Eeles Landström

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Eeles Landström
Medal record
Men’s Athletics
Representing  Finland
Olympic Games
Bronze medal – third place Rome 1960 Pole vault
European Championships
Gold medal – first place Bern 1954 Pole vault
Gold medal – first place Stockholm 1958 Pole vault

Eeles Enok Landström (born 3 January 1932 in Viiala) is a Finnish Olympic medalist and double European Champion in pole vault, a former member of the Finnish parliament and former business executive. He was born in Viiala, Finland.

Eeles Landström was the first Finnish participant at the Olympic Academy arranged by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) (Athens 1961).

Landström studied in the United States at the University of Michigan and graduated as Bachelor of Science in 1959. He was a two-time Big Ten champion in pole vaulting while at Michigan.

Landström was a member of the Finnish parliament in 1966-1971 and worked also in executive positions, for example as Assistant Director of Finance in the Finnish Broadcasting Company in 1976-1981 and as a member of the Administrative Council of the Finnish Broadcasting Company in 1967-1976. He was granted the Finnish honorary title of sosiaalineuvos in 2008.

Landström participated in the International Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) as a board member of Finland’s group and as a representative of Finland in the European Broadcasting Union, nominated by the Finnish Broadcasting Company.

Landström has written two youth novels (1966, 1974) and a biography (2002). His first novel was awarded as the best Finnish youth novel in 1966.

Landström lived with his family in the United States from 1954 to 1959 and in Spain from 1982 to 2007.

Achievements in sports

Olympic bronze medal in the 1960 Summer Olympics held in Rome (Italy) (pole vault)

Gold in the European Championships in Athletics in Bern (Germany) in 1954 and in Stockholm (Sweden) in 1958 (The only medal Finland won in these games)

Australian record in pole vault in Bendigo (Australia) in 1956

Landström improved the European record three times in the years 1955-1956

Landström improved the Finnish record 13 times in the years 1954-1958

He participated as a member of the Finnish team in 30 international competitions, winning 25 games in a row.

He won the Finnish championship eight times in a row in the years 1953-1960.

In 1961, Landström won the Nordic Championship still using a steel pole; the following year 1962 began the era of fiber glass poles.

Eeles Landström carried the flag for the Finnish team in the 1956 Summer Olympics in Melbourne and in the 1960 Summer Olympics in Rome.

Landström won the Spanish International Senior Amateur Championship in golf in 1992.


Said on the Finnish Athletes website: ”In the 1950s, Finnish track and field had introduced talented and skilled pole vaulters. One of the pole vault legends, Eeles Landström, became a key figure in track and field, and due to the steel pole changing into glass fiber; a lot of young men around the country were tempted to try their skills with the new equipment.

By the beginning of the 1960s, Landström’s European Championships in 1954 and 1958, as well as the Olympic bronze medal in 1960, the pole vault enthusiasm had reached its peak in Finland."

During the last year of his sports career, Landström arranged fiber glass poles to be exported from the United States, and thus Finns were the first in Europe to use the new equipment in pole vault.

Landström was granted the Finnish Pro Urheilu award for his remarkable athletic career in 2008.

Television and theater

A television documentary was made on Eeles Landström and his life in 1997, directed by Ville-Veikko Salminen. He was also the center figure in a play, which was written and directed by Jorma Kairimo. The premiere of the play ”Eeles – kohti päämäärää” (Eeles - towards the goal) took place in Akaa, Finland, in September 2008.

See also