Kalevi Oikarainen’s first international fame came in 1959 when he won the 15 km race at Holmenkollen. In 1961 he recorded his only victory at the Lahti Ski Games, by winning the 15 km. Oikarainen competed at the 1962 World Championships, but not very successful as he did not finish the 15 km, his only start at those championships. He was not selected to the 1964 Finnish Olympic team, but competed again at the 1966 World Championships, where he won silver in the relay and was 11th at 30 km. At the 1968 Winter Olympics Oikarainen won bronze in the relay and was seventh at 30 km and tenth over 15 km. Oikarainen’s biggest international success came at the 1970 World Championships, where he won the 50 km race, the only medal the Finns won at those championships, which earned him the title of 1970 Finnish male athlete of the year. Oikarainen made his last international appearance at the 1972 Olympic Winter Games, where he did not finish the 50 km. Domestically he won fourteen Finnish titles – two in the 15 km (1961, 1965), one in the 30 km (1971), two in the 50 km (1970, 1972) and nine in the relay (1959, 1967-1973, 1975). During and after his sporting career Oikarainen worked as a Finnish border guard, finally rising to the rank of sergeant major.