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Olavi Ojanperä

Full name: Arvo Kalle Olavi Ojanperä
Nickname(s): Jampero
Gender: Male
Height: 6-0 (184 cm)
Weight: 157 lbs (71 kg)
Born: October 27, 1921 in Tyrvää, Sastamala, Pirkanmaa, Finland
Died: May 8, 2016 in Helsinki, Uusimaa, Finland
Country: FIN Finland
Sport: Canoeing

Medals: 1 Bronze (1 Total)

Biography

A son of farmers, Olavi Ojanperä did cross-country skiing and played pesäpallo (the Finnish version of baseball) as a youth and did not take up kayaking until 1948, after graduating from the University of Helsinki with a forestry degree and getting married. He was introduced to kayaking by his brother-in-law Olavi Puro, who was a well-known kayaker in Finland. Along with his brother-in-law, Ojanperä competed at the 1950 World Championships, where he failed to medal. In 1951 Ojanperä switched to Canadian canoes, which was an unusual discipline in Finland at the time. His biggest achievement came at the 1952 Olympics, when he won a surprising bronze medal in the C-1 1,000 m in front of a home crowd.

After the Olympics, Ojanperä won the C-1 1,000 m title, adding C-1 10K and relay silvers at the 1953 Nordic Championships. He competed with little success at the 1954 World Championships, but then retired from sports due to work constraints. In 1960, he made a comeback to compete at the 1960 Olympics, but was eliminated in the heats of the C-1 1,000 m. Domestically he won four Finnish titles – in the C-1 1,000 m and C-1 10K in 1951 and 1960. Outside of sports, Ojanperä worked with the Finnish wood processing company Helsingin Kyllästyslaitos Oy, which is now part of Versowood Group, and served as their CEO from 1977 until his retirement. He was also the chairman of Marjaniemen Melojat canoe club.

Results

Games Age City Sport Event Team NOC Rank Medal
1952 Summer 30 Helsinki Canoeing Men's Canadian Singles, 1,000 metres Finland FIN 3 Bronze
1960 Summer 38 Roma Canoeing Men's Canadian Singles, 1,000 metres Finland FIN 4 h1 r3/4

Men's Canadian Singles, 1,000 metres

Games Age City Sport Country Phase Unit Rank T
1952 Summer 30 Helsinki Canoeing Finland Final Round 3 5:08.5
1952 Summer 30 Helsinki Canoeing Finland Round One Heat Two 2 Q 5:09.8
1960 Summer 38 Roma Canoeing Finland Semi-Finals Heat One 4 5:06.74
1960 Summer 38 Roma Canoeing Finland Repêchage Heat One 3 Q 5:00.92
1960 Summer 38 Roma Canoeing Finland Round One Heat One 4 4:54.37
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