Väinö Huhtala made his international début at the 1960 Olympic Winter Games, where he won gold in the relay and was 13th at 15 km. In 1960 he also won relay gold at the Swedish Ski Games in Falun. At the 1962 World Championships Huhtala won the silver in relay and repeated his Olympic result over 15 km, placing 13th. At the 1964 Winter Olympics, Huhtala again won silver in the relay, but this time he had his best individual place at an international tournament, finishing fourth in the 15 km, losing by only 12 seconds to bronze medal winner, the legendary Swede Sixten Jernberg. At Innsbruck Huhtala placed 14th in the 30 km. Domestically Huhtala won two individual Finnish Championships in 1961 and 1962, both at 15 km and won four relay titles (1960, 1961, 1963, 1964). Huhtala also competed domestically in rowing, winning Finnish championships in lightweight coxless fours in 1957, 1958 and 1960.