Sari Essayah Vaalikoneet
Sari Miriam Essayah (born 21 February 1967 in Haukivuori) is a Finnish retired race walker and a politician, former Member of the European Parliament (MEP) and Member of Parliament since 2015. She is the president of the Finnish Christian Democrats party. Her father is from Morocco.
During her sports career, Essayah competed mainly in 5 000 and 10 000 metres. In the latter, she won the World Championship in 1993 and the European Championship in 1994. She made seven national records, all of which are still standing.
After retiring from sports she entered politics and represented the Christian Democrats in the Finnish parliament between 2003–2007 but failed to get reelected in the election of 2007. She served as the Christian Democrats' party secretary from 2007 to 2009. Essayah was elected to the European Parliament in 2009 but failed to be reelected in 2014 despite her 61 000 votes. This left the Finnish Christian Democrats without MEPs in the 2014 election.
Essayah was candidate in the Finnish presidential election, 2012. She came last with 2.47 percent of the votes.
In the 2015 Parliamentary elections, Essayah was elected to represent a newly formed constituency of Savonia and Karelia with over 11 000 votes. She was later chosen to be the vice speaker of the Christian Democrats' Parliamentary group. In August, she was chosen the new chair of her party after her predecessor, Päivi Räsänen, retired from the position after over ten years.
|1987||World Championships||Rome, Italy||19th||10 km||47:30|
|1989||Universiade||Duisburg, West Germany||3rd||5000 m||21:34|
|1990||European Championships||Split, Yugoslavia||5th||10 km||45:10|
|1991||World Race Walking Cup||San Jose, United States||16th||10 km||46:20|
|Universiade||Sheffield, England||1st||10 km||44:04|
|World Championships||Tokyo, Japan||3rd||10 km||43:13|
|1992||Olympic Games||Barcelona, Spain||4th||10 km||45:08|
|1993||World Race Walking Cup||Monterrey, Mexico||2nd||10 km||45:18|
|World Championships||Stuttgart, Germany||1st||10 km||42:59|
|1994||European Championships||Helsinki, Finland||1st||10 km||42:37|
|1995||World Race Walking Cup||Beijing, PR China||12th||10 km||44:21|
|World Championships||Gothenburg, Sweden||4th||10 km||42:20|
|1996||Olympic Games||Atlanta, United States||16th||10 km||45:02|
- ^Candidates, Yle site for EU elections 2014. May 26, 2014.
- ^ Yle site for Parliamentary elections 2015. April 24, 2015.
Master of Science degree in business administration, University of Vaasa (Finland) (1995)
Member of the Youth and Temperance Committee, Lapinlahti (Finland) (1988-1990); Part-time teacher, Northern Savo Higher Education College, Iisalmi (Finland) (1990, 1997); Town Councillor, Lapinlahti, and member of the Inspection and Culture Committee (1996-2000); Auditor, SVH PricewaterhouseCoopers Oy, Kuopio (Finland) (1997-2000); Business Controller, TeliaSonera Finland Oyj/Auria Oy/Turun Puhelin Oy, Turku (Finland) (2000-2007); Member of the Finnish Parliament (2003-2007 and 2009-); Chair of the Christian Democratic Group in the Finnish Parliament (2004-2007); Member of the Council on Ethics, Finnish National Lottery Veikkaus (2004-2008); Member of the Body of Delegates, Kaleva insurance company (2005-); Party Secretary, the Finnish Christian Democrats (2007-2009); Member of the Supervisory Board, Kemijoki Oy (Hydropower Company (2015-), Member of the Supervisory Board, Finnish State Railways (VR) (2008-2009); Councillor of the Association of Finnish Local and Regional Authorities (2008-2012); Member of the Body of Delegates, Turku Cooperative Society (2008-2012); Town Councillor, Paimio (Finland) (2008-2012) and member of the Paimio Municipal Executive (2009); Councillor of the Regional Council of Southwest Finland (2009); Member of the European Parliament, EPP-group (2009-2014); Chairperson of the Finnish Christian Democratic Party (2015-)
World Championships, 10 km: 19th, Rome (Italy) (1987); 3rd Tokyo (Japan) (1991); 1st, Stuttgart (Germany) (1993); 4th, Gothenburg (Sweden), (1995); Universiade: 5,000m, 3rd, Duisburg (Germany) (1989); 10km, 1st, Sheffield (Great Britain) (1991); European Championships, 10 km: 5th, Split (Croatia) (1990), 1st, Helsinki (Finland) (1994); World Race Walking Cup, 10 km: 16th, San Jose (United States of America) (1991); 2nd, Monterrey (Mexico) (1993); 12th, Beijing (People’s Republic of China) (1995); Olympic Games, 10km: 4th, Barcelona (Spain) (1992); 16th, Atlanta (United States of America) (1996)
Board member, Finnish Athletics Association (1997-1999); Member, IAAF Race Walking Committee (1998-2015); Member, Economic and Marketing Committee and Race Walking Committee, Finnish Athletics Association (1998-2009); Member of the Ethics Committee, Finnish Association for Persons with Intellectual Disabilities (2004-); Chair, sports development aid NGO Liike (2007-2009); Board member, Athletics Support Foundation (2007-); Member of the Ethics Committee, Finnish Athletics Association (2014-)
Awards and distinctions
Finnish Sportswoman of the Year (1993 and 1994); Alumnus of the year 2004, University of Vaasa; Member of the Honorary Board, Helsinki World Championships Games (2005); Honorary Medal of the Finnish Sport Culture (2009)
Member of the following Commissions: Sustainability and Legacy (2016-), Digital and Technology (2017-), Olympic Solidarity (2017-)