Hidden somewhere at Gerby, beneath endless layers of building dust and broken teenage dreams, you will find a few pictures and a very special newspaper article from the summer of 1996.

Here in Finland, when you are in ninth grade (last grade of our compulsory school), you are supposed to find yourself work during two school-weeks. The thought behind it is to familiarise you with grown-up life basically. I think one hidden agenda is to make you want to stay in school a few more years actually…

Anyway, being a year ahead (I had skipped first grade), I had not even turned 15 when I had to start thinking about where to apply. After agonising for a while, I finally mustered up the courage to walk into the local paper, specifically directly into the office of the editor-in-chief. Being a bit late, he told me they had already agreed to hire two of my classmates.. Bugger!

However, after thinking about it for a day or two, they decided to take me on. I’m not sure why exactly, but that’s not my dilemma to ponder upon. Either way, it turned out pretty well. I stayed on as a freelance for three years.

And so it happened that I got a call that summer between elementary and upper secondary school. The question was if I was free the coming Thursday evening, and if so, if I could go and do an interview with Teemu Selänne, who was to join for a local charity football match a few miles from where I lived. Yeah, sure, no prob, when’s the deadline?

I can’t remember telling my parents about this, but I have a feeling my mum might have needed a cigarette. She’s always had a bit of a soft spot for Teemu.

After settling from the shock, it was a good thing she accompanied me, as Selänne’s bodyguards didn’t at first believe I was the designated local reporter. Can’t really blame them, half the county was there, screaming like maniacs when he landed in a helicopter. I was mostly concerned about the fact I had to speak Finnish.

In the end, I got a few words with the man himself, and I met the deadline.

And if you dig deep enough at Gerby, you will find a few glossy pictures of the biggest hockey star Finland’s ever had, his arm around an anything-but-photogenic fifteen year old girl with ugly glasses and even uglier 90’s clothes.

I’m a bit sad I missed the game yesterday.

Photo by Tomi Hänninen via



  1. Vad det här nåt du skrev för ÖN? Jag har letat i mina minnens skrymslen men inte kommit på om det var för oss du skrev eller för nån annan (men local newspaper kan ju inte vara nåt annat än ÖN … hahaa)

    1. Japp, det var det. Det var Görel som ringde den gången, de flesta av er var på semester 🙂

      1. Men var skulle han spela, Teemu? Var det i Lovisa eller…? Minns inte alls 😀

      2. Nä, Isnäs. Minns inte detaljerna kring det mer, bara den där helikoptern och gorillorna utanför omklädningsrummet. Vet inte om det var samma gång (låter troligt) som andra finska kvasikändisar i stil med Lola Odysoga (hur fasiken man nu sen skriver det namnet) var där också.. hmm.

        Det kan ju vara att du var utomlands just då.

      3. Hahaa… menar du att jag annars hade varit självskriven för den där idrottsgrejen? 🙂
        Nä, jag minns inte var jag var, men nu minns jag nog själva grejen! Ett kul minne blev det ju för dig hur som helst, nu när vi har facit i hand och han är megakändis!

      4. Haha, tja… 😉

  2. Anonymous · · Reply

    Pic or it didn’t happen!!

    1. Haha! As I just commented on Facebook as well, I will post them when I find them. Might take a while though, seeing as half of all things at Gerby have switched places not only once but twice and more these last months…. *groan*

  3. Sonja Ek-Johansson · · Reply

    Jo, det var samma gång som Lola var där. Tror också Pasi Rautiainen o eventuellt Janina Frostell sku ha vari där + nån annan ännu. Hälsar en som också var där o tittade på Teemu 🙂

    1. Jag är lite dålig på finska kändisar, men du har säkert helt rätt 🙂 ett kul minne är det ju onekligen, för oss alla.

  4. Jag tror jag var där. Var väldigt liten såklart så jag minns inte mycket. Men jag fick en ballong med hans autograf.

    1. Säkert ett av dina tidigaste minnen 🙂 tror halva Pernå var där, haha…

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