How Finland's Snowboarding Coach Knits His Nerves Away
If coaching world-class snowboarders doesn’t work out for Finnish snowboarding coach Antti Koskinen, he already has a start on a fallback career: professional knitter.
During slopestyle qualifying rounds at the 2018 Winter Games in Pyeongchang over the weekend, Koskinen was spotted at the top of the run clutching yarn and a pair of needles, even shedding his gloves in the frigid temps to get a better grip.
— Shelby-Jai Flick (@ShelbyJaiFlick) February 10, 2018
Though eagle-eyed viewers turned to social media to delight in the coach’s unusual pastime, it’s not the first time Koskinen has channeled his Olympic nerves into knitting needles. He worked on a scarf while advising snowboarders at the 2014 Sochi Winter Games, explaining that it helped lighten the mood for his nerve-wracked athletes just before a competition. Other athletes joined in with the intention of passing the pieces to their 2016 Summer Games counterparts.
This year, Koskinen’s craftiness has not only returned—it now serves a purpose beyond helping athletes keep their chill on the slopes.
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
So far, Koskinen and Team Finland haven't been able to spin wool into gold just yet, though they have claimed a couple of bronze medals. But that’s OK—they’re still a close-knit team.