President Sauli Niinistö and Mrs Jenni Haukio talking with Emilia Pikkarainen, Noora Laukkanen and Jenna Laukkanen, members of Finland’s swimming team, at the reception hosted by the Finnish Ambassador to London, Pekka Huhtaniemi. Photo: Lehtikuva
President of the Republic Sauli Niinistö and Mrs Jenni Haukio attended the Olympic Games in London between 27 and 31 July 2012. During the first days of the Games President Niinistö followed the performance of Finnish athletes in various sports and visited the athletes at the Olympic Village.
On the last day of the visit, Tuesday, 31 July, the events followed by President Sauli Niinistö and Mrs Jenni Haukio included swimming, with Emilia Pikkarainen competing in the women’s 200 metres butterfly and Matti Mattsson in the men’s 200 metres breaststroke.
On Monday the presidential couple visited the media centre and Olympic studio of YLE, Finland’s national broadcasting company. They also visited the Olympic Village and met athletes with Finnish Olympic Committee Sports Director Kari Niemi-Nikkola. In the evening the presidential couple attended Finland’s Olympic reception at the residence of the Finnish Ambassador to London, Pekka Huhtaniemi.
Warm atmosphere at the Finnish Church in London
“The warmth of your reception leaves me thinking that Finns become less reserved when living abroad,” President Niinistö said during the visit to the Finnish Church in London on Sunday, 29 July. The event was attended by around two hundred members of the Finnish community, and the atmosphere was full of warmth and immediacy.
Rector Teemu Hälli, the head of the 140-year-old Church, dedicated a pair of chairs to the presidential couple.
On Saturday the events followed by President Niinistö included judo, in which Valtteri Jokinen made it through to the top 16 in the men’s under 60 kg division. The day’s programme also included badminton, with Anu Nieminen competing in the women’s singles at the Wembley Arena.
The trip started on Friday, 27 July with a reception hosted by Queen Elizabeth at Buckingham Palace, which was followed by the opening ceremony at the Olympic Stadium.