Toivo Aro

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Toivo Aro
Toivo Aro diver.png
Aro during his competitive years
Personal information
Birth nameToivo Nestori Ahlstedt
Full nameToivo Nestori Aro
National teamFinland
Born(1887-02-09)9 February 1887
Helsinki, Grand Duchy of Finland, Russian Empire
Died8 October 1962(1962-10-08) (aged 75)
Helsinki, Finland
Resting place Hietaniemi Cemetery, Helsinki [1]
EducationMaster of Philosophy
Occupationbank manager, chief executive officer
Spouse(s)Katri Lille
  • Diving
  • Water polo
  • Helsingfors Simsällskap
  • Helsingin Hiihtäjät
  • Helsingin Itäreitin Melojat
  • Helsingin Luistelijat
  • Helsingin Uimarit
  • Norssin Turnarit
  • Suomalainen Pursiseura
  • Ylioppilasvoimistelijat
Achievements and titles
National finals10 Finnish championships in aquatics

Toivo Nestori Aro (born Toivo Nestori Ahlstedt, 9 February 1887 – 8 October 1962) was a Finnish sportsleader and an aquatics athlete, who won 10 Finnish championships.



Olympic participation

Toivo Aro at the 1912 Olympics 1912 Toivo Aro in action.JPG
Toivo Aro at the 1912 Olympics
Toivo Aro at the Olympic Games
1908 Summer Olympics 10 metre platform Round one2nd in heatAdvanced to semi-final. [2]
Semi-final3rd in heatDid not advance to final. [3] According to the official histories of the Finnish Swimming Federation, Aro did qualify for the final, but due to confusion and a language barrier he sat it out as a spectator. The books offer as evidence a diploma presented exclusively to the finalists. [4] [5] Aro himself disputed this in an article he wrote, having no feelings of injustice and naming three other non-finalists who received the diploma. [6]
1912 Summer Olympics 10 metre platform Round one3rd in heatAdvanced to final
Plain high diving Round one2nd in heatAdvanced to final

Aro was the Chef de Mission of Finland at the 1928 Winter Olympics. He was the leader of Finland's swimming team at the 1924 and 1936 Summer Olympics. In 1924 he was also a diving judge. [7]

National athlete

Aro won ten Finnish national championship golds in aquatics:

He was a member of eight clubs, all Helsinki-based: [7]


Aro was a board member of the International Ski Federation in 1926–1930. [7]

He was the chairman of the Finnish Ski Association in 1916–1926. [11]

He was a board member of Finnish Olympic Committee in 1919–1946 and its treasurer in 1929–1957. [7]

He was the chairman of the Finnish Swimming Federation in 1928–1946 and its honorary chairman. [7]

He was the progenitor of the Yrjönkatu Swimming Hall, the first public indoor swimming hall in Finland. [12]

He was the founding member of Suomen Latu, a national non-profit organisation for the promotion of outdoor recreation and a physical activities, and its inaugural chairman in 1938. [13]

He was active in many other notable Finnish sport organizations in the 1920s and 1930s. [14]


Aro was born and died in Helsinki. [7] His parents were Henrik Gustav Aro Ahlstedt and Mariaana Karoliina Forsell. [15] They finnicized their family name from Ahlstedt to Aro on 12 May 1906. [16]

He married dentist Katri Lille (1890–) in 1916. They had six children: [17]

  1. Toivo Ilmari (1917–), who acted in various positions in sport in Finland [7]
  2. Uhmo Antamo (1919–)
  3. Kauko Kalervo (1920–1932)
  4. Sorri Uskali (1922–)
  5. Heljä Iloisa Katri (1926–), who married Yrjö Heikki Soininvaara (born Sirén) (1924–) in 1948. [18] Osmo Soininvaara is their son. [19]
  6. Marja Terttu Tellervo (1928–)

He was the chief executive officer of the bank Helsingin Suomalainen Säästöpankki in 1925–1957. [20]

He was the editor-in-chief of Urheilulehti in 1917–1918. [7] He wrote some works, such as a fifty-year history of Helsingin Suomalainen Säästöpankki, banking-related manuals, sport and temperance movement histories. [20]

He was awarded the Knight of the White Rose of Finland. [15] His wife received the Commemorative medal of the Winter War. [17]

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  1. "Aro Toivo Nestori". (in Finnish). Retrieved 21 February 2023.
  2. Mallon, Bill; Buchanan, Ian (2001). The 1908 Olympic Games: Results for All Competitors in All Events, With Commentary. Jefferson, North Carolina, United States: McFarland. p.  144. ISBN   978-0-7864-0598-5.
  3. Mallon, Bill; Buchanan, Ian (2001). The 1908 Olympic Games: Results for All Competitors in All Events, With Commentary. Jefferson, North Carolina, United States: McFarland. p.  143. ISBN   978-0-7864-0598-5.
  4. Teräsvirta, Paavo, ed. (1956). Suomen uimaliitto. Finska simförbundet. 1906–1956 (in Finnish). Helsinki: Suomen uimaliitto. p. 28.
  5. Mustonen, Pertti (2006). Sata altaassa. Suomen uimaliitto 1906–2006 (in Finnish). Helsinki: Edita. p. 41. ISBN   951-37-4490-6.
  6. Aro, Toivo (1924). "Uintikilpailuista Olympialaisissa kisoissa". In Pihkala, Lauri; Jukola, Martti (eds.). Olympialaiskisat ennen ja Pariisissa 1924 (in Finnish). Vol. I. Porvoo: Werner Söderström Osakeyhtiö. pp. 333–334.
  7. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 Siukonen, Markku (2001). Urheilukunniamme puolustajat. Suomen olympiaedustajat 1906–2000. Suuri olympiateos (in Finnish). Jyväskylä: Graface. pp. 17–18. ISBN   951-98673-1-7.
  8. Mikkola, Rolf (2022). Bra kunder. Helsingfors simsällskap. Vattenpolo. Vesipallo. 1887–2021 (in Finnish). Helsingfors: Helsingfors Simsällskaps Garantiförening rf. p. 14. ISBN   9789529457892.
  9. Henriksson, John; et al., eds. (1947). Helsingfors simsällskap — minnesskrift vid 60-årsjubiléet 1947 (in Swedish). Helsingfors: Helsingfors simsällskap. pp. 186–187.
  10. Henriksson, John; et al., eds. (1947). Helsingfors simsällskap — minnesskrift vid 60-årsjubiléet 1947 (in Swedish). Helsingfors: Helsingfors simsällskap. p. 156.
  11. Virtapohja, Kalle, ed. (2022). SVUL:n vuosisata. Suomen suurin ja vaikutusvaltaisin urheilujärjestö[The Century of SVUL]. Suomen Urheilumuseosäätiön tutkimuksia (in Finnish). Vol. 4. Helsinki: Urheilun ja liikunnan kulttuurikeskus TAHTO, SVUL. p. 464. ISBN   9789526644219. ISSN   2243-1489.
  12. Hakala, Sampsa (2019). Uimahallit Suomessa (in Finnish). Riihimäki: Uimahalli- ja kylpylätekninen yhdistys ry. pp. 13–14. ISBN   9789529418749.
  13. Valleala, Raine, ed. (1987). "50 vuotta Suomen Ladun toimintaa". Ulkoilu elämäntavaksi (in Finnish). Helsinki: Suomen latu. p. 35. ISBN   9519991425.
  14. Arponen, Antti O.; et al. (2003). Klinge, Matti; Mäkelä-Alitalo, Anneli; et al. (eds.). Suomen kansallisbiografia. Studia biographica (in Finnish). Vol. 1: Aaku–Browallius. Helsinki: Finnish Literature Society. pp. 387–388. ISBN   951-746-442-8. ISSN   1456-2138.
  15. 1 2 Havu, I.; Poijärvi, L. Arvi P.; Parikka, Eino, eds. (1954). Kuka kukin on (Aikalaiskirja) 1954. Henkilötietoja nykypolven suomalaisista (in Finnish). Helsinki: Otava. p. 48. Retrieved 15 August 2018.
  16. "Nimenmuuttoja. Namnförändringar". Lisälehti Suomalaisen Virallisen Lehden N:oon 109. Bihang till Finlands Allmänna Tidning N:o 109 (in Finnish and Swedish). Helsinki: Senaatin Kansliatoimituskunta. 12 May 1906. p. 1. ISSN   1457-4675 . Retrieved 11 August 2018 via Digital Collections of National Library of Finland.
  17. 1 2 Ingraeus, Aili; Mustajoki, Helvi; Salmelin, Nils W. (1960). Suomen hammaslääkärit. 1960. Finlands tandläkare. 1960 (in Finnish and Swedish). Helsinki: Akateeminen kustannusliike. p. 22.
  18. Huovinen, Pentti; et al., eds. (1982). Kuka kukin on (Aikalaiskirja) 1982. Henkilötietoja nykypolven suomalaisista[Who's who in Finland 1982] (in Finnish). Helsinki: Otava. p. 940. ISBN   951-1-06659-5.
  19. Pajala, Lasse; Lagerbohm, John; Strengell-Silainen, Ulla, eds. (2011). Kuka kukin on. Henkilötietoja nykypolven suomalaisista 2011[Who's who in Finland 2011] (in Finnish). Helsinki: Otava. p. 952. ISBN   978-951-1-24712-8. ISSN   1237-7570.
  20. 1 2 Kallinen, Ville (20 December 2017). "Aro (Ahlstedt), Toivo (1887–1962)". Urheiluvaikuttajat (in Finnish). Helsinki: The Finnish Society for Sport History. Retrieved 18 August 2018.