Avanto-Erkki / Winter-swimming Erkki 

The documentary follows the journey of a 93-year old war veteran Erkki Makkonen during his preparations for the Winter Swimming World Championships held in Siberia, Russia.

Erkki has been to Russia only once, during the war in 1943.

The documentary follows Erkki’s preparations for the journey and the race, in the sleepy small town of Savonranta in Eastern Finland. In between training Erkki shares memories and anecdotes of his life, which hasn’t been short of adventures and interesting encounters. It is a common sight to see Erkki training in the river that runs through the town center. He walks there daily with his walker to keep himself fit.

This eight-time World Champion has a positive view on the future: “Even if the times are tough in Finland, we will get trough it. I have so many plans for the future!”, Erkki says. The documentary is a story of strong will, Finnish sisu, curiosity and ice holes. And a little about women, too.


The documentary premiered in spring 2018 in Helsinki. Duration 62 min.