Sport in Helsinki
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Helsinki has a long tradition of sports, the city gained much of its initial international recognition during the 1952 Summer Olympics, and the city has since then been very open to arranging sporting events. Helsinki hosts fairly successful local teams in both of the most popular team-sports in Finland, football and ice hockey. The later being a sport of passion for many Helsinkians, who usually take a stance for either of the local clubs HIFK or Jokerit. The strong culture of ice hockey has led to Helsinki becoming the birthplace of many legendary National Hockey League stars such as Teemu Selänne, Jari Kurri and Esa Tikkanen.
Olympics and other sporting events
Helsinki was elected host-city of the 1940 Summer Olympics, but due to World War II they were canceled. Instead Helsinki was the host of the 1952 Summer Olympics. The Olympics were a landmark event symbolically and economically for Helsinki and Finland as a whole that was recovering from the winter war and the continuation war fought with the Soviet Union.
Helsinki was also in 1983 the first ever city to host the World Championships in Athletics. Helsinki also hosted the event in 2005, thus also becoming the first city to ever host the Championships for a second time.
The Helsinki City Marathon has been held in the city every year since 1980, usually in August.
A Formula 3000 race through the city streets was held on May 25, 1997.
In 2009 Helsinki was host of European Figure Skating Championships.