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A deep crisis awaits if Jan Vapaavuori coagulates as a flatterer of provincial ice and a player in the presidential game – Sports

It is difficult to understand why even meritorious businessmen throw a business hat into a cloak in sports and pull the sports beanie to their ears, writes Marko Lempinen.

Coalition politician Jan Vapaavuori The election as chairman of the Olympic Committee arouses conflicting feelings on the Finnish sports field. Others believe in change, many fear a recession.

The atmosphere is the result of Vapaavuori’s perceived conflicting personality. All this is clear from the extensive portrait of Vapaavuori published in Urheilulehti (10/2021), which also addresses in depth the question of how his sudden continuation of the street sits on the Olympic Committee.

Critics do not believe that Vapaavuori, who will soon give up the mayor’s ball, is truly a matter of sport alone. They see the man already preparing for the 2024 presidential election, and Finland’s lame sports and exercise culture really can’t afford that.

Some see on their horizons the threat that Vapaavuori, even passionately enthusiastic, would be doomed to failure – that, due to its straightforward nature and strong political profiling, it would not be able to enhance the prestige of top sports.

It is precisely the improvement of prestige that is generally considered to be the most important task of the new President, because only in that way can public and private funding be guaranteed. The Olympic Committee is in dire need of new resources, for example to dismantle the immobility bomb and ensure the success of top sports.

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Supporters in turn, they believe that Vapaavuori, as the leader, is the much-needed one that finally shakes awake Finland’s most dormant party, the “sports party”.

The atmosphere is dangerously polarized – and therefore so fascinating.

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If Jan Vapaavuori is not satisfied with the role of a flatterer, he can succeed in the Olympic Committee where his predecessors failed.­

Unanimous the field is that only by finding a common front on the battlefield could the appreciation of top sports crumbling in the bottom mud could improve. There are enough differences of opinion as to the ways in which it would make sense to create such.

The task is extremely difficult, and the previous chairs of the Olympic Committee have not succeeded. Not everyone has even tried, but has contented themselves mainly with putting out fires across the field. It has become clear that change does not happen, at least by stroking the ends.

The Free Mountain is described as authoritarian. It’s likely that for a multi-league jumble, his demanding, bold, and at times unscrupulous leadership style is too much – if, therefore, a man leads as his own self. On the other hand, many now specifically hope he shakes his famous fists so that a sporty and power-hungry sports family can learn to see the forest from the trees.

So within sport, there would no longer be a struggle for non-existent power, but people would gain soul strength from the development of sport itself and no longer an administratively cumbersome system.

Yes, that power.

The biggest curse of sports.

Because power is pursued with the wrong motives, the end result is often poor.

It is incomprehensible, how much the power attached to sport on an imaginary level attracts people. There has been unacceptably little real social influence in sport so far, thanks to the dormant “sports party,” but many still believe they will gain the appreciation of either communities or society in leadership positions in sport.

Politicians and business successors also often aspire to leadership roles in sport, and the majority of them also believe that they find in their work in organizations some kind of self-esteem that cannot be bought with money. Understandable.

But because power is pursued with the wrong motives, the end result is often poor.

For example, during the last November and December elections to the Olympic Committee, lobbying was done extensively on behalf of the various candidates, but in some sports federations it was not so much the candidates themselves who mattered, but what they could reciprocally promise their bosses. Some were already using OK board seats.

There there is nothing wrong with politicians and businessmen applying for key positions in sport. However, it is difficult to understand why even meritorious businessmen throw their business hat into the cloak for the first time and pull the sports beanie to their ears.

Athletes should pull the beanie out of their eyes and find a change. That common battle front.

The landscape of humility decides whether Jan Vapaavuori is a threat or an opportunity for Finnish sports.­

Obvious is that Vapaavuori sought to be the boss of the Olympic Committee for more or less selfish reasons – as did all the other candidates. But it is largely up to the man himself whether he is a threat or an opportunity for Finnish sports. The landscape of humility decides.

If Vapaavuori, who has been accused of being too Helsinki-centric, genuinely humbles himself as the messenger of all Finnish sports, but still as his own stubborn self, the desired change can come true. If, as his predecessor, he humbles himself as a flatterer of the provincial ice, a player of the presidential game, Finnish sports will face a crisis.

If you try to please everyone, after all, no one will like it.

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