Wednesday, March 23, 2016


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   Easter is the second most important candy-eating occasion of the year for Americans, who consumed 7 billion pounds of candy in 2011, according to the National Confectioner's Association.

  • In 2000, Americans spent nearly $1.9 billion on Easter candy, while Halloween sales were nearly $2 billion; Christmas, an estimated $1.4 billion; and Valentine's Day, just over $1 billion.
  • Ninety million chocolate Easter bunnies are produced each year.
  • Chocolate bunnies should be eaten ears first, according to 76% of Americans. Five percent said bunnies should be eaten feet first, while 4% favored eating the tail first.
  • Adults prefer milk chocolate (65%), to dark chocolate (27%).

Millions of Peeps

  • Each Easter season, Americans buy more than 700 million Marshmallow Peeps, shaped like chicks, as well as Marshmallow Bunnies and Marshmallow Eggs, making them the most popular non-chocolate Easter candy.
  • As many as 4.2 million Marshmallow Peeps, bunnies, and other shapes can be made each day.
  • In 1953, it took 27 hours to create a Marshmallow Peep. Today it takes six minutes.
  • Yellow Peeps are the most popular, followed by pink, lavender, blue, and white.

Jellybeans Could Circle the Globe

  • Americans consume 16 billion jellybeans at Easter, many of them hidden in baskets. If all the Easter jellybeans were lined end to end, they would circle the globe nearly three times.
  • Jellybeans did not become an Easter tradition until the 1930s. They were probably first made in America by Boston candy maker William Schrafft, who ran advertisements urging people to send jellybeans to soldiers fighting in the Civil War.
  • 70% of kids aged 6–11 say they prefer to eat Easter jellybeans one at a time, while 23% report eating several at once. Boys (29%) were more apt to eat a handful than girls (18%).
  • Children indicate their favorite Easter jellybean flavors are cherry (20%), strawberry (12%), grape (10%), lime (7%), and blueberry (6%).

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Increasing Demand

  • Candy makers are offering more and more Easter products. In the early 1980s, M & M's became available in pastel spring colors. Reese's makes peanut butter eggs, and Smucker's produces jellybeans.
  • Some supermarkets have doubled the space allotted to Easter candy in the past few years as the market has increased.
  • Candy is a relatively recent Easter tradition. Chocolate eggs, the most popular Easter candy, were first made in Europe in the early 1800s.

Older Traditions

  • Hot cross buns were among the earliest Easter treats, made by European monks and given to the poor during Lent.
  • Pretzels were originally associated with Easter. The twists of a pretzel were thought to resemble arms crossed in prayer.

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Non-Candy Substitutes

  • For parents worried that their children might eat too much Easter candy, some experts suggest adding non-edible items to Easter baskets: crayons, movie passes, jump rope, baseball cards, kids' videos, stencils, markers, paperback books, chalk, Playdoh, stuffed animals or balls.


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   Lahti Ski Games is a yearly international winter sport event. The games last for three days, during which participants compete in cross-country skiing, ski jumping and Nordic combined. In the nearly 90-year history of the Lahti Ski Games the fireworks seen on Saturday night have become one of the highlights of the event. The goal of establishing the games was to get a competition similar to the Holmenkollen Ski Festival in Finland.
   The idea for the games came from a Finnish legend, Lauri Pihkala in 1922. He wrote an article about a competition equal to the Holmenkollen Ski Festival after the double win of Anton Collin and Tapani Niku at Holmenkollen the same year. In the article Pihkala suggested Lahti as the location for the competition because of the city’s location and grounds.

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First Competition Ever Held
   The first Lahti Ski Games was held 3–4 February 1923. From the very beginning volunteers have played a big part in arranging the games. At the first Lahti Ski Games only Finnish competitors attended the event, but it was still a success. From then on the citizens were encouraged to flag during the competition weekend so that the city would look its best.


   Competitors from other countries took part in the games for the first time in 1926. The games were FIS congress competition, which attracted competitors from 15 different countries. The Sport center where the games are held was now improved. The local schools were turned into accommodation as the students were on holiday.
   The games lived through a quieter time period between the late 1960s and the early 1970s. It was time to develop marketing for the event and as a result additions to the program of the games were made in order create more entertainment value.
   When the new millennium was approaching it was becoming clear that the games were not as visible in the city profile as before. According to speculations one of the reasons might be that the popularity of televised sport events kept the fans at home. The Saturday night ski jumping competition as well as the fireworks seen on the same night, have nonetheless remained popular among the public.

 Salpausselkä Station

   For many years the public came to the games from far, oftentimes by skiing. The crowds were also transported by a special train that came directly into a station at the Sport center. The Salpausselkä station was built in 1938 and it later relocated in 1957. Nowadays the station is replaced merely by a halt, which no longer has regular train traffic. The tracks are still partially in place.

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Games Cancellations
   The games have only been cancelled three times: first in 1930 because of the lack of snow and in 1940 due to the Winter War. In 1942 there were no normal Lahti Ski Games held.

 Radio and television

   The first time the Lahti Ski Games was ever broadcasted was in 1932. It made the games national. In 1959 the games were televised live. However, it wasn’t until 1971 that the live televising was extended to cover footage also straight from the skiing tracks.


   Today participants compete in cross-country skiing, ski jumping and Nordic combined. The sports in which athletes compete at Lahti Ski Games have gone through many changes throughout the games’ history. In the early years participants competed in the original 50 kilometer skiing. It was arranged for the last time in 1986. There have also been men’s 30 and 10 km, as well as the women’s 5 km. The seniors and youngsters had their own tour. In the 1938 Championships also slalom was competed in. In 1970 the evening’s ski-jumping competition became the official team competition. In 2000 sprint was introduced.

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 Sport Center

   Many changes have taken place at the Sport center over the years. Jumps over 50 meters became possible when the hill was raised in 1931. Several years later a new hill was constructed. It was raised again for the 25th anniversary Lahti Ski Games in 1947. Lahti city constructed the current hill during 1971–1972, and it was improved again later in 1998.

Lahti Folk Celebration

   The fireworks have gained a lot of popularity since the first time they were seen in 1934. Before the people got to see the fireworks a torch parade went through the city from the city hall all the way to the pit of the hill, i.e. the out-run at the Sport center. A million Finnish marks were charged for the 15 minutes long fireworks show. During 1942–1945 the fireworks were not organized.
   During the long history of the games, the event has been a family occasion to which out-of-town family and friends were invited. In the early years accommodation was hard to come by and as a result schools were turned into lodging, while the local students were given a holiday.
   From the very beginning the games also had different entertainment programs. Dances were held at town. They ended in the 1980s, but restaurants and nightclubs still draw the public in for a nice nightlife experience after the games.
At the sporting site public has had the opportunity to purchase little snacks and food. Often on the menu have been products like sausages, pea soup and broth, bun and coffee. They were required in large quantities to feed the hungry audience.
   Among other things, the event has always been an opportunity to make sightings of important people. Diplomats and presidents have visited the site, for instance Finnish presidents Kyösti Kallio and Urho Kekkonen, the crown prince Harald of Norway and Icelandic president Kr. Eldjorn, to name a few.


Here's A Little Timeline Of The Games:

1923 Lahti Ski Games were held for the first time. The idea of have the games game from Mr. Lauri Pihkala. He wanted to bring the games to Lahti because of it´s centered position and variable terrain.
1924 Ski Games lasted four days. Finnish Army championships were included.
1925 Lack of snow forced to postpone the games two times. Finally games were held in March, 19.-22.
1926 So called Kongress Games gathered 15 nations. The skiing world started to know Lahti and Ski Games around the world.
1927 The Great lottery was kept to “establish Ski Games and raise Finnish skiing”. Lottery ticket cost 3 FIM, and the main prize was 100 000 FIM bank account.
1929 Athletes competed to win 9 different challenge cups. Prizes were donated by corporations from Lahti
1930 No Games were held because lack of snow. Afterwards Games have been cancelled only two times.
1932 Finnish President visited Lahti Ski Games for the first time. After this the Presidents have changed, but visits have been regular.
1934 Programme included ski jumping in the evening with spectacular fireworks after competition. “The Meeting point” for the teenagers was the illuminated “Track of love”.
1938 Over 100 000 spectators game to World Ski Championships. This was the first time to that the amount of spectators exceeded 100 000 limit. Championships were held on new stadium and ski jumping hill.
1940 The Winter War forced to cancel the Lahti Ski Games .

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1941 Ski Games gathered 417 athletes to Lahti during the ceasefire.
1942 Instead of skiing, so called miniature Games were held. Most of the ski jumpers came to hill straight for the frontier.
1945 Games back to normal again after the World War II. During the war years games were national championships.
1947 For the traditional fireworks, Ski Club borrowed two huge spotlights used in war for aircraft seach from the Finnish army. Also buying permits to buy paraffin and cotton waste were applied from the äMinistry for internal affairs. The Ski Club donated 150 000 FIM from the income for National Aid.
1948 New event was introduced, skiing-steeplechase (equestrian).
1949 The Games were held despite the storm that was hammering Lahti
1950 Finnish Skiing Association joined to organize the Games.
1951 International 4 x 10 km relay and youth ski jumping were included in the programme.
1952 Helsinki Olympic fever was alreadyseen in Lahti. The Games were succesfulland crowded. New aspects were introduced, stopwatch for the spectators and official “Ski-Girls” (photo).
1954 Great Finnish Ski Heroes like Veikko Hakulinen and Heikki Hasu gathered over 96.000 spectators to the stadium.
1955 Team from Soviet Union took part to the Games for the first time. Soviet team was successful in Falun WCS 1954, but did not win any events in Lahtil.
1956 Despite General Strike, tens of thousands game to see the Games.
1957 First win for the Soviet team. The ski stadium was radically renewed for the coming World Ski Championships.
1958 Third WSC in Lahti, 204.591 spectators. 67.033 spectators witnessed Juhani Kärkinen . FIS pointed out, that these were the best organized Games so far.
1959 Finnish audience was able to see the Games on television for the first time.
1960 In addition to regular games, also international match between Finland and Norway was held.

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1961 Warm weather. First prize in ski jumping was tied between three competitors.
1962 International Lahti Ski Games were held, for the first time in 3 day period, from Friday to Sunday.
1964 Record in “normal” Ski Games, spectators 114.082
1965 Over 1000 volunteer officials. In Ski jumping, three round competition was tested.
1966 First team competition in Ski jumping, winner was East-Germany.
1967 Programme keeps on expanding – first time for women´s relay. Additonal event was “Winter of Finland”- exhibition
1968 Finnish Ski Association had it´s 60th anniversary, celebrationrelay was handed to Mr. Urho Kekkonen, President of Finland.
1969 No success for Team Finland. In Ski jumping East-German Christian Kiehl won both, youth and special Ski jumping competitions.
1970 Competition Manager, Mrs. Leila Lepistö started her career as official “Ski-Girl”.
1971 Less than 50.000 spectators. Mass start was tested in men´s skiing. This was the first time that Finnish team did not win any competitions.
1972 Marketing budget was doubled, which was seen in increasing amount of spectators.. Ski jumpers disappointed, competition was tranfered from new hill to old wooden hill.
1973 First competition in the hill. Old hill was situated at the Indian hill, on the oppossite hill from current ski stadium stand.
1975 Lahti Ski Games 50th anniversary. One of the main events was exhibition ski jumping, with Norwegian girl Anita Wold.
1976 Last Ski Games at the old stadium. Right after Games the renewing started for next World Ski Championships.
1977 Pre-WSC with 377 athletes from 19 countries. First competition in Lahti nomal hill was won by Walter Steiner (SUI).
1978 Official competition song “Lahti By Night” was introduced in the 4th WSC held in Lahti. Every year since that this song has been played after the fireworks on Saturday evening.
1979 Another great organized Games despite the wind and fog.

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1980 Young Canadian-Indian, jumping without glasses, Steve Collins jumped amazing hill record, 124 meters.
1981 Jari Puikkonen won both individual competitions. What made these competitions special was, that they were held in K64 hill.
1982 New, modern track&field stadium was built. This made Lahti Ski stadium year-around meetingpoint for sporting citizens.
1985 The real Lahti Ski, men 50 km, was taken out from the programme. After that, this traditional event has taken place twice, 1989 and 2001, in World Ski Championships.
1986 Finnish popband Dingo, played at the games. Band had over 13.000 spectators on Saturday-evening at the Ski-restaurant
1988 Matti Nykänen, wins nr 6 and 7 at the games. He won both competitions. He is still the most succesful athlete in the history of Lahti Ski Games in amount of wins.
1989 World Ski Championships gatehered 450 000 spectators in 10 days. This is still the record of Lahti Ski Games.
1992 16-year-old Toni Nieminen excited the crowds. Despite the economical depression the Games had almost 120 000 spectators.
1994 No Nordic Combined events were held.
1995 Lack of snow forced to cancel so called “marketplacefive”. The track was suppose to be in the downtown area.
1997 Cross country competitions were held in January and Ski jumping and Nordic Combined in March. Games were split in two because of the World Ski Championships in Trondheim.
2001 Sixth World Ski Championships in Lahti. Temperature varied from +7 to -25 degrees celcius.
2002 First time that cross country competitions were only in free technique.
2005 Lahti Ski Games were held for the 80th time. World Cup success of Janne Ahonen and Hannu Manninen gathered the greatest amount of spectartor since 1992. (WCS 2001 excluded)
2008 Red Bull X-Fighters motor show attracted spectators on Saturday evening.
2011 Competition Manager, Mrs. Leila Lepistö retires after 41 years of service.


The Ski Museum

   The Ski Museum is at the foot of the ski-jump ramps at the Lahti Sports Centre. Museum activities were launched in 1958 by the veterans' section of the Lahden Hiihtoseura skiing club. The museum was founded in 1974 and the first permanent exhibition was opened in the old sauna of the club. The present museum building, designed by the architect Esko Hämäläinen, was opened to the public on 1 November 1989. The present renovated façade of the building, combining slanting walls, wood and glass, was designed by Professor Pekka Salminen and was completed in 2000. At the same time restaurant Voitto and 80-seat auditorium were built.

Salpausselka Medal

Salpausselkä medal was founded in 1960 for athletes that have won Nordic dicipline in Lahti Ski Games at least twice. Salpausselkä medal number 1 was handed to Tapani Niku who won in 1923-1925 four times. Most wins in Lahti Ski Games has won Matti Nykänen, all together 7 victories during 1984-1989. Altogether 87 Salpausselkä medals have been awarded for true Salpausselkä legends.
#1 Tapani Niku
1923, 1924, 1924, 1925
#2 Sulo Jääskeläinen
1923, 1924, 1924
#3 Matti Raivio
1925, 1926, 1926, 1927, 1927
#4 Paavo Nuotio
1925, 1927, 1932
#5 Erkki Penttilä
1928, 1928
#6 Kai Rusten, NOR
1928, 1928
#7 Lempi Asikainen-Ruuska
1928, 1929, 1931
#8 Rafael Björklund
1929, 1932
#9 Veli Saarinen
1931, 1933
#10 Volmari Toikka
1931, 1934
#11 Lauri Valonen
1932, 1934, 1935, 1936
#12 Sulo Nurmela
1934, 1935, 1937
#13 Leo Laakso
1941, 1943, 1944, 1945, 1946
#14 Olavi Sihvonen
1943, 1944, 1946
#15 Pekka Vanninen
1939, 1947
#16 Benjamin Vanninen
1946, 1948
#17 Kerttu Pehkonen-Pesonen
1947, 1948, 1949, 1951
#18 Heikki Hasu
1948, 1949, 1951, 1952, 1953
#19 Veikko Hakulinen
1952, 1953, 1953, 1958
#20 Arvo Viitanen
1952, 1953, 1954, 1955
#21 Mirja Hietamies-Eteläpää
1954, 1956
#22 Eero Kolehmainen
1956, 1957
#23 Sverre Stenersen, NOR
1956, 1957, 1959, 1960
#24 Paavo Korhonen
1954, 1958
#25 Kalevi Hämäläinen
1956, 1958, 1966
#26 Siiri Rantanen
1954, 1959, 1961
#27 Juhani Kärkinen
1958, 1959, 1963
#28 Arto Tiainen
1959, 1960
#29 Harald Grönningen, NOR
1960, 1961, 1962
#30 Veikko Kankkonen
1960, 1961, 1964, 1967, 1968
#31 Otto Leodolter, AUT
1961, 1962
#32 Alevtina Koltshina, RUS
1958, 1963, 1965
#33 Reidar Hjermstad, NOR
1963, 1963
#34 Assar Rönnlund, SWE
1961, 1965, 1967, 1968
#35 Georg Thoma, GER
1961, 1965
#36 Markus Svendsen, NOR
1966, 1967
#37 Nina Shebalina, RUS
1969, 1971
#38 Pål Tyldum, NOR
1968, 1971
#39 Eero Mäntyranta
1964, 1972
#40 Galina Kulakova, SOV
1972, 1973, 1974, 1975, 1979
#41 Vasili Rothsev, SOV
1974, 1975, 1977
#42 Walter Steiner, SUI
1973, 1975, 1977
#43 Oddvar Brå, NOR
1973, 1975, 1981, 1982, 1982
#44 Karl Schnabl, AUT
1975, 1976
#45 Zinaida Amosova, SOV
1977, 1977, 1978, 1978
#46 Aleksei Borovitin, SOV
1974, 1977
#47 Sergei Saveljev, SOV
1976, 1977, 1978
#48 Konrad Winkler, DDR
1977, 1978
#49 Helena Takalo
1970, 1978
#50 Jari Puikkonen
1981, 1981, 1989
#51 Barbara Petzold, DDR
1981, 1981
#52 Rauno Miettinen
1976, 1982
#53 Armin Kogler, AUT
1980, 1982
#54 Ole Bremseth, NOR
1982, 1982
#55 Aleksandr Zavjalov
1980, 1983
#56 Algimantes Shaina, SOV
1983, 1983
#57 Horst Bulau, CAN
1983, 1983
#58 Matti Nykänen
1984, 1984, 1985, 1986, 1986, 1987, 1988, 1988
#59 Lars-Erik Eriksen
1979, 1984
#60 Thomas Müller, BRD
1984, 1987
#61 Marjo Matikainen-Kallström
1986, 1987, 1990
#62 Marja-Liisa Kirvesniemi
1983, 1989
#63 Jelena Välbe, RUS
1989, 1989, 1990, 1991
#64 Gunde Svan, SWE
1989, 1989
#65 Andreas Felder, AUT
1985, 1990, 1991, 1991
#67 Trond Einar Elden, NOR
1989, 1991
#68 Björn Dählie, NOR
1990, 1992, 1999
#69 Toni Nieminen
1992, 1992
#70 Torny Mogren, SWE
1986, 1993
#71 Jens Weissflog, GER
1989, 1994, 1995
#72 Vladimir Smirnov, KAZ
1989, 1994, 1995
#73 Inger Helene Nybråten, NOR
1988, 1996
#74 Manuela Di Centa, ITA
1994, 1996
#75 Masahiko Harada, JPN
1996, 1996
#76 Bjarte Engen Vik, NOR
1996, 1998, 2001
#77 Stefania Belmondo, ITA
1992, 1998
#78 Janne Ahonen
1998, 2000
#79 Hannu Manninen
1997, 2000, 2005, 2010
#80 Martin Schmitt, GER
2000, 2001, 2002
#81 Larissa Lazutina, RUS
1999, 2001
#82 Bente Skari, NOR
2001, 2001
#83 Samppa Lajunen
1999, 2002, 2002
#84 Kristina Smigun, EST
2000, 2002, 2007
#85 Adam Malysz, POL
2001, 2003, 2003, 2007
#86 Daito Takahashi, JPN
2004, 2004
#87 Virpi Kuituinen
2001, 2004, 2008