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Lauri "Tahko" Pihkala

Born 5 January 1888, Pihtipudas. Died 20 May 1981, Helsinki

Candidate of Philosophy 1912 ( i.e. MPhil. in economics, history of the Nordic countries, Latin and practical philosophy) from the Imperial Alexander University

Awarded title of honorary professor 1948 (granted by the President)
Awarded title of honorary doctor 1969, University of Jyväskylä.

Seminal figure in sports, author and chief editor.

Photo: Suomen Urheilumuseo
Author: Tero Juutilainen
Translated by: Mira Apell, Susan Huotari, Anna-Maria Jukarainen, Saara Suominen, Laura Mena, Hilda Tuomisto. Revised by: John Calton.

Lauri Pihkala’s thoughts

Lauri Pihkala's thoughts in print and online (mainly in Finnish)


  • ‘Lauri Tahkala – a legend in his lifetime,’ 25.2.2010, Yle archives


In print

  • Joka miehen koneoppi eli Liikunnon merkityksestä. Porvoo: WSOY, 1909. (’Everyman’s , or the importance of exercise’)
  • Koululaisurheilijan opas. 1914 (’The school sportsman’s guide’)
  • Poikain urheilu-opas. Helsinki: Urheilijain kustannus-osakeyhtiö, 1915. (’The young man’s guide to sport’)
  • Nykyhetki ja urheiluväen velvollisuudet. 1917 (’The present time and the duties of the sporting fraternity’)
  • ‘The Olympics are here: considerations and concerns, propositions and predictions of the issue etc.’ Porvoo: WSOY, 1952.
  • ‘Exercises for a Finnish man’. Helsinki: Otava, 1943.
  • ‘Finland’s ski trails’. Helsinki: Otava, 1941.
  • ‘The race to hurry slowly: rehabilitation for skiers, cross country runners, walkers etc: principles, regulations and tables for calculating results’. Helsinki: Otava 1934.
  • ’The 1932 Los Angeles Olympics’, eds. Lauri Santala, Lauri Pihkala, & V. J. Niiniluoto. Porvoo: WSOY, 1933.


  • ‘In the land of the Yankees with ”Grindstone”. 1-10: The travels, adventures and thoughts of Grindstone and Esko Topiaanpoika, recorded, collected and arranged by K. P.’  Porvoo: WSOY, 1928.
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