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Iivo Niskanen and Sami Jauhojärvi (back) can't believe their ears when they were selected as the Athlete of the Year at the Finnish Sports Gala on at the Helsinki Arena on Tuesday 13 January 2015. Picture: Tony Öhberg for Finland Today

Iivo Niskanen and Sami Jauhojärvi (back) jump from their chairs after hearing that they were selected as the Athlete of the Year at the Finnish Sports Gala at the Helsinki Arena on Tuesday 13 January 2015. Picture: Tony Öhberg for Finland Today

HELSINKI – The Finnish Athlete of the Year is a duo, Iivo Niskanen, 23, and Sami Jauhojärvi, 33, who won Olympic gold in men’s cross-country skiing team sprint at Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics.

It’s the first time in the history of the Finnish Sports Gala when a duo wins the title. Niskanen and Jauhojärvi received a total of 4,633 points from the jury of national sports writers. The duo also won the award for the Sports Moment of the Year.

“I was able to predict that we will win the prize for the Sports Moment of the Year but as for the award for the Athlete of the Year, well, I thought we would not receive it because we are two!” Jauhojärvi said at the press conference at the Helsinki Arena late on Tuesday evening.

Niskanen said that being recognised as the year’s athlete is a big merit.

“The year 2014 was an extremely tough year in sports and there were many others who could have received the award,” Niskanen said.

“We did it together and won the gold, and the jury was ready to select a duo as the Athlete of The Year,” Niskanen said smiling.

The Finnish cross-country skiers, Sami Jauhojärvi and Iivo Niskanen, won the Finnish Athlete of the Year Award at the Finnish Sports Gala on Tuesday 13 January 2015. Picture: Tony Öhberg for Finland Today

The Finnish cross-country skiers, Sami Jauhojärvi and Iivo Niskanen, pose after winning the Finnish Athlete of the Year award at the Finnish Sports Gala on Tuesday 13 January 2015. Picture: Tony Öhberg for Finland Today