Olympic snowboard coach is just the tip of the knitting iceberg for Finland


Is he nervous? Indifferent? Bored?

TV viewers have wondered what exactly is going through Antti Koskinen’s head as he knits — yes, knits — atop Olympic hills in Pyeongchang. The Finnish snowboard coach has become a viral sensation in the early stages of these Winter Games thanks to his penchant for knitting during what seem like tense competitive moments.

“People are sort of perplexed by it and (say), ‘Why am I doing it and what is going on?’” Koskinen told reporters this week.

“It has become something of a hobby for me,” he added. “I mean, I do it every four years. It’s a nice, Finnish thing. It means no unnecessary chit-chat is needed.”

Fair. As his riders idle at the starting gate for slopestyle and halfpipe events, there isn’t much to say. Maybe a word of wisdom, a pat on the back, a motivational clap, but nothing profound is required in those quiet seconds. Just presence or, in Koskinen’s case, calm activity.

We are #knitting again In Sochi we made a huge scarf, this time we are knitting a blanket for our presidential couple’s newborn son. #olympicteamfi #knittingteamfi #pyeongchang2018 #olympics #olympialaiset #pyeongchangfi pic.twitter.com/mwKLgh1h2j

— Olympic Team Finland (@OlympicTeamFI) February 12, 2018

Following the lead of a knit-happy coach from the Sochi Games, Finland’s sports psychologist Hannaleena Ronkainen decided to officially encourage the pastime in South Korea.

“The Olympic Games are long and we wanted to offer something fun and relaxing,” Ronkainen told USA Today. “Also this is a Finnish thing. Everyone can knit.”

The stress-relief tactic has been embraced by a large number of Finland’s Olympic contingent, including hockey player Noora Raty and ski jumper Eetu Nousiainen.

“What do I like to do the night before a game?” Raty tweeted back in 2014. “There you go.”

“My grandma is really proud,” Nousiainen said. “And my aunt was (telling me) I have to join their knitting group when I get back. And I was like no … no thank you.”

What do I like to do the night before a game? There you go: pic.twitter.com/WfZ95kUPn4

— Noora Räty (@Nooraty41) February 9, 2014

…read more

Source:: Nationalpost


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