December 8, 2021
Jaakko Tapani Ilkka (August 8, 1941 Jämsänkoski - November 20, 2021) was a Finnish athlete and sports director. He chaired both SUL and the Finnish Olympic Committee. In December 2006, he was awarded the title of Professor for his achievements in the field of sports and exercise. As an athlete, Tapani Ilkka was a 400-meter hurdles runner in the mid-1960s. He reached a record of 52.5 in the Swedish international match in Stockholm. During his activity, Ilkka represented Kaipola's Viretta and won Finnish Championship medals in the 400-meter fencing and as a representative of the club's message team. He was a teacher at the Finnish Sports College from 1967 to 1971, the head of education at the Finnish Sports Association from 1971 to 1974, the director of operations at the Los Pacos holiday village in Spain from 1974 to 1976 and then the long-time rector of the Finnish Sports Association from 1976 to 2006. Chairman of the Organizing Committee of the European Championships in Athletics, Member of the Board of the Finnish Olympic Committee 1985–2004 and Chairman 1989–2004, Member of the Board of SVUL 1983–1994. In 2001, Tapani Ilkka received the Grand Cross of Merit in Finnish Physical Education and Sport, the 2005 International Olympic Committee (IOC) Medal of Honor and the 2006 Professor.