|Born||5 January 1888
|Died||20 May 1981 (aged 93)
|Height||179 cm (5 ft 10 in)|
|Weight||79 kg (174 lb)|
|Event(s)||800 m, high jump, discus throw|
|Achievements and titles|
|Personal best(s)||800 m – 1:58.1 (1911)
HJ – 1.75 m (1909)
DT – 31.40 m (1906)
Lauri "Tahko" Pihkala (born Gummerus, 5 January 1888 – 20 May 1981) was the inventor of pesäpallo, the Finnish variant of baseball. In 1969 he became one of the first persons to receive an honorary doctorate in Sport Sciences from the University of Jyväskylä, together with president Urho Kekkonen and Professor Kaarina Kari.
Pihkala competed in the 1908 Summer Olympics and ranked 16th in the high jump. He also participated in the discus throw event but his result is unknown. At the 1912 Summer Olympics he was eliminated in the first round of the 800 m competition. In the 1910s he became the first Finnish professional coach in athletics, and also worked as a physical education instructor with the Finnish Army.
Pihkala was known for being an avid sports fan, and he developed several outdoor games.
Pihkala was also a right-wing political activist. He supported eugenics as a means to improve the military prowess of the Finnish people.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Lauri Pihkala.|
- Lauri Pihkala in 375 humanists 6.1.2015, Faculty of Arts, University of Helsinki
- List of Finnish athletes 1906–1912
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