. The temperatures climbed a bit, putting a little speed the track.

Wednesday evening saw a short but pleasant opening ceremony in the Cross Country Stadium with a troupe of young dancers interpreting a traditional story. Unfortunately this ceremony conflicted directly with a program downtown honoring local hero Pirjo Manninen who had won three gold medals at the World Junior Nordic Championships and then copped a gold in the women's sprint event at the World Championships in Lahti. Needless to say, the IMC opening ceremony did not compete well for the attention of the citizens of Rovaniemi.

Lodging for visiting teams was spread over the area, some skiers stayed at the Sky Hotel above the jumps, others in tourist cabins down near the outrun, and many crossed the famous Jätkänkynttilä (Lumberjack's Candle) Bridge to stay in hotels across the river in the city of Rovaniemi. On Saturday evening, all gathered at the luxurious Hotel Pohjanhovi, right on the riverbank, for a banquet of reindeer meat and Event Logo trimmings. The banquet room was just one af several halls and night-spots in this large hotel and gave a spectacular view of the illuminated Jätkänkynttilä bridge, a symbol of post-war Rovaniemi. With the food came the usual speeches and presentations, and finally dancing. Everyone got a chance to meet the hard-working members of the organizing committee, including the lady who designed the IMC-2001 logo depicting a Master ski jumper as an old buzzard.

Over the prior eleven IMC's it has been common for the top skiers to visit the podium in two or more events, but IMC 2001 produced double gold medalists in every age group. We had double gold medal performances in the 64 and 90 meter competitions by Pasi Huttunen (Fin 30-34), Oivind Villesvik (NOR 35-39), Ari Raitoharju (FIN 40-44) and Bjorn Knutsen (NOR 50-54), while double golds on the 36 and 64 went to Willy Johansen (NOR 65-69), Aarne Kuisma (FIN 60-64), Rolf Markussen (NOR 55-59) and Arsi Sjögren (FIN 45-49). (A full listing of medalists appears below.)

The Saturday morning team competition sized up as another dog-fight between Norway and Finland, with the nod going to the home team because Norway was missing stars Roger Ruud, Ronald Jensen and Guttorm Bakke. Then the winds blew and the rescheduling cascade pushed the team event off the program entirely. However, if we interpret the rules (one jumper each in classes I-VI, one competitive jump) and pick top performers from the first round in the 64 meter finish list, we find that home cooking is not enough, Team Norway edges Team Finland by about thirty five points!

When the IMC was over, 161 skiers from 8 nations had made 324 starts in 5 events.

Norway and Finland had the largest teams and the home team took by far the most medals.

The smaller table at right gives team sizes and the number of medals won by each of the six teams. The larger table (far right) shows the size of each age group in each event.


NAT  Team  Nbr      Cl   24  36  64  90  NC  Tot

     size  mdl      ----------------------------

---------------     10    3   2           2    7

NOR   57    38       9    2   2           2    6

FIN   51    46       8    3   4   3       3   13

RUS   21     5       7    -  11   6   3   5   25

SWE   16    10       6    -  14  10   2   8   34

GER    7     3       5    -  23  19   5   7   54

USA    3     3       4    -  14  24  10  10   58

CZE    3     2       3    -  11  24   8   5   48

EST    3     1       2    -   9  15   6   5   35

---------------      1    -   5  18  15   6   44

     161   108       ---------------------------

                    Tot:  8  95 119  49  53  324


Complete IMC results for all five competitions are posted:
Host Club Logo

In 2009 we posted podium pictures for [ Nordic Combined ] and for half of [ K-64 Jumping ].

Here are the medalists from IMC 2001 in Rovaniemi, Finland:
[This listing is wide, use your horizontal slider (if necessary) to view all five columns.]

                24 meter (K)                36 meter (K)               64 meter (K)             90 meter (K)               Nordic Combined

Cl.10   1.  Olav Malin          NOR     Olav Malin          NOR                                                         Olav Malin          NOR 

75-79   2.  Johs Johnsen        NOR     Johs Johnsen        NOR                                                         Johs N. Johansen    NOR

        3.  Leif Pederson       SWE

Cl. 9   1.  Nils Eriksen        NOR     NILS K. ERIKSEN     NOR                                                         Martti A. Korhonen  FIN

70-74   2.  Martti Korhonen     FIN     MARTTI A. KORHONEN  FIN                                                         Nils Eriksen        NOR

Cl. 8   1.  Tuevo Koljonen      FIN     WILLY JOHANSEN      NOR     WILLY JOHANSEN     NOR                              Aarne Lintulahti    FIN

65-69   2.  Janken Hallstrom    SWE     KURT BRAUSSE        GER     KURT BRAUSSE       GER                              Willy Johansen      NOR

        3.  Aarne Lintulahti    FIN     TEUVO KOLJONEN      FIN     AARNE LINTULAHTI   FIN                              Teuvo Koljonen      FIN

Cl. 7   1.                              AARNE KUISMA        FIN     AARNE KUISMA       FIN     INGVART TÖRNÄNGEN  SWE   Ingvart Törnängen   SWE

60-64   2.                              SVEIN HUSBY         NOR     INGVART TÖRNÄNGEN  SWE     MARTTI LAMMINPÄÄ   FIN   Felix Airopetrov    RUS

        3.                              KURT ELIMÄÄ         SWE     MARTTI LAMMINPÄÄ   FIN     DON WEST           USA   Kåre Holmen         NOR

Cl. 6   1.                              ROLF MARKUSSEN      NOR     ROLF MARKUSSEN     NOR     ANTTI KOKKONEN     FIN   Åke Saloniemi       SWE

55-59   2.                              SIGMUND STENBERG    NOR     AATTO LAMMINPÄÄ    FIN     AATTO LAMMINPÄÄ    FIN   Reidar Finnanger    NOR

        3.                              ÅKE SALONIEMI       SWE     ANTTI KOKKONEN     FIN                              Aatto Lamminpää     FIN

Cl. 5   1.                              KÅRE JOHNSEN        NOR     BJÖRN KNUTSEN      NOR     BJÖRN KNUTSEN      NOR   Pekka Tainio        FIN

50-54   2.                              PEKKA TAINIO        FIN     KÅRE JOHNSEN       NOR     JAN HEIBERG        NOR   Jan Skevik          NOR

        3.                              TAISTO TOLVANEN     FIN     TROND-RUNE ÅSVATNE NOR     KLAUS GÜNTHER      GER   Kåre Johnsen        NOR

Cl. 4   1.                              ARSI SJÖGREN        FIN     ARSI SJÖGREN       FIN     PENTTI RAUTIAINEN  FIN   Arsi Sjögren        FIN

45-49   2.                              PEKKA KORHONEN      FIN     PENTTI RAUTIAINEN  FIN     ARNE JÖRGENSEN     NOR   Ilkka Tuomikoski    FIN

        3.                              HANNU KOHTALA       FIN     ROY STRENGELSRUD   NOR     ROY STRENGELSRUD   NOR   Paulov Arkadiy      RUS

Cl. 3   1.                              MIKKO AHVENJÄRVI    FIN     ARI RAITOHARJU     FIN     ARI RAITOHARJU     FIN   Leonid Vologjavine  RUS

40-44   2.                              ARI JOUTJÄRVI       FIN     VEIJO STRANDEN     FIN     VEIJO STRANDEN     FIN   Kari Pesonen        FIN

        3.                              PEKKA PASANEN       FIN     PER OLE VIK        NOR     STEIN ARNE HOEL    NOR   Stein Arne Hoel     NOR

Cl. 2   1.                              PASI KÄHKÖLÄ        FIN     ÖIVIND VILLESVIK   NOR     ÖIVIND VILLESVIK   NOR   GeirRune Lislegaard NOR

35-39   2.                              KALEVI KANTOLA      FIN     SCOTT SMITH        USA     SCOTT SMITH        USA   Jan Svoboda         CZE

        3.                              JAN SVOBODA         CZE     KIMMO KYLMÄAHO     FIN     JANNE HEINONEN     FIN   Vladimir Saichik    RUS

Cl. 1   1.                              PIETRO NILSSON      SWE     PASI HUTTUNEN      FIN     PASI HUTTUNEN      FIN   Stefan Grannas      FIN

30-34   2.                              RAIN PÄRN           EST     LARS ÖIVIND MOEN   NOR     LARS ÖIVIND MOEN   NOR   Ole Leiråmo         NOR

        3.                              DICK WALLDIN        SWE     SEPPO KINNUNEN     FIN     SEPPO KINNUNEN     FIN   Alexander PostanogovRUS

That's all for IMC 2001, now on to the Czech Republic for IMC 2002 ...

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