World Athletics Championships 1983
POP-UP EXHIBITION 27 June–31 August 2023
This summer marks the 40th anniversary of the first World Athletics Championships, held in Helsinki in 1983. TAHTO Center for Finnish Sports Culture celebrates the occasion with a pop-up exhibition from 27 June to 31 August 2023.
The World Championships held in August 1983 at Helsinki Olympic Stadium started a new era in international athletics: for the first time major world titles were decided outside the Olympic Games. With 153 participating nations, the 1983 World Championships were the largest international event held in athletics up to that time. They also marked a milestone in the commercialization of international sports events. More sports-related merchandise than ever before was sold all around the city during the competition days.
The most successful athlete of the World Championships was Carl Lewis of the United States, who won three gold medals in sprint events and long jump. The home crowd got to celebrate three Finnish medals: Tiina Lillak won gold in women’s javelin throw, Arto Bryggare took silver in men’s 110-metre hurdles and Martti Vainio lunged for bronze in men’s 5000 metres.