Finland’s most famous disabled athlete is wheelchair racer Leo Pekka-Tahti, and he did not let his supporters down when he won two gold medals in the IPS European Championships in Espoo in August. The six-day tournament, held after the World Athletics Championships in Helsinki, featured over 750 athletes from 48 countries.
The home crowd was first able to cheer Tahti to victory in the 100 metres, then two days later he clinched a great sprint double for Finland in the 200 metres.
It was repeat of his magnificent Paralympic gold medal double in Athens, where he also won the 100 metres and 200 metres.
Tahti is one of the leading figures in Finnish disability sport. He has increased awareness of sport for disabled athletes in his country and he has given a personal example of how disabled athletes can integrate into sports clubs and society. He has been a great supporter of the work of disabled charities. Tahti is a great role model to people with disabilities and has visited schools and sport camps to give lectures about his career and disability sport.