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Young javelin star Oliver Helander: At home, I can relax

Oliver Helander became known among Finnish javelin enthusiasts at the latest when he won the 2017 Javelin Carnival in Pihtipudas. In 2018, he won the Finnish Championship and was injured. After a quiet pandemic period and rehabilitation he won the Finnish Championship at the Kaleva Games in August 2021. Lumo has been in the support team for two years now.

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Javelin is a tough discipline. Young promising javelin thrower Oliver Helander found that out the tough way when he twisted his shoulder badly and fell in competition in the summer 2018.

At first, it seemed that his shoulder had only suffered a little damage in the fall. However, when throwing was still painful even in the next season, Helander ended up having the surgery.

The shoulder was successfully operated on in January 2020, and Helander was confident about the 2020 season. The global pandemic situation made the season 2020 rather cracked and the goals were set up to the next year, 2021.

Although Helander didn't participate in the Tokyo Olympics, in August 2021 Helander threw such an arc at the Kaleva Games that it won the Finnish championship. The shoulder pain will probably take Oliver back to the operating table again, but he is hopeful about healing. In the Kaleva Games Helander also announced that his new coach Tero Pitkämäki will bring new energy and enthusiasm for rehabilitation.

Oliver Helander says that an athlete must be able to forget any failures and focus on one’s own activities and future competitions.

A diverse background in sports

Helander’s career in sports began at the tender age of 5, playing handball. He took on athletics when he was 9, and played football for a couple of years as well.

“I decided to focus on the javelin in the autumn 2016, and gave up handball.”

As his best achievements, Helander lists not only the Finnish Championship but also his record throw of 88.02 metres. Helander says that a good javelin thrower must be strong, fast, skillful and have the ability for explosive movement.

“On the mental side, you must forget any failures and focus on your own activities and future competitions.”

His long background in handball has certainly contributed to his throwing skills.

“Throwing has always been easy for me and my technical throwing skills are good.”

One training session per day

When the competition season starts, Helander has one training session per day, and it is slightly lighter than during the training period.

“Before competitions, I complete a preparatory training session one day in advance.”

Helander even likes to throw in his free time. He relaxes by throwing frisbee or watching, on the sofa at home, top US players play basketball.

“I follow the NBA a lot, and my favourite player is Lebron James.

Who?

Oliver Helander

Lives in

Vaasa, with his girlfriend.

The most important thing at home

Resting and relaxing.

Favourite pastime at home

Watch NBA highlights from the previous night.

The Lumo sponsorship and grant programme supports top Finnish athletes as well as individual and team sports for young people. The 2020 Lumo athletes are Oliver Helander (javelin), Anita Korva (cross-country skiing), Henry Manni (wheelchair racing), Oskari Mörö (400m hurdles), Nooralotta Neziri (100m hurdles) and Emmi Parkkisenniemi (snowboarding).

25.3.2020 (Modified 30.9.2021)

Text Anne Penttilä

Images Riikka Austen

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