Juhani Suutarinen made his international début at the 1966 World Championships, but his first international success came at the 1972 Winter Olympics, where he won a silver in the relay. The high point of Suutarinen’s career was at the 1974 World Championships, where he won a gold in both individual events, the 10 and 20 km and a silver in the relay. At the 1975 World Championships Suutarinen won his third World title, this time in the relay. Suutarinen’s last international medal came at the 1976 Olympics, where he won his second Olympics silver, again in the relay. Suutarinen also won the Nordic Championships twice, in 1970 at 20 km and in 1972 in the relay and he was a five-time Finnish champion (in 1966 and 1970 at 20 km and in 1970, 1971 and 1974 in the relay).