Eero Mäntyranta, born in 1937 in Pello, was one of the most awarded cross-country skiers Finland has ever fostered. He learned to ski when he learned to walk and got a good foundation when he had to ski to school. Mäntyranta participated in four Olympics Games and received three gold, two silver, and two bronze medals. In addition, he acquired two gold, two silver and a bronze medal in the World Championships.
He is a great role model for many of today’s young athletes. There is a museum in honor of the cross-country star in his hometown Pello. With great joy and zeal he trained and mentored children and juniors. Eero Mäntyranta has been awarded the Holmenkollen Medal and the Ministry of Education’s Professional Sports Award.