Kalevi Häkkinen, Finnish Speed Skiing legend and former Chairman of the FIS Speed Skiing Committee passed away last week at the age of 89.
A dedicated skier, Häkkinen represented his nation in Alpine Skiing at the 1956 Olympic Winter Games in Cortina d’Ampezzo (ITA) where he placed 11th in the alpine combined event. In 1992, he took part in the Albertville (FRA) Olympics in the Speed Skiing demonstration event.
Häkkinen discovered his passion for Speed Skiing in the 1960’s and was an early supporter of the sport. He broke a number of records and helped devise the tight fitting racing suits and special helmets which racers now use. Häkkinen was also a mentor and coach to many athletes.
On the FIS level, Häkkinen served as Chairman of the Speed Skiing Committee for many years after which he was appointed Honorary Member. He was a thriving force behind the discipline, making a considerable impact on the worldwide development of the sport.
In 2012, he was awarded the prestigious Elämänura Award in Finland for his lifetime achievements.
FIS would like to express its sincere condolences to the family and friends of Kalevi Häkkinen whose inspiration and contributions will be long remembered.