Kalle Jalkanen was much more successful internationally than domestically as he never medaled at either the Finnish Championships or the Lahti Ski Games. Jalkanen made his international début at the 1936 Olympics, where he skied the last leg of a gold medal winning Finnish relay team and two days later placed 12th in the 18 km. At the 1937 World Championships Jalkanen won two silvers in the 18 km and relay. At the 1938 World Championships Jalkanen won his only World title, in the 50 km, and was third at 18 km. During his short life, Jalkanen worked as a farmer, woodcutter, ski wax manufacturer, ran a coffee shop, and from 1937 on, worked as an accountant. Corporal Kalle Jalkanen was killed when he stepped on a mine while on an intelligence gathering mission in Lempaala, Ingeria (now Lembolovo in Leningrad Oblast, Russia).