Hans Gunnari

Hans Gunnari (1937 – 1996)

Hans Gunnari was born and raised in Sør-Varanger. His father ran a big construction company in Kirkenes, where Hans worked in summer vacations as he grew up. His was athletic, and entered higher education at the Norwegian State Gymnastics Scool (1956) because of the good sports results in jumping, skating, and football. His first job was as a military sports leader at Høybuktmoen in Sør-Varanger (1957-1958). He finished upper secondary education in 1960 in Oslo. At the same time, he worked as an instructor for Sam Melberg, who ran a sports center at Bislett Bad. He continued working there while completing physiotherapy education at the Orthopaedic Institute (1961-1962). In 1963-64 he ran the fitness center at the Landaasen Recreation Area (Landåsbygda Oppland) and started also an institute in a hotel in Fagernes. In 1965-967 he was chief physiotherapist at socio-medical department at Aker Hospital. At the same time, he took over Sam Melberg center at Bislet Bad (three worked there). In the autumn of 1967, he was hired by the Park Hotel to plan and initiate fitness and swimming department there. After three months of commuting it was finished just before Christmas 1967.

In late autumn 1967 started cooperating with Olaf Evjenth in operating the drifted Ryen physiotherapy institute. His wife, Birgit Gunnari started her career there, straight from the Physiotherapy School and worked with Sonja Billington, before Olaf came later in the year, after training in manual therapy with Freddy Kaltenborn at his institute in Bygdoy Allé. The center at Bislett where Hans worked was was named Hans & Olaf AS. Graphic Designer Bruno Oldani drew the H&O logo that still is used.

Hans took further education in physiotherapy in 1974-75 and then continuing education in manual therapy under Olaf Evjenth, and took the final exam in 1976. Britt Marie Johnson, who still works at the department also took the exam in time. Together with his wife Birgit, Hans traveled to Valejo, California in 1980 and took education in proprioceptive nerve Facilitation (PNF). Carolyn Oei (later Hvistendahl) was an instructor here. His invited her to Norway to keep PNF courses. She came, enjoyed her stay, and still lives in Oslo with her family.

His was the one attended to most of the administrative tasks at H&O Physiotherapy. He got along well with patients and employees. In the 1970s and 1980s, when many foreign physiotherapists came to H&O Physiotherapy for further training in manual therapy, Hans looked after them. He also was also central in the manual therapy community in Norway that at the time was going through a period of change. Hans made good use of his social skills and his ability to see solutions for the common good. Along with Olaf, he developed the Norwegian Sequence training approach based on functional therapeutic concepts. The apparatus have been sold to fitness centers worldwide. He and Olaf Evjenth also wrote a fitness exercise book entitled "Sequence Training."

Outside of work at the institute, he an avid fan of horse trotting and his daily fitness exercise, unfailingly enthused and challenging younger colleagues to follow suit. His Gunnari died at the age of 59, on 7h May 1996.