A Golden Öölaulupidu

Article published on Aug. 20, 2008
Article published on Aug. 20, 2008
Photo AFP/Scanpix To celebrate the 20th of August and the Restoration of Independence, a night song festival was organised in the evening of the 19th of August. For some reasons, one Estonian guy far away in Peking thought this was not enough and decided to celebrate this day its own way.

Gerd Kanter running the 100 metres final with the Estonian flag flying above his head…No, no that is not his speciality but only the result of his victory in discus. Happy like a young kid eating pancakes on Sunday morning, Kanter started the traditional round of the stadium with the flag but decided to spice it up a little so that Peking would not forget him: he suddenly decided to take the start of the 100m and ran.


The victory in the discus competition was already acquired after the 5th throw but Kanter decided to do the last try, with obviously less concentration. If this last throw will not be recorded in the books, his win will definitely be. By throwing the discus at 68.82 m, he is rewarded for his work and the continuously improving results since the disappointment of Athens 2004.

Team Kanter decided to work hard after the 2004 Olympic Games and the results are quite impressive since then: 2nd at the World Championship in Helsinki in 2005 with 68m57, 2nd at the European Championship in Goteborg in 2006 with 68m03, 1st at the World Championship in Osaka in 2007 with 68m94, and now the Gold Medal in Peking 2008 with 68m82.

Besides the victory and the fact that this will give him respect for a long time, the gold medal might make him rich. Aripäev assessed that, based on the inflation and the generosity of the sponsors, this gold medal could be worth EEK 3 millions. Indeed, the government decided to award an Estonian gold medallist in Peking with EEK 1.6 million. However, this amount is not set by any official document commented Malle Engels from the Ministry of Culture.

As a comparison, Tiit Sokk and Erika Salumäe received a property and a house after their performance at the 1988 Olympic Games. Gerd Kanter should maybe ask for the same kind of present as the EEK 3 millions would be barely enough to buy a flat in Tallinn nowadays…

Anyway, Estonian flags were out and the crowd was singing at Öölaulupidu!