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Sport, speed and sweat in Finnish cities

Photos by Emilia Kangasluoma, August 2013
Text by Kasperi Teittinen

Photo: Emilia Kangasluomaurban, city, sport, skateboarding, Kokkola, FinlandFinnish urban centres are never too distant from the forests. Sebastian takes off in a skatepark in the west-coast town of Kokkola.

Finland is famous for success in ice hockey, javelin and skiing, but all kinds of urban sports are also popular. See our slideshow below.

The Finns have achieved international recognition in cross-country skiing, ice hockey, ski jumping, athletics, swimming and orienteering – many sports that could be described as traditional. However, Finland has not missed out on the rise of newer, urban sports – on the contrary. Many cities and towns have responded to young people’s requests by providing a place for them to practice new sports, and many skateparks, climbing walls and other recreation sites have sprung up.

Nonetheless, it is evidently more thrilling to hit the open city rather than an official practice spot. Rails and benches offer challenges to skateboarders, while glacial boulders beckon rock climbers. And urban sports aren’t limited to the capital, Helsinki. Further north, for instance, Jyväskylä and Lahti have gained a foothold as the most popular parkour cities in Finland. Don’t know what parkour is? Proceed straight to the slideshow below to find out.

 

Urban sports in motion in Finland

                  

 

See also on thisisFINLAND

Finns bike toward greener city in style
Pedal power: Helsinki likes bikes
Finland: The frontrunner in sports and fitness

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