Finland The people made their choice on Sunday: the 13th president in the history of the republic is Cai-Göran Alexander Stubb.
55-year-old Stubb is the same age as Finland’s longest-serving head of state when he takes office Urho Kekkonen. He is probably also at least as fit as UKK, which boasted its iron-strength physique in its time.
In Stubb’s sports background, three sports stand out above the others, which is perfect for today’s triathlon-loving president. In this story, those species are reviewed in chronological order.
“We found a loose chair in the booth, to which we taped him.”
Hockey comes to Alexander Stubb by blood inheritance, for his father Goran Stubb has done his life’s work in the sport.
When son Alexander was born in 1968, Göran Stubb was the chairman of HIFK’s ice hockey department. Along with his father, little Alexander also became a regular guest of the Nordenskiöldinkatu ice hall from an early age.
Alexander, known by the nickname “Tico”, was a lively child who used to bully HIFK players. Among other things, he took the players’ equipment without permission and threw it in the wrong places without permission. He also used to have an intolerable grumpiness.
HIFK’s defensive legend Weak “Hexi” Riihiranta beach recalled Marko Lempinen in a book written in 2019 Hexi – Fighter (Work), how he had decided together during the 1972–1973 season Matti Murron with gives discipline to the four-year-old boy Stubb, whom he calls a “mollusk”.
Riihiranta and Murto went to the guardians’ workplace to look for tools to help their children.
“We found a loose chair in the booth, to which we taped him. After that, the chair was swung into the shower room, and we went on the ice,” says Riihiranta in the book.
When his son’s fate was revealed, father Stubb was like a sign of a storm, but the worst anger quickly faded.
Slightly when he was older, “Tico” Stubb himself joined HIFK’s juniors and played the sport until he was a teenager. In the early 1980s, however, the hobby ended.
“He stopped playing hockey at the age of 14, and I don’t think he would have had a chance at the top. He wouldn’t have been a league player. He was certainly one of the elite of his age group in Helsinki, but it’s good that Alexander Stubb didn’t become a hockey player. He has had a good career in another field,” said father Göran Mightily in an interview in 2016.
“There was a lack of enthusiasm and a certain spirit of doing things.”
Long-term HIFK magnitude Mika Kortelainen is a year older than Stubb (1967) and he remembers his good times.
“Alexander was a good puck defender, but I like his wise father: maybe the career choice was right,” says Kortelainen.
Kortelainen according to Stubb’s skills would have been enough to reach the league, but his character was not suitable for top hockey in the 1980s.
“He lacked passion and a certain spirit of doing things, as well as perhaps persistence and patience. Later on, he has of course gained more persistence and patience,” says Kortelainen.
According to Kortelainen, Stubb is now a familiar sight at HIFK’s league games, where he often goes with his father.
“Alexander is a passionate hockey player and sportsman in general. Nowadays, he’s always moving and he’s also a tough bench athlete who follows sports on a wide scale,” says Kortelainen.
Kortelainen, who works as the team manager of the Lions, lives like Stubb in Espoo’s Westend and says that Stubb jogging is a familiar sight to the residents of the neighborhood.
“I myself have sometimes run Lenki with him, but even more often I have seen him jogging. He has a wonderful and wonderful way of greeting every visitor. People are amazed by it,” says Kortelainen.
“Alexander was a funny guy who was a bit of a hooligan.”
Ice hockey after finishing, teenage Stubb cheered his hockey coach Petti “Latch” Lindegren’s inspired by golf and decided to aim to become a professional in the sport.
Father Göran also set a strong example for Alexander. Göran Stubb was not only an enthusiastic golfer but also an active member of the Espoo Golf Club, which organized Finland’s first professional championships in the 1980s.
Long-term golf supplier Teemu Tyry met Alexander Stubb in his teenage years.
“He became a member of the Helsinki Golf Club in Tali in the mid-1980s. Alex’s brother Nicholas was also a really good player. Alexander was a funny guy with a bit of a hooligan personality. Some might describe him as arrogant, but I didn’t think he was that way at all,” says Tyry.
“He was a good sportsman who genuinely loved golf.”
Tyryn was impressed by the determination with which young Stubb devoted himself to golf practice and self-improvement.
“He quickly rose to the Finnish junior national team and also played at least once in the men’s national team,” says Tyry.
“He was a good athlete who really liked golf and made good friends from the sport, such as Johan Hirnin.”
Hirn was later Stubb’s best man.
Stubb got a partial golf scholarship to study at Furman University in the United States in the late 1980s. At first, his plan was to play on the university’s golf team alongside his studies and turn professional after graduation.
JK Paasikivi once said that the recognition of facts is the beginning of wisdom. The instruction of the seventh president of the Republic of Finland may also have been in Stubb’s mind when he looked at his position in the pecking order of competitive golf in the United States.
“During his time at Furman University, Stubb quickly realized that the competition is pretty damn tough. He was a linebacker on the university team and to become a professional he would have had to develop quite a few steps up. Stubb decided to focus on his studies. It was a realistic and good analysis from him,” says Tyry.
Stubby Tyry, who is eight years older, remembers that he played against Alexander at least in a hole game in the WC in Åland. At that time, Tyry took the victory and finally grabbed the SM gold.
“Stubb was a really nice guy on the field who approached the game in the right way. A real team player”, describes Tyry.
Tyry guesses that Stubb as president will be showered with invitations to golf events and requests to become their patrons.
And if known for his golf hobby Donald Trump wins the US presidential election at the end of the year, Stubb’s golf skills may also be in demand on the greens of international diplomacy.
“Yes, Alex would beat Trump on the court 6–0, even though Trump can hit the ball too,” Tyry drew.
Competitive golf after finishing, Stubb devoted himself to his studies. He graduated from Furman University in 1993, read a year of French at the Sorbonne in 1994 and completed his master’s degree at Bruges College of Europe in 1995. Stubb received his doctorate from the prestigious London School of Economics in 1999.
After that, he devoted himself first to an official and academic career and then to politics. At the end of the first decade of the 21st century, a new sport came into life: triathlon. He competed in triathlon for the first time in 2008 in Joroinen.
“It was a typical 40-something crisis. You start running too much, get injured and the doctor says what if you cycled and swam a little more. I said I hate both and I can’t swim,” Stubb described for HS in 2019.
Despite his initial reaction, Stubb quickly got excited about triathlon and got into top training. He got a prestigious as his endurance coach Antti Hagqvistwhose other trainees have been a skier Cross mat Hakola and a hockey player Teemu Ramstedt.
“The first European championship in my life.”
Stubb purposefully started to train and develop the qualities required in triathlon. On an annual basis, he practiced 250–500 hours.
The work brought results. In 2016, Stubb was able to participate in the legendary Ironman race in Hawaii and finished in 11 hours, 13 minutes and 32 seconds. He ranked 176th in the 45-49-year-old men’s category. There were 285 participants in the category. In the overall results, Stubb was 1,205th.
In 2022, Stubb participated in the European Championships held in Almere, Holland, and won gold. Stubb’s time was 9:56:02. Austrian who came second Hans-Peter Rappelsberger lost to him by almost 25 minutes.
“The first European championship in my life. The sport is long-distance triathlon. The distances are 3.8 km swim, 180 km bike and 42 km run. Age category M50-54. There were only 4 participants in my category,” Stubb wrote on Facebook with a laughing emoji.
“This has been suitable for me.”
Stubbs told HS in 2019 that as a politician he was criticized for the time he spent on sports. It was reportedly out of work.
“It’s just the opposite. Let’s take those 250-500 hours a year and relate them to something. How much time do we spend in front of the TV or how much screen time do we have daily with our cell phones or how much time do we spend in the company of alcohol. Those are choices that have to be made at some point .This has been convenient for me,” Stubb replied.
Stubb’s use of time as President of the Republic will be monitored even more closely. However, he is unlikely to stop moving in his new position.