Sochi Games Turn to Finnish Expert With Stockpile Plan
Updated Dec. 13, 2013
HELSINKI—Mikko Martikainen bends down and picks up a handful of snow. "You see, it's dying," he says, as he feels the crystals between his fingers. "There's no connection. It's like a porridge!" He chucks it on the ground.
The 56-year-old Finn is something of a snow whisperer. Using a combination of personal ingenuity and the latest in snow-making equipment, Mr. Martikainen has created a business that solves snow quandaries everywhere from Africa to the Himalayas.
Today, he's at a Helsinki indoor ski center trying to make the snow feel less like soppy oatmeal and more like the stuff of a snowball, without raising operating costs. But the task is nothing compared with his highest-profile job: Guaranteeing snow for the coming Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, in February.