Finland's radio announcer Janne Saarinen wants to go to the Olympic Games as a luge athlete

Janne Saarinen, Finnland, Radio Moderator

Sigulda (FIL/30 Jan 2023) A strange series of events started in a radio show of the channel "Suomipop" in Finland began with the moderator’s exaggerated speech. Janne Saarinen told that he wants to make Finnish sports history and qualify for the Olympics in the sport of Luge.

The host of Radio Suomipop's Wednesday show promised to become an Olympic athlete. He set his goals for the 2026 Winter Olympics live, having previously spoken about the Finnish national luge team and the level of the sport.

Saarinen believes he would have the best chance at the Olympics if he becomes a luge athlete.

If a Finn were to go to the Olympics, there would certainly be medals, he had announced, and then made the call to the National Olympic Committee: "If you're listening, send a sled here to the studio. I will get a medal from Italy in three years. It's not that hard," said the presenter.

The message resonated not only with the Olympic Committee, but also with the recently revived Finnish national luge team. The broadcast took a new turn with a phone call in which the President of the Finnish Luge Federation Jani Tilvis called the studio and said, "We are in a training camp in Sigulda, in Latvia. I thought we could talk, if you are interested in talking, we are there," Tilvis said on the air, offering the radio host a spot on the team.

Tilvis said, "You might even win the first medal for Finland, if you are serious, there is a small chance that you will make it to the Olympics in three years. You have to train like crazy and work hard!"

Dismayed by the rapid development of the situation, Saarinen promised Tilvis that he would try to get plane tickets to Latvia, where the Finnish lugers train. He explained that he would have the opportunity to travel to the training camp after the work week.

Finland has never had a luger compete at the Olympics, but Saarinen vowed live to change that. Last week, Janne Saarinen actually showed up in Sigulda and made a couple of good runs from the lowest point of the track.

More information and links to the curious story can be found here:

photos: Luge Federation Finland and Instagram