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Discussion: J. Salmenkylä

in: djsanton97; djsanton97 > 2020-09-08

Sep 11, 2020 1:28 AM # 
How common is your name in Finland?

I was poking around Peter Gagarin's website and noticed his entry about an M35 race in Hungary in 1983, a spectator event on the map of the 1983 WOC individual races (what would be called Long now, but back then there was only one individual race and and one relay race for each gender at WOC).

If you scroll down that page to the bottom, you'll see the results. Peter won, and 3rd place was "J. Salmenkylä (FIN)". To be in M35 in 1983, he would have been born in the mid 1940s.

So I Google'd for orienteers / suunnistayat named Salmenkylä, and of course your name popped up a few times, but so did a fellow named Juhani Salmenkylä (suomen kielellä). He actually would have been a bit old for M35 in 1983, he was born in 1932, so maybe it's a different person, or maybe he ran in the younger category because he was pretty fast for his day (on the silver medal relay team at the very first WOC).

I found another article that says Juhani and his brother Matti started the original iltarastit in 1977. (For any non-Finnish-speaking readers, "iltarastit" literally means "evening controls", and refers to low-key evening orienteering events that happen pretty much every summer day in the Helsinki area and quite a few in other parts of Finland too. If you put "iltarastit" into Google Translate, you'll get something like "evening checkers" which I think is Google's mangled way of trying to say "evening checkpoints".)

So, you don't by any chance have a grandfather or great uncle or older cousin named Juhani or Matti, do you?
Sep 11, 2020 7:30 AM # 
Juhani is my grandpa. Yes he is born in 1932 and he is the only one with that name. He has won 7 Jukolas and he has always been in great shape. So yes, it was him in the race in Hungary even if he was a bit older than the category he ran.

Juhani and his brother Matti didn't start the original low-key evening orienteering events, they were the ones to start it in Finland. But according to my grandpa, they were on a trip to Estonia(same trip we still make every year at the end of September) and they noticed that these samrt Estonians host this low-key event where the point is not to compete against others but to rather compete against oneself. In action this meant that it wasn't mandatory that your time was taken, you could just go out and enjoy. My grandpa even told me that it was the next week that they came back from the trip from Estonia that they put the event in action.

For the orienteers that haven't heard from Juhani Salmenkylä before, he is like THE man in orienteering. Anywhere I go racing or training around Europe, people come to me and ask if we are related and then they tell me stories of how he has affected their orienteering career. I have been thinking about writing a book from all of his stories before its too late, this might be the reminder for me to do it.
Sep 11, 2020 8:24 AM # 
Writing a book would be a great idea Anton and what a tribute it would be to his orienteering career. 7 jukola wins. One for each brother ;-)

When will the Salmenkylä win their 8th? With HS’ strong performances this year it must be within reach
Sep 11, 2020 8:38 AM # 
Next year, I sure hope to do it. We can easily be the best team on a good day.

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