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Finnish hockey legend reveals Swedish tattoo secret

Teemu Selänne aka "The Finnish Flash" has confirmed rumours that despite being one his country's most faithful servants on the ice, he has been bearing a terrible tattooed secret since a drunken stag night over a decade ago.

Finnish hockey legend reveals Swedish tattoo secret

Namely, he has a tattoo of a Swedish flag just above his ankle.

Selänne, along with Saku Koivu and Jere Lehtinen, has been a backbone of Team Finland for most of his 120 match international career.

He is the all-time points leader in men’s Olympic hockey with 37 points in 31 games and has scored more than 600 career goals. Selänne’s prowess on the ice has elevated him to icon status in the hockey crazy Nordic country.

He is no less of a star in his adopted home of the Anaheim Ducks and the 40-year-old continues to impress – scoring two goals in a 4-3 loss to the Nashville Predators on Sunday in the NHL playoffs – in what many believe to be his last games for California outfit.

Speaking to the Orange County Register daily last week Selänne confirmed the widely circulating rumour that he has a tattoo of the Swedish “blue-yellow” flag adorning his right ankle.

The story began with a familiar tale of stag night high jinx, with Selänne blind-folded by his friends and dragged into a local tattoo studio.

The plan was to tattoo a Finnish flag but the tattoo artist became nervous in the presence of this ice skating deity and mixed up the colours of Finland’s bitter rivals across the Baltic sea.

“I was supposed to go back two weeks later to have it fixed,” Selänne told the Register. “But I never did. Some day I’ll go back and that guy will remember me.”

In the meantime “The Finnish Flash” is perhaps set to be become known as “The Swedish Flash” and his tattoo to pose as a poignant reminder of the bonds that tie these two Nordic neighbours together.

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OFFBEAT

Swedish police remove sculpture mistaken for suicide victim

Police on the island of Gotland removed a public sculpture from the Galgberget nature reserve near Visby on the grounds that it is just too creepy.

Swedish police remove sculpture mistaken for suicide victim
The gallows at Galgeberget. Photo: Artifex/WikiCommons
According to local news site Hela Gotland, someone was out for a stroll on Galgeberget (the Gallows Hill) on Wednesday when they saw what they thought was a body hanging after a suicide. Local police were contacted but when they went to investigate they instead found a sculpture by artist Jessica Lundeberg. 
 
The artwork, entitled ‘The Watcher in the Woods’, is a partially transparent plate sculpture that looks like a spooky little girl. 
 
 
Despite discovering that the suspected suicide victim was actually artwork, police determined that Lundeberg’s piece could scare others and thus took the sculpture down. 
 
“It was decided that if it were to remain, more people would likely be frightened in the same way,” Gotland police spokesman Ayman Aboulaich told Radio P4 Gotland. 
 
Lundeberg told Hela Gotland that the sculpture has been at Galgeberget since a public art project last summer and that this was the first time it had caused any concern. She said ‘The Watcher in the Woods’ was the only piece that was allowed to remain after the end of the project. But now it is there no more. 
 
 
Lundeberg has taken the sculpture back to her studio. While she hopes it will eventually return to Galgeberget, the artist told Hela Gotland it seems unlikely.  
 
She said that the sculpture was damaged by police. 
 
“It was ragged, dismantled and broken. I was horrified when I saw it,” she said. 
 
Police have reportedly promised to pay any necessary repair costs.
 
Although the person who reported the sculpture to the police has not spoken with the media, their jump to conclusions could perhaps be attributed to the nature reserve’s macabre history. Galgeberget is still home to gallows that were used to hang criminals for centuries. The last execution to be held at the site was in 1845, according to Hela Gotland
 
 
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