The Paavo Nurmi Games athletics competition is available for viewing throughout the world next summer. Last August, the Paavo Nurmi games were included in the global IAAF World Challenge series at the Rio Olympics.

Paavo Nurmi Festival 2017

  • A school tour for the festival will be organised in the spring

  • Sat 10 June Mehukatti Paavon Sporttipäivä (Mehukatti Paavo’s sports day)

  • Mon 12 June Junior Paavo Nurmi Games

  • Tue 13 June Paavo Nurmi Games

  • Sat 1 July Paavo Nurmi Marathon


The Paavo Nurmi Games (PNG) have made broadcasting agreements with Discovery, the Finnish Broadcasting Company and an international distributor. The Paavo Nurmi Games are available in over 100 countries next summer.

“The agreements are a sign of confidence and a result of our persevering efforts. This is also a new challenge for PNG, the Finnish Broadcasting Company and the City of Turku. We think it is important that Finns are able to see the competition in Turku free of charge on television. During our centenary, Finland will receive the most coverage abroad through the Paavo Nurmi Games,” says Ilkka Kanerva, chair of Paavo Nurmi Turku Oy.

“Being international is important to the City of Turku and its attractiveness. Together, the Tall Ship Races and the Paavo Nurmi Games are the major international events of the coming summer,” says Aleksi Randell, Mayor of Turku.

The Finnish Broadcasting Company broadcasts the three-hour live show on a free-of-charge channel in Finland on the day of the event, 13 June. Discovery Channel, in turn, will broadcast the games live in Europe on its Eurosport channels, as well as in Asia and Oceania. The games can be viewed in over one hundred countries.

Through international reruns, the event will receive more than ten hours of air-time. The Paavo Nurmi Games will be commentated in 32 languages. In addition, the international distributor is negotiating on additional distribution in the Middle East, Africa, North America, the Caribbean, Central America and South America.

“The games in Turku will be commentated in 32 languages around the world. Through international commentary, we will have a wonderful chance to promote our city, country and the life of Paavo Nurmi,” says Saara Malila, Director of Communication of the City of Turku.

The tale of Paavo Nurmi raises interest abroad

The world’s oldest indoor athletics competition, Millrose Games, will be organised in New York on 11 February. This is where Nurmi ran world record times in the 1920s. In 2017, one of the main events is the Paavo Nurmi 3,000-metre race. The competition will be televised on NBC throughout the United States. MTV Sport will broadcast the competition in Finland.

“Turku has been doing quality work for the Paavo Nurmi Games for a long time. The Nurmi story truly interests the world,” says Robert Portman, director of licensing at the Finnish Broadcasting Company.

“The tale of Paavo Nurmi is incredible. That is why it has garnered international interest. The Finnish Broadcasting Company, Paavo Nurmi and the competition organisation make up a tough cooperation team to execute this international competition. I would also like to thank Harri Halme who is promoting the project with me both in Finland and abroad,” says Jari Salonen, the Managing Director of Paavo Nurmi Turku Oy.

The Paavo Nurmi Games are developing the television content of the games together with Mirko Jalava, who is in charge of operations at one of the world’s leading statistics services, Tilastopaja. The goal is to create a new kind of statistics service for live and television audiences, where we can move from the personal record and season’s best record level to a deeper level, much like in the NBA and the NHL.

Paavo Nurmi born 120 years ago

Next summer we will have two things to celebrate on 13 June: The 120th anniversary of the birth of Paavo Nurmi as well as the 60th anniversary of the Paavo Nurmi Games. The tradition of the Paavo Nurmi games dates back to 1957, when Nurmi’s home club Turun Urheiluliitto organised the first Paavo Nurmi Games as a homage to Nurmi, who turned 60.

In the past few years, the Paavo Nurmi Games ranking in the IAAF World Ranking has risen steadily each year. In 2013 the ranking was 72, and a year later, 51. In 2015 the competition was ranked the 34th best competition in the world. This summer, the competition rose to the top 30 of the best competitions in the world with a ranking of 28.

The organiser company of the Paavo Nurmi Festival is a non-profit company founded in 2012 by three athletics clubs in Turku (TuUL, TuWe and TuTo), the Finnish Athletics Federation and Nurmi’s family.