16 reasons why Jyväskylä is the Capital of Sport in Finland
1. The University of Jyväskylä has the only Faculty of Sport Sciences in Finland
2. The city is home to KIHU, Finnish Institute of High Performance Sport, and
3. LIKES, Research Centre for Sport and Health Sciences.
4. Studies show that the involvement of Jyväskylä’s adult population in sports and physical recreation is high by national standards. Roughly every third adult engages in recreational sport or exercises at least 4-6 times a week.
5. Jyväskylä is home to Finland’s biggest sports event, Rally Finland, which dates back to 1951. Rally Finland has been selected as the best event in the World Rally Championship series on several occasions and it attracts over 200 000 visitors to Jyväskylä and half a million along the special stages. Many famous rally drivers come from Jyväskylä area, such as Tommi Mäkinen, Mikko Hirvonen and Juha Kankkunen.
6. Jyväskylä is the home city of Finnish parkour, the sport was developed here. It is also home to the first parkour park in the country and the first parkour hall in the Nordic countries.
7. Jyväskylä has the best ice hockey team in Europe. JYP. the local top league ice hockey team, was the first Finnish Ice Hockey team to win Champions Hockey League in 6.2.2018, making them the Champions of Europe. JYP was also the first Finnish Ice Hockey team to win European Trophy in 2013.
8. Lauri Markkanen, current Chicago Bulls player in the National Basketball Association (NBA), grew up in Jyväskylä. He played his junior years in local basketball team HoNsU. He has broken several NBA-records during his rookie season, for example three point record in 41 games.
9. One of the most famous Finnish athletes of all time comes from Jyväskylä. Matti Nykänen, a ski jumper who won 5 Olympic medals (four gold), 9 World Championship medals (five gold) and 22 Finnish championship medals (13 gold).
10. Tommi Mäkinen Racing’s car TOYOTA production and business premises are located on Tommi Mäkinen’s farm in Puuppola, near Jyväskylä in Central Finland.
11. Jyväskylä has about 360 facilities for everyday physical recreation and 230 sports clubs.
12. The network of cross-country ski trails is vast in Jyväskylä. There are approximately 500 kilometres of maintained cross-country ski trails. At Laajavuori alone, there are 26 kilometres of them. 100 kilometres of the ski trails are under floodlights, and 140 kilometres of them are maintained on frozen lakes.
13. In Jyväskylä, there are all together 15 local sports parks with different sizes of sports fields and ice rinks during winter.
14. Rantaraitti is a path around Lake Jyväsjärvi in the city centre. It is extremely popular among walkers, cyclists and rollerbladers who can enjoy both natural and urban landscapes through all four seasons of the year.
156. Currently, Hippos area is home to more than 100 sports clubs, Jyväskylä’s Sports Academy and has training and competition venues for over 20 sports. In the future, Hippos will be leading promoter of sports, exercise, wellbeing and health in the Nordic Countries. Read more about the Hippos-project.
16. Jyväskylä’s largest recreational area is Laajavuori. From this beautiful area surrounded by nature, you can find for example hills for alpine skiing, beach for swimming, facilities for disc golf, illuminated cross-country ski trails, ski jumping hill, 630 meters long natural ice track for ice cross downhill, Bike Park, adventure park and nature trail.