The never-ending story between Karhu and the European Athletics Championships

Karhu's technical apparel will be part of the Rome 2024 European Athletics Championships

Karhu will join the EuroRoma 2024 Foundation as the official supplier of technical apparel for the European Athletics Championships, scheduled for June 7th to 12th next year. This shared commitment aims to promote the values of athletics, celebrate its history and enhance the image of a major international event.

The agreement extends beyond commercial purposes, reconnecting with a glorious past, thanks to the involvement of a prestigious figure in Italian athletics, Franco Arese, who has been leading the Karhu company for ten years. A former athlete, gold medalist in the 1,500-meter race at the European Championships in Helsinki in 1971, and later entrepreneur and sports politician, Arese was president of the Italian Athletics Federation from 2005 to 2012. He has enthusiastically welcomed the opportunity to participate in the Rome 2024 European Championships project, which will bring Italy and its capital back to the center of the international athletics scene.

“Karhu was the sponsor of the 1971 European Championships in Helsinki. Now,than 50 years later, it will return to Rome. It is a perfect link between the most important success of my athletic career, the gold I won in the 1,500 meters in Helsinki, and Italy, my homeland. I am excited to take on this new challenge as an entrepreneur alongside my children and our employees; it is a story that continues to give me great energy and enthusiasm,” explains Franco Arese, Chairman of Karhu.

Athleta Magazine is proud to announce its involvement in this synergy dedicated to athletic prowess in the Eternal City, which will be carried out with media and press coverage that will introduce, follow and chronicle the entire event.


Watchlist – Wrestlers

The new Netflix series is an ode to independent wrestling and its irrational stars

How many of you are familiar with the glittering WWE violence? And how many of you have witnessed the dynamic rise of AEW up the wrestling food chain? Probably all of you have watched, if only for a moment, a live broadcast of these two entertainment powerhouses. And who among you has ever witnessed an OVW, Ohio Valley Wrestling pay-per-view? Probably no one. Because this independent promotion is the historically little brother of the great American wrestling majors, a purist’s paradise, a hotbed of talent that has created celebrities like John Cena, Randy Orton and Batista, but it’s also a business poised on the precipice of failure.

The economic resurrection of this scrappy, yet fascinating promotion is the focus of the Netflix series ‘Wrestlers.’ The advent of the two businessmen Matt Jones and Craig Greenberg allows us to discover a parallel universe, written and directed by the sole (impressive) imagination of former professional wrestler Al Snow: a universe where heritage matters more than profit, where credibility and inspiration consciously snub the laws of the market, and where dozens of athletes dream of making a living from their art, often colliding with a harsh reality composed of second jobs and economic struggles. ‘Wrestlers’ is an ode to independent wrestling and its heroes: human beings populated by demons, emotional fractures, family contradictions and controversial pasts, who in the adrenaline of the three ropes manage to find answers to even the most complex existential questions.

Greg Whitley directs a magical series that allows us to explore the tumultuous identities of performers in search of their gimmick and their future, as well as the great beauty of a discipline that is too often undervalued. An art form that demands scientific timing and acting qualities. An endless novel that seeks only the viewer’s reaction and loyalty. A theater of pain, shaped by acrobatic hits and performances that are anything but superficial‘Wrestlers’ is a contemporary glossary of ambition, sacrifice, failure and, above all, irrational passion.The transversal passion that drives men and women to challenge their bodies and minds in order to temporarily step into the shoes of superheroes. Even in front of 30 people. Even for a handful of dollars. That’s why ‘Wrestlers’ makes its way right into our Watchlist.

Credits
Netflix

Photo Credits
Gianmarco Pacione


More than an icon, just Beckham

New Netflix series ‘BECKHAM’ allows us to celebrate a cult aesthete, celebrity and footballer

The release of the Netflix series ‘BECKHAM’ is the perfect opportunity to pay tribute to an icon who has left an indelible mark on both football history and aesthetics. And beyond. The dual identity of Beckham, painter of brilliant trajectories and pop star, perfect midfielder and global celebrity, has long divided public opinion, but never left any doubt about the natural communicative power of the Londoner adopted by Manchester and the ‘Red Devils’.

Jorge Valdano wrote that “Beckham is two people in one: he is one person when he is playing and another in daily life. Off the field, like certain Patagonian birds, he takes a dump with every step. But during the ninety minutes he shows qualities of concentration, participation, self-sacrifice, solidarity, and a shot that manages to address where he wants”; Diego Armando Maradona, on the other hand, described him as “Another one too pretty to go on the field. Although he is very much into his Spice Girl, sometimes he finds time to play and he does it well, very well…. With the United he won everything, but he owes something to the national team.” Two coincidental thoughts that define the essence of the current Officer of the Order of the British Empire and owner of Inter Miami CF, as well as multifaceted entrepreneur, meteoric rise.

Because Beckham was simultaneously 7 and ‘Spice Boy’. 23 and ‘Galácticos’. He was his Adidas Predators and the sequence plan of his free kicks. The platinum blond hair and the stylistic evolution. A beauty sensation. A walking advertisement. A winner for every club, but a looser for many Englishmen. He was, quite simply, one of the most influential and sought-after athletes in modern sport, a star capable of changing every market law and demarcating an entire football era. Beckham is still continuing his own marketing and business masterpiece, defining year after year the (also controversial) chapters of his aesthetic legacy

The series ‘BECKHAM,’ directed by the Oscar-winning Fisher Stevens, explains the origins and evolution of this mass phenomenon that, at 48 years of age, has yet to stop dictating standards and trends. ‘Becks’ legacy, however, is not made up of only lights and successes, but also goes through humble beginnings, the dark side of fame, depression and personal obsessive-compulsive disorder. Every perfectionist, after all, hides cracks. And every legend is created through difficulties, misunderstandings, failures and moments of weakness. As this series will show you.

Credits
Netflix

Photo Credits
Imago
AFLOSPORT
Avalon.red
Uwe Kraft
Adidas
PanoramiC
POP-EYE
Action Plus

Text by
Gianmarco Pacione


Watchlist – Swagger

Apple TV+ series that shows us life through basketball

The second season of Swagger, the Apple TV+ series that shows us life through basketball, and vice versa, recently ended. Swagger is a bildungsroman, inspired by Kevin Durant’s story and co-produced by the NBA star himself. The story’s protagonist is Jace Carson (Isaiah Hill), a young basketball prospect who is followed and analyzed along his tortuous high school path. On the hardwood floor anyone can learn to live, says an unwritten law of basketball. And Jace succeeds in evolving as a human being, before he does as a player, inheriting African-American knowledge, experiencing the problems of contemporary society, and building fundamental human bonds.

Episode after episode, the term ‘swagger’ becomes a common thread to define the style, courage and brash but virtuous attitude of a special talent who wants to transcend the simple athlete’s role, becoming a role model for his community, and beyond. The appearance of sports and social legends such as John Carlos, and the cyclical counsels of coach-mentor Ike (O’Shea Jackson Jr), make this series a wonderful journey through the insecurities, pressures and self-discovery of some third-millennium athletes-adolescents: a historical period where socials, money and racial taboos can annihilate the mental balance of any young talent.

The extreme aesthetic quality of this series should also be emphasized. The innovative direction, the use of atypical camerawork, and a cast composed of high-level players allow us to witness credible and spectacular games and highlights, where any difference between athletes and actors vanishes. The soundtrack led by Tobi Nwigwe and the magnetic qualities of the aforementioned Isaiah Hill are the final ingredients in a series that undoubtedly deserves to be on our Watchlist.

Credits: Apple TV+
Text by: Gianmarco Pacione


Matildas: The World At Our Feet

The Disney+ series dedicated to the Australian women’s national team

The nickname of the Australian women’s national football team is ‘Matildas’, a term referring to the bush ballad ‘Waltzing Matilda’, composed by poet Banjo Paterson in 1895. This unofficial anthem is also the title of the Disney+ production dedicated to the Australian women’s footballers’ journey to the 2023 World Cup, which will be played in Australia and New Zealand.

Global superstars like Sam Kerr, Ellie Carpenter and Mary Fowler are followed day after day and match after match. Between goals, disappointments and private moments, their intimate testimonies convey their desire to revolutionise an entire sport and nation, to change the lives of millions of young female footballers and to deal with the pressures of an unprecedented moment in history.

Because the ‘Matildas’ represent greatness not only from a sporting point of view, but also in terms of human and women’s rights leadership. The hyper positivity of Swedish coach Tony Gustavsson and the images from the field are in fact interludes between deep reflections and analysis on the relationship between women and sports and the desire to progress towards a better future for every female athlete.

For this reason, “Matildas – The World at Our Feet” enters our Watchlist as an essential production that can introduce us to the upcoming World Cup.

Photo Credits: Watchlist
Text by: Gianmarco Pacione


Watchlist – Tour de France: Unchained

An intimate and romantic documentary work dedicated to the timeless wonder of the Grand Boucle

Few events in the world boast the same epic and mystique that surround the Tour de France. Since 1903, the yellow race has been a novel built on tears and fatigue; it is a mad cycling marathon conceived by the brilliant ‘tyrant‘ Henri Desgrange and embraced by legendary athletes. Anecdotes, exploits and failures have made the Tour a timeless celebration of an entire sporting movement and an entire country, painting, generation after generation, a masterpiece that is as tragic as it is romantic.

Tour de France: Unchained’ is the Netflix production dedicated to the Grand Boucle and its contemporary heroes. Just weeks before the 110th edition of the world’s toughest cycling stage race, this series allows us to discover the most intimate sides of the long climb to the Champs-Élysées. Stages, individual emotions and the dynamics of each team intertwine, telling us both about the characteristics of the single protagonists and the management difficulties during this huge and complex sports challenge.

The human Red Sea of the Alpe d’Huez, the relationship between Van Aert and Jonas Vingegaard, Geraint Thomas‘s everlasting greatness, the bucolic life of Pinot and the incredible sporting resurrection of Fabio Jakobsen are just a few topics put into rhyme by this exciting series, which rightfully enters our Watchlist.

Photo Credits: Netflix
Text by Gianmarco Pacione


The Ninth Issue

Athleta Magazine Issue 9 is a new celebration of the sports muse, its social value, its infinite narrative power, and its relationship with contemporary photography. For the first time, our print journey begins with two different covers. The first is the work of Nils Ericson, while the lens of Rich Wade decorates the second. ‘Game on’, the traditions and rites of passage of American high school football, on one side, and ‘It’s all fake, right?’, the brutal marvel of deathmatch wrestling on the other, are both gateways to this new chapter of our independent publication. Sacrifice, redemption, and resilience accompany us inside the Eastern New York Correctional Facility, where Joseph Rodriguez’s legendary camera captures an unusual yet startlingly relevant bodybuilding contest among inmates. The statuesque bodies of the ‘Forced Reps’ reportage echo an ocean away in the centuries-old, mystical ritual of Iranian wrestling, described in ‘Zurkhaneh, the House of Strength’ by Konstantin Novakovic.

Passion and athletic goals are ageless in ‘Mastering Time,’ our ode to the heroes of World Masters Athletics, and priceless in ‘Fairway Tertulia,’ Joseph Fox’s visual gallery focused on the popular and democratic golfing greens of the Madrid neighborhood of Fuencarral-El Pardo. Lucia Elen Ayari’s ‘Young, Noble Art’ takes us to the fraught suburbs of Catania, where boxing can become a tool for emancipation and hope. From scorching Sicily to freezing Wisconsin: the land of lakes allowed MT Kosobucki to discover and analyze the fascinating sport that combines wind, sails, and sub-zero racing in ‘Ice Sailors’. Finally, the editorial ‘Back in the Days’ that explores breaking, underground Milanese culture and Tommy Biagetti’s photographic flow, is the final piece of our ninth issue, the first with a double face.


Guardians of the Baltic Sea

The faces and words of those who protect the Baltic Sea alongside KARHU and the John Nurminen Foundation

The ‘Baltic Sea’ event organized by KARHU and the John Nurminen Foundation is synonymous with community. Environmental awareness and running came together in the words and actions of the participants of this special day in Helsinki. These Guardians of the Baltic Sea are activists and athletes; they are kindred souls connected to their sea. We portrayed them at the end of the symbolic run that led to the coast of the Finnish capital, listened to their experiences and reflections, and heard loud and clear the individual and collective need to positively affect the world and its ecosystem.

ANTON ARO

“I grew up on the Baltic Sea. I have so many memories there, and I used to swim there all the time as a child. Now I have a house overlooking the coast, where I spend a few weeks in the summer with my relatives. For these reasons, the Baltic is very close to me. I think it’s necessary to act now to safeguard it. I know we can’t make huge or drastic changes overnight, but we can kickstart the process and aim for sustainable and gradual change. We’re here for a good cause, and I think moments like these are crucial because they bring together positive people who can talk about these issues, spread awareness and expand the number of activists. I’m proud of the Finnish running community. When I first became part of it, I quickly realized that these were wonderful people. Runners don’t run on the Baltic Sea, that’s obvious, but they have a keen ecological awareness, and the ones I know always avoid polluting.”

ELINA TUOMAALA

“I was born on the Gulf of Bothnia in western Finland. I left my heart on those shores, and even today, whenever I go running, I try to do it by the sea. When I see its color, I can’t help but worry. The Baltic Sea is not clean, when the summer temperature rises it’s impossible to swim in it. The condition of the Baltic is improving slowly because everyone has started taking it seriously – the future looks bright to me, but we have to come together to achieve the necessary outcomes. This event is a great opportunity, it allows us to create awareness. Fundraising dedicated to John Nurminen Foundation projects is also essential. Fortunately, In Finland many people are taking action to protect the Baltic Sea, and this day proves exactly that.”

JARI-PETRI TIANINEN

“I don’t live close to the Baltic Sea, I come from the interior of Finland, where I’m in constant contact with nature. Nature is part of my existence. I listen to and read news about the environment every day. I believe both an individual and collective path is needed. Everyone can do better. People need to get into the mindset that everything leads back to the sea: even if they live far from the coast, their waste affects the health of the Baltic. Here in Helsinki the pollution is plain as day, and everyone is aware of it, but events like ‘Baltic Sea’ open our eyes even more. I work for a large international company and we’re carrying out several environmental initiatives. There is a need for brands like KARHU and this collective participation to make things better. It won’t happen tomorrow or the day after, but things will get back on track one day because of the knowledge and awareness gained during events like this.”

TARU PALSA

“The problems of the Baltic Sea are known to many, but awareness-raising events like these are always good. The significance of these days is huge, because runners, activists and people can get real, useful information from the John Nurminen Foundation and, at the same time, do something collectively to change things. I hope more events like this will get organized. The sea is here, by our side, and we have to do everything to protect it.”

JARKO HAMMAR

“I grew up in Turku, next to the sea, and this issue really touches me, because I’m connected to the Baltic and have been running and open water swimming for some time. I think knowledge about the condition of the Baltic Sea has grown in recent years, people understand the seriousness of the situation and are aware that any kind of waste can endanger the health of our whole ecosystem. Running-related events are important, because runners have always been aware of environmental issues. When I run in Turku I see a lot of other runners collecting plastic, and the same thing is happening here in Helsinki. Sport helps raise awareness and understanding. It is a real pleasure that so many runners care about the Baltic Sea.”

RIIKKA HEINONEN

“The Baltic Sea is a part of my daily life. I live in Helsinki, overlooking its waters. I swim throughout the year, both in summer and winter, and even when I go running, I prefer to take roads that go along the coast. That is why I’m so concerned because I can see the Baltic conditions every day. I have two young daughters, and I often have to explain that they can’t go into the water because it’s green…. It’s scary. When we talk about climate change, we can only imagine it, but here we can actually see it. You can touch it. Today, for example, we stopped our run on a bay where the water was completely brown and not healthy. At the same time, I know that people’s efforts are leading to progress that can be seen in other areas of Helsinki. This is a relief, but we can’t stop acting.”


Protecting the Baltic Sea together with KARHU and JNF

Awareness and running came together in the heart of Helsinki on a special day dedicated to the Baltic Sea

“It is extremely gratifying to see runners and people who care about the Baltic Sea. ‘Baltic Sea’ is a new event for the John Nurminen Foundation; this is the first time we are connecting our actions and projects to running. We are happy to be here thanks to KARHU. The fact that all these people have dedicated time and energy to our sea is exciting. The most beautiful thing about the event is the connection between all the participants, between so many people who did not know each other before today, but who share the same will.” The ‘Baltic Sea’ event is encapsulated in the words of John Nurminen Foundation representative Erkki Salo, as well as in the active presence of the participants in this day of marine education shaped by the virtuous synergy between KARHU and the JNF.

The Karhu Store in downtown Helsinki welcomed runners and people concerned about the condition of their sea. “In Finland and throughout Scandinavia, we cannot swim after mid-July because the Baltic Sea fills with green bluea algae” Salo continues, “visibility is zero and the water smells bad. These are clear signs: the Baltic Sea is not well! However, if we reduce pollution and increase our attention it will be able to recover and to heal on its own.”

Hope is the central theme of a day dedicated to marine preservation, structured between in-depth speeches by the Foundation and a symbolic run that touched the coast of Helsinki, as well as the eyes and minds of its inhabitants. “KARHU’s focus on this issue is very important,” Salo concludes, “Through this kind of events we are able to give a voice to nature and the sea. At this moment in history, we are fighting for our sea, but also for the planet’s sustainability. KARHU is a beloved brand in Finland, part of our country’s history, and is also able to inspire so many people around the world. Thanks to its efforts and platforms a lot of people will be reached by these messages.”

Our images help the narrative of this pivotal event. Here is a gallery of the Baltic Sea Guardians who painted the streets of Helsinki with their bodies and ideals.


It’s a Layered World

Heritage and functionality, innovation and icons: Woolrich and GORE-TEX continue their historic union in the new SS23 collection.

Everything around us is layered. Everything that dwells within us is layered. Elements and stories, human beings and sensations, nature and inspiration. Our world is stratified, populated by interior perceptions and external needs, vistas that translate thought into matter and turn resolve into form, history into modernity.

This world is engaged in a constant dance between performance and style, comfort and utility. All of this is expressed in Woolrich’s SS23 collection and in some of its products, developed and conceptualized around a material-manifesto of the outdoor universe, its imagery and its needs: the GORE-TEX INFINIUM™. This collection includes a fully taped and 100% waterproof high-tech jacket, the High Tech Waterproof Jacket, the breathable and wind-resistant Long Hooded Parka, and the Shirt Jacket from Outdoor Label Designed in Japan. All of these are ideal for outdoor activities and lined with a special sweat-absorbing mesh fabric. Woolrich teaches us that every product has space for determination, vision and storytelling. In every hood, pocket, and zipper we can find the DNA of a brand that has always been iconic; a brand that has never turned its back on versatility, aesthetic spirit, or practical sensibility.

This can be found all the way back in the 1830s, with the genesis of the ‘Doing it Right’ philosophy, and the insight to provide attire for actions that define people and for people who define action. It all began around the concepts of functionality and utility, from understanding and studying a part of society that symbiotically embraces nature and faces its dangers and temperament. Hard Wearing for Hard Workers, for people who experienced each layer as an extension of their own skin, as a rational shell to be cast off and reassembled according to their needs, driven by the single, pragmatic goal of survival.

At the crossroads of the great industrial revolution, we discovered that, when everything was said and done, human beings were energetic machines. And our protection and survival might depend on the conscious adjustment of clothes and materials, on ‘layering’. A hat could prevent hypothermia. A jacket might enable homeostasis, the self-regulation of body temperature. It is in this advancement that the Woolrich heritage nestles. It lies within the scientific evolutions and cognitive layering that, following the natural course of things, bring together those who have made the outdoor world their temple.

From Sunday skiers to climbers conquering monumental peaks – like the first expedition on Dhaulagiri in 1973 and the invincible K2 two years later – to backpackers and two-wheeled mountaineers, America’s oldest outdoor clothing company has achieved the sublime where the air becomes rarefied and blood turns to ice, where the heart pounds and breath becomes short. They’ve done so with multi-faceted technology capable of enhancing the exceptional as effectively as the normalcy of everyday life. This exceptionalism flowed through modern creativity and would translate into design and awareness.

Only knowledge can produce the iconic. Only fusion and blending can produce excellence. Encapsulated in this manifesto is the synergy between Woolrich and GORE-TEX, born in the 1970s with a product that has become an icon, the Mountain Jacket. The micro-pores engineered through Bob Gore’s scientific genius have intertwined with Woolrich’s outdoor vision, cyclically reinforcing its identity, collection after collection. Almost half a century later, this marriage of mastery continues to protect hikers and urban explorers around the world, divided and coinciding in a modern world that is no longer compartmentalized.

Everything around us is layered. Everything that dwells within us is layered. Amidst remote quarries and metropolitan vistas, paved roads and trodden paths, the relationship between Woolrich and GORE-TEX continues to disseminate these ideas in SS23, protecting those who choose them and are chosen by them. It is a layered world, always has been, always will be. Each layer will carry on transforming thought into matter, turn resolve into form, history into modernity.

Text by: Gianmarco Pacione
Photo Credits:@Alex Webb

Woolrich archive
Woolrich.com