Aki Karvonen made his international début at the 1982 World Championships, where he won a bronze in the relay and was tenth in the 30 km and 14th in the 15 km. The 1984 Winter Olympics were probably his best international tournament as he won a silver in the 15 km, bronzes in the 50 km and relay, and was fifth at 30 km. Karvonen was less successful at the 1985 World Championships, his best finish a fourth place in the relay. At the 1987 World Championships, Karvonen won a silver in the 30 km, but was only 15th in the 15 km and was not selected for the relay team. Karvonen also competed at the 1988 Winter Olympics, but with less success and made his last international appearance at the 1989 World Championships, where he won a silver in the relay and was fourth in the 15 km. By profession Karvonen was a border guard and he has also played a part in developing Vauhti ski waxes.