Pekka Vasala, Lasse Viren: Which U.S. college?


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Pekka Vasala, Lasse Viren: Which U.S. college?

Postby BYU grad » Sun Jul 03, 2005 7:11 pm

Which U.S. college/university did both Pekka Vasala and Lasse Viren attend and compete for?
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Re: Pekka Vasala, Lasse Viren: Which U.S. college?

Postby EastBayprepoftheweek67 » Sun Jul 03, 2005 11:00 pm

Adams State.
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Re: Pekka Vasala, Lasse Viren: Which U.S. college?

Postby ed gee » Mon Jul 04, 2005 10:18 am

BYU
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Re: Pekka Vasala, Lasse Viren: Which U.S. college?

Postby dukehjsteve » Mon Jul 04, 2005 10:35 am

Is this for real ? I never heard of it. If true, how long were either of them here in school ?
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Re: Pekka Vasala, Lasse Viren: Which U.S. college?

Postby twittering debutante » Mon Jul 04, 2005 12:30 pm

Would be interested in seeing evidence either actually competed for BYU. You'd have to be talking 1970.
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Re: Pekka Vasala, Lasse Viren: Which U.S. college?

Postby MJD » Mon Jul 04, 2005 2:16 pm

Everybody forget how to use google?

http://www.byucougars.com/athletic_depa ... pians.html
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Re: Pekka Vasala, Lasse Viren: Which U.S. college?

Postby dukehjsteve » Mon Jul 04, 2005 2:21 pm

>Everybody forget how to use
>google?

http://www.byucougars.com/athletic_depa ... mpians.htm

Not good enough for me. If they went there, for how long ? Did they ever run for the school ? Need better answers.
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Re: Pekka Vasala, Lasse Viren: Which U.S. college?

Postby MJD » Mon Jul 04, 2005 2:23 pm

This link just says that they attended there-says that they were athletes but doesn't mention competing:

http://users.mstar2.net/byutrack/Stories/Reunion.htm
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Re: Pekka Vasala, Lasse Viren: Which U.S. college?

Postby BYU grad » Mon Jul 04, 2005 5:09 pm

BYU is the correct answer. I was at Coach Sherald James's retirement event, I was on the track and cross-country teams at BYU 1967-70. I remember Pekka Vasala's sense of humor...he used to tell jokes on our training runs...the years were 1969 and part of 1970...I have called coach James and left a message on his voice mail. When he calls me back I will post here again re: more details.
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Re: Pekka Vasala, Lasse Viren: Which U.S. college?

Postby ed gee » Mon Jul 04, 2005 6:58 pm

TFN had a brief mention of their time at BYU in an early 1970s issue. Pretty sure it was also in Viren's biography. Anyway, Lasse disliked training on the hard surfaces and did not speak english.
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Re: Pekka Vasala, Lasse Viren: Which U.S. college?

Postby utkvol80 » Mon Jul 04, 2005 9:57 pm

For me this would only count if Viren had been a competiive runner there the year that he won the medals 1972 or 1976. I remember the TV announcers saying he was a policeman from some cirty in Finland. For BYU to claim Viren as an Olympian is a cheap shot.
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Re: Pekka Vasala, Lasse Viren: Which U.S. college?

Postby MJD » Tue Jul 05, 2005 1:16 am

Read the article about the coach. They aren't exactly beating the drums here. If they were, it would be easier to get information.
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Re: Pekka Vasala, Lasse Viren: Which U.S. college?

Postby gh » Tue Jul 05, 2005 4:53 am

>TFN had a brief mention of their time at BYU in an early 1970s issue. Pretty
>sure it was also in Viren's biography. Anyway, Lasse disliked training on the
>hard surfaces and did not speak english.>>

Actually, I seem to recall finding out that that Juha Vaatainen had run here, but not the other two.
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Re: Pekka Vasala, Lasse Viren: Which U.S. college?

Postby ed gee » Tue Jul 05, 2005 5:45 am

Wasn't Vaatainen at Adams State?

Actually, I seem to
>recall finding out that that Juha Vaatainen had run here, but not the other
>two.
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Re: Pekka Vasala, Lasse Viren: Which U.S. college?

Postby bad hammy » Tue Jul 05, 2005 7:31 am

So who is the Losie Verin guy on the list ahead of Lasse Viren??
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Re: Pekka Vasala, Lasse Viren: Which U.S. college?

Postby twittering debutante » Tue Jul 05, 2005 7:49 am

Unless you can link to a team photo or old results, BYU grad, it looks like you've bitten off a little more than you can chew here.
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Re: Pekka Vasala, Lasse Viren: Which U.S. college?

Postby dukehjsteve » Tue Jul 05, 2005 8:38 am

>So who is the Losie Verin guy on the list ahead of Lasse Viren??

Sounds like a non-thinking duplication to me, plus note that whoever typed up this list on the BYU website also spelled Vasala's name wrong.
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Re: Pekka Vasala, Lasse Viren: Which U.S. college?

Postby Randy Treadway » Tue Jul 05, 2005 8:52 am

I'll have to check with my friend Rauli Uitto about BYU being "Team Finland" at that time.
Rauli was a javelin thrower at BYU then and came over from Finland (and stayed). He still ranks as #7 on the all-time BYU list for "old" javelin with his 245'11" in 1970 (and I guess will stay there forever since they don't contest it any more!).
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Re: Pekka Vasala, Lasse Viren: Which U.S. college?

Postby BYU grad » Wed Jul 06, 2005 5:25 am

>Unless you can link to a team photo or old results, BYU grad, it looks like
>you've bitten off a little more than you can chew here.

Coach Sherald James (cross-country coach when Lasse and Pekka were at BYU in late 1969, early 1970) returned my call last evening. He said they came to BYU to attend school and get some altitude training. They attended and passed classes, trained, but never did compete for BYU. Pekka had a tender achilles that he reinjured in training so he went back to Finland to rehab, and Lasse went with him. Back in those days BYU did have several Finnish athletes including Jakko Tuominen (400H), Pertti Pousi (TJ, LJ).
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Re: Pekka Vasala, Lasse Viren: Which U.S. college?

Postby twittering debutante » Wed Jul 06, 2005 1:58 pm

thanks for clearing that up. At least you weren't trying to convince us Paavo Nurmi competed for BYU.
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Re: Pekka Vasala, Lasse Viren: Which U.S. college?

Postby Brian » Wed Jul 06, 2005 2:23 pm

>>TFN had a brief mention of their time at BYU in an early 1970s issue.
>Actually, I seem to
>recall finding out that that Juha Vaatainen had run here, but not the other
>two.

Anyone wondering why needs to think "means to an end." The top Finns were looking for a good place to train at altitude, facilities, etc (and if US scholarship money paid for it, all the better!). The US system of racing (especially indoors!) was quite a shock to them.

Then the Finnish athletics administration discovered the emmigrant Finn communities in South America, Bogota, et al. Bye, bye US!
Last edited by Brian on Wed Jul 06, 2005 2:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Pekka Vasala, Lasse Viren: Which U.S. college?

Postby Randy Treadway » Wed Jul 06, 2005 2:50 pm

>>Then the Finnish athletics administration discovered the emmigrant Finn communities in South America, Bogota, et al. Bye, bye US

Say, isn't that where BYU sends the best of their athletes for two years of 'missionary service' ?
They've really been altitude training with the Finns!
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Re: Pekka Vasala, Lasse Viren: Which U.S. college?

Postby bambam » Wed Jul 06, 2005 5:10 pm

For BYU to claim Viren as an Olympian is a cheap shot.

But as somebody who looks at a lot of lists of Olympians produced by various colleges or other organizations, its very common for them to include everyone - alternates, non-competitors at the Olympics, and athletes who may have appeared on campus only briefly, or possibly coached there, or may have just heard of the school once or twice.
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Re: Pekka Vasala, Lasse Viren: Which U.S. college?

Postby EastBayprepoftheweek67 » Wed Jul 06, 2005 5:48 pm

Cal rightly claims Brutus Hamilton as an Olympics coach but wrongly as an Olympics competitor and medalist.


Bill Mallon wrote: >For BYU to claim Viren as an Olympian is a cheap shot.
But as somebody who
>looks at a lot of lists of Olympians produced by various colleges or other
>organizations, its very common for them to include everyone - alternates,
>non-competitors at the Olympics, and athletes who may have appeared on campus
>only briefly, or possibly coached there, or may have just heard of the school
>once or twice.
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Re: Pekka Vasala, Lasse Viren: Which U.S. college?

Postby twittering debutante » Wed Jul 06, 2005 5:54 pm

>For BYU to claim Viren as an Olympian is a cheap shot.

Agreed.

I got lost in Provo once trying to find an Albertson's. Why am I not on BYU's web site?
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Re: Pekka Vasala, Lasse Viren: Which U.S. college?

Postby Mike Hout » Wed Jul 06, 2005 6:14 pm

>>For BYU to claim Viren as an Olympian is a >>cheap shot.
>I got lost in Provo once trying to find an >Albertson's. Why am I not on BYU's web site?

And I stopped there once in the 70's just to see
their blue track and the high jump area where so many sea gulls died thinking they were diving into beautiful water. Why am I not on their web site? I still have my dead bird!
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Re: Pekka Vasala, Lasse Viren: Which U.S. college?

Postby bambam » Thu Jul 07, 2005 5:33 pm

And I stopped there once in the 70's just to see
their blue track and the high jump area where so many sea gulls died thinking they were diving into
beautiful water. Why am I not on their web site? I still have my dead bird!

Why is the dead bird not on the web site?
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Re: Pekka Vasala, Lasse Viren: Which U.S. college?

Postby twittering debutante » Thu Jul 07, 2005 8:24 pm

dead bird maybe broke the code of honor?
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