Iltalehti (Finland): crash of 2011 claimed the lives of 44 people: the Finnish player Jorma Valtonen believes that his destiny kept

The 2011-12 KHL season has just begun. In the evening the Jorma Valtonen (Jorma Valtonen), who was then at his home in Yaroslavl, someone called.

One Finnish player in the NHL was trying to reach Lehtera Jori (Jori Lehterä), who played in the Yaroslavl Lokomotiv last season. When Lehtera moved to Novosibirsk hockey club “Siberia”, his phone gave the new trainer of goalkeepers of “Locomotive” the Jorma Valtonen.

Understand the confusion, Valtonen heard the question that he was stunned.

— Did you hear that the plane crashed?

— What plane?

The plane, flying to Minsk for the draw of the KHL team Lokomotiv on Board crashed shortly after takeoff. The news shocked the Jorma Valtonen.


In the crash killed all of them, except hockey player Alexander Galimov and engineer in the aviation service Alexander Sizov. Five days later Galimov died in hospital and the death toll has risen to 44.

“Of course, when we remember, it is very sad,” — says quietly Valtonen.

Coach Jorma Valtonen was supposed to fly, but his fate was saving the day before departure he got another job.

“I always had to be with the team. After a workout in the day before departure the coach asked me whether I will fly. I was surprised. Of course, as I’m not going because I already prepared all the documents and visas”, — says Valtonen.

“Then the main Manager said to me that I remain to train the Youth hockey League (MHL), they too soon had to begin the competition.”

In accordance with his contract, Jorma Valtonen is responsible for training the goalkeepers of “Locomotive”, played in the MHL.

“We agreed that I’ll see Minsk match on TV and, if required, will arrive on the following match in Moscow.”

“Of course, I was upset because it was the beginning of the KHL season, and I planned to fly. And then I suddenly said that I am staying.”

Jorma Valtonen was found with the team for morning training the next day, as usual, worked with the goalkeepers.

“After training we went to eat. Then the guys went to the airport and I was home.”

“I couldn’t believe that there was such a tragedy.”


The legendary Jorma Valtonen (73) after his exceptionally long and striking career of the goalkeeper working coach for about 30 years. He worked with the women’s hockey team of Finland and women’s team “Turun palloseura” (Turun palloseura, TPS), after the tragedy was the coach of the “Locomotive” for another four years.

2015 Valtonen works as a coach in Italy. He was already familiar with the Italian hockey in 1976, he helped the “Val Gardena” (Val Gardena) to win the Italian championship.

“First time I was able to focus on hockey, practicing twice a day. In Finland I worked or studied”.

Winning Championships

Career Valtonen, a native of Turku, started, of course, in the ranks of the local team “Turun palloseura”.

“Due to my health I have played since the mid 60-ies to mid 80s and even longer.”

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In 1966, young Jorma Valtonen moved to the Finnish city of Pori, where he was for six years, twice won the Championships of Finland in 1967 in the club “RU-38” (RU-38) and in 1971 in the ranks of the club, “Asset” (Ässät, “Aces”).

Third gold in the championship of Finland Valtonen took the club Jokerit (Jokerit “Wild”) in 1973.

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He played in the club “Jokerit” and in the next season, though has lived in the town of Forssa, where he worked as the head of production at the factory of sportswear.

“There I had 50 seamstresses. In the evening I went to Helsinki and back.”

Further, the transition team of the city of Forssa was a logical step. The goalkeeper fought for the status of Forssa hockey players in the Finnish hockey League (SM-liiga) in 1975, when she just appeared.

The standard-bearer

Best Jorma Valtonen remember as the goalkeeper of the national team of Finland “Laanat” (Leijonat, “Lions”). He appeared in 13 competitions and at the Olympic winter games 1984 in Sarajevo became the first Finnish ice-hockey player, honored to carry the flag of Finland.

“It was wonderful. Probably Suhonen Alpo (Alpo Sulhonen) tried to” — he praises the head coach of those years.

“I always get so bright feelings, when I remember that day.”

Then Waltonen was 37 years old. He was honored to carry the flag as a reward for his brilliant long career. But he remembers that initially the carry flag is assigned to the best Finnish athlete of that time — Mieto skier Juha (Juha Mieto).

“The next day Miata was a race. He wanted to focus on her, not to stand and freeze”.

“Food will not get”

The culmination in the career of Jorma Valtonen was the 1970 world Cup, when Finland lost to the Soviet Union only with the score 1:2. Then the Finns would equal a score with the red car to win, even to a miracle.

However, to meet with the Soviet Union they had twice.

“The following match they have played stronger,” laughs the Valts (short Valtonen, approx. TRANS.).

Coach of the Soviet team, Anatoly Tarasov cheered the players.

“Tarasov told the players that they will not feed if the difference is less than five”.

Finland was defeated with the score 1:16.

“In the beginning of the match Mellie Keinonen (Mölli Keinonen) scored a goal, and that was a mistake. Then they started to play” — with laughter remembers the Valts.

“Of course, for the success of their fed”.

On tournament “the Prize of “Izvestia”-1971″ Finland won its neighbor to the East. The gate stood Jorma Valtonen.

He says he does not remember the course of some matches.

“Of course, I’m happy that somehow participated in the creation of Finnish hockey culture.”

At the beginning of the competition, Leppanen goalie Antti (Antti Leppänen) got injured, Stig Wetzel (Stig Wetzell) got on ephedrine. Valtonen, who originally wanted to leave the house, suddenly became the only goalkeeper “Laanat”.

“It was pretty funny,” he laughs.

Form a second goalkeeper had to wear the attacker Seppo Repo (Seppo Repo).

“I remember I looked at him and said, “Seppo, change the flaps places””.

It is wrong to put them on.

Career continues

Valtonen has done a wonderful job task the goalkeeper of the Finnish team played brilliantly.

Doping scandal with Wetzel in the end, Finland took first place: the team lost in the match against Czechoslovakia with the score 5:2.

Generation Jorma Valtonen not awarded medals, but he still recalls his career with the heat.

“I’m awfully happy that I was able to play so many years and found in hockey a lot of good friends.”

Hockey career Valtonen does not end. Last season he was goalkeeping coach in Italian club “Asiago” (Asiago) and will continue to work with him next season.

“Of course, they asked if I’m ready to come.”