It will take more than a 30 minute podcast to get me into peak fitness, but this week I get a guided tour of the Olympic Training Centre in Kuortane.
Guest: Olli-Pekka Karjalainen, European Gold medal winner
Download an MP3 file of Finland’s Olympic Training Centre in Kuortane
Facilities + Know-how + Experience = Kuortane Olympic Training Centre
The middle of February may not seem like the ideal time to visit an Olympic Training Centre to check out the facilities, but the opportunity arose to visit Olli-Pekka at the Kuortane OTC, so I headed over there to see what it was what it was all about.
The Olympic Training Centre is a facility for professional athletes and is managed and staffed by professional athletes, including elite competitors who have you won medals at the highest level over the years. Olli-Pekka himself is an Olympic competitor and a European Gold medal winner in Hammer throwing. He won gold in 2006 but only received the medal in 2014 after another athlete was found guilty of doping – you can see O-P’s stats here
On this episode, you’ll also hear me and Olli-Pekka talking about the heritage of javelin throwing from the Etelä-Pohjanmaa area
During our tour of the facilities, Olli-Pekka took me to the indoor sports hall where we saw a Finnish National youth volleyball team training, at one end, and some young field athletes practising their throwing, at the other end. Olli-Pekka explains how he’d spent a large percentage of his time here in the past 15 years, or so, as a professional athlete.
We then walk around some of the other buildings. First we visit the Volleyball Hall which is renowned as
a high-quality, facility and has international volleyball teams coming here to train. We also went to the swimming pool, which is more for recuperation/recovery after a heavy training session. On our way to the outdoor athletics stadium, we also see the gymnastics facility – you’ll hear us talk about an upcoming Gymnastics camp, the link is here.
Unsurprisingly, the athletics arena is covered in snow, Olli-Pekka explains how work will soon be carried out to widen the running track and provide a better surface for athletes to train on. Next stop is the accommodation, Olli-Pekka explains that these range from dormitories up to premium facilities for elite, international sports stars. When you listen you’ll hear O-P ‘name-drop’ at least once!
You will hear Olli-Pekka explain that he now works at the OTC and is looking to encourage professional teams form overseas to use the facilities at Kuortane OTC. If you’re reading this and are interested, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
- Olympic Training Centre http://kuortane.com/en/Gymnastics
- Gymnastics Training Camp http://kuortane.com/en/olympic_training_center/international_gymnastics_training_camp/