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Friday's papers: Finland freezes, sports awards, death of famous author

Snow and sports dominate the headlines, but papers also remember a much-loved writer of children's books.

Huurteiset puun oksat auringonvalossa.
Temperatures plunged across the country on Thursday. Image: Mika Kanerva

Finland’s largest circulation daily Helsingin Sanomat takes a few different angles to the cold snap that brought the coldest day of the year so far to the capital, and other parts of Finland, on Thursday.

Firstly, HS reports that the Finnish Meteorological Institute has issued a cold warning for central, southern and eastern parts of the country, and notes that wind blowing in from the sea will add an extra bite. Air temperatures may feel as low as -28 degrees Celsius in Helsinki, HS adds.

The paper also writes about food courier Kasperi Korhonen, who became something of a social media sensation after he took to the snowy streets of the capital on skis to perform his food-delivering duties.

Korhonen tells HS his urban skiing adventure garnered much attention, and hilarity, with one man even racing out from a restaurant to snap a photograph. His simple solution to the testing conditions "touched a nerve" about Finnishness as well as urbanism, HS writes.

The regional papers also appeared to be competing with each other on which area saw the mercury plunge the lowest on Thursday, with Kuopio’s Savon Sanomat reporting -25, Kaleva in Oulu measuring -30 degrees, and Kittilä in Finnish Lapland seeing -39, according to local paper Lapin Kansa.

Hat-trick for Finland's footballers

Tabloid Iltalehti writes that the stars of Finnish sport were recognised for their 2020 achievements at Thursday evening’s remotely-held Finnish Sports Gala (Urheilugaala), where the Nordic nation's footballers completed an impressive hat-trick of awards.

Firstly, team manager Markku Kanerva was named coach of the year, the huuhkajat (or eagle-owls) were named team of the year, and goalkeeper Lukas Hradecky received the prestigious athlete of the year award.

In his acceptance speech for what IL calls a "significant achievement", the Slovak-born shot-stopper mentioned that he is probably the first winner of the award with a foreign background.

"We will continue to put Finland on the world map. Thank you and stay healthy," the tabloid quotes Hradecky as saying.

Aside from the footballers, other winners included hammer thrower Silja Kosonen being named Young Athlete of the Year, a Sports Ambassador award for biathlete Kaisa Mäkäräinen as well as two separate gongs for Finland’s up-and-coming golfer Sami Välimäki.

In addition to the Breakthrough Athlete award, Välimäki’s success at the Oman Open in February was named Finland’s Sporting Moment of 2020.

Death of children’s literature writer

Tampere-based Aamulehti is one of many papers to report on the death of much-loved children’s author Sinikka Nopola.

She is best known for writing the series 'Hayflower and Quiltshoe' (Heinähattu ja Vilttitossu in Finnish) as well as 'Ricky Rapper' (Risto Räppääjä)--which Aamulehti describes as "classics of Finnish literature"--alongside her sister Tiina.

Both stories were subsequently made into popular plays and films.

AL also writes that Nopola, who was born in Helsinki but raised in Tampere, was renowned as a perceptive yet humourous writer, with an ability to say things that were not usually seen or said out loud.

Story continues after the photo.

Sinikka Nopola lumisateessa.
Author Sinikka Nopola died on Wednesday in Helsinki. Image: Nella Nuora / Yle

Her death at the age of 67 was confirmed by her publisher Tammi, the paper adds.

"We at Tammi and WSOY will all miss Sinikka Nopola's incredible imagination, quick intellect, perseverance and warm heart," Saara Tiuraniemi of Tammi Publishing House said. "In addition to those close to her, Sinika will be missed by all of us who have loved her works."

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