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When a star leave us: Mika Myllylä



Throughout history there have unfortunately been a lot of sad fates for celebrated athletes and the continuation of their life after sports career is over.
Today came news that one of the most talented skiers in the last ten years has left us.

I remember 2 March 1997. It was the World Cup skiing in Trondheim in Norway. I worked at that time in a beer tent in the center of Trondheim where every night was packed with happy people.

This March evening, 50 km in classic skistyle was celebrated.
It was especially Finland who had the reason to celebrate, their national hero Mika Myllylä had won the classic distance in front of the Norwegian and home favourite Erling Jevne, and another Norwegian, Bjorn Daehlie in bronze position.

Despite the fact that the Norwegians that day had to settle for second and third place so was Mika Myllylä a folk hero among the Norwegian domestic audience.

Both in the beer tent where I worked, and in the streets, rang the shouting and singing; Miiika Myllylä, throughout the evening and night!
There were toasts and cheered and it did not end until the sun rose the next morning.

The following year was the Finnish skier on top of his career when he won gold in 30 km in the Olympic Games in Nagano.
In the next World Cup, in 1999, he ruled with his three gold medals in Ramsau.
His great World Cup would therefore be the World Cup on home turf in 2001, in Lathi.
Before this he had conquered amazing 15 medals in World Championships and Olympic Games.
Here, the recession was big when the Finnish cross-country team was hit by a doping scandal not seen similar dimensions of either before or since.

Mika never came back after this scandal.

He was expelled from the society. His fans, his skifriends turned back to him. The established community condemned him.
As this wasn`t enough he was separated from his wife and children as well.

The life after a great sports career was tough for the skilled athlete.

This morning was Mika Myllylä found dead in his home!
His life ended in a tragic way!

Mika Myllylä is not alone in experiencing a tough life after a sports career ends.
After the lights are off it can often be tough for athletes to fill their lives with something that feels reasonable.
Gone are patted on the back, gone are cheers, gone is the hassle from the press.Life can feel dark and sad for a player who goes from being in the middle of the world one moment to the next to be forgotten and marginalized.

This can also be transferred to the society we live in.
All demands and expects everyone to live and work in an A4 society. If anyone stands out from this format is the "establishment" swift to condemn and exclude.
These mistakes the human race never learn of.
Throughout history this has been repeated time after time.
How many fates and humans will be destroyed before people learn to respect everyone regardless of whether someone makes a mistake in life.
To forgive is not just something that's in the Bible and belongs to the religious teachings.
The forgiveness should be qualities that all people should have regardless of whether they are religious or not.

In today's media coverage I am surprised to read about Mika Myllyläs skifriends who says that they have not talked to him after the scandal in 2001!
Think about it, they have not been contacting or spoken to a man wich they before the World Cup 2001 was close friends with!
This is a good example of great community condemnation, unfortunately.

Peace be with you Mika Myllylä, for me you are one of history's finest skiers regardless of what people are saying.
you did not get the continuation you deserved after that night where the crowd cheered for you in the beer tent in Trondheim on 2 March 1997.


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