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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Sport is considered a national pastime in Finland and many Finns visit different sporting events regularly. Pesäpallo is the national sport of Finland, although the most popular forms of sport in terms of television viewers and media coverage are ice-hockey and Formula One.

The most popular recreational sports and activities include floorball, nordic walking, running and skiing.


Popular sports in Finland



Athletics has historically been an important part of both Finnish sports history and national identity. Hannes Kolehmainen has been said to "run Finland onto the world map" at the 1912 Summer Olympics, and from the 1920 Summer Olympics to World War II Finland was the second most successful country in athletics, as only the United States managed to collect more Olympic medals. Javelin throw is the only event in which Finland has enjoyed success all the way from the 1900s to this day. Thus, it is currently the most popular athletics event in Finland.



Motorsport became popular in Finland in the 1950s with the birth of rallying competitions. In the 1960s Finnish rally drivers started to dominate international events and have held the post since, making Finland the most successful nation in the World Rally Championship. Finland's WRC event, Neste Oil Rally Finland, gathers 500,000 spectators every year.

Currently the most popular form of motorsport is Formula One. F1 was popularized in Finland in the 1980s by Keke Rosberg, the first Finnish champion in the sport, and reached its peak when Mika Häkkinen won the championship twice in the late 1990s. With both current Finnish drivers, Kimi Räikkönen and Heikki Kovalainen, in top teams for the 2008 season, the television broadcasts of F1 races are expected to be watched by 25% of the population in Finland.

Other forms of motorsport popular in Finland include Grand Prix motorcycle racing, which reached its peak in the early 1970s before the death of Jarno Saarinen and enduro, in which the 7- and 11-time World Enduro Champions Kari Tiainen and Juha Salminen have ensured media coverage in their home country.

See also

External links


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