Nickname: Kermis Date of birth: 11th January 2000 Residence: Jyväskylä Club: Jyväskylän Hiihtoseura Hobbies: Nordic Combined, football (occasionally) Motto: The only time “success” comes before “work” is in the dictionary.
Atte, please tell us something about yourself first. When and how did you become a Nordic Combined athlete?
Well, at the age of 5 I started to want to go ski jumping but until I was 7 years old my parents said that kids don’t jump from those hills. But right after my birthday in 2007 I found a website where they told about a ski jumping school for children. Then my parents agreed to take me to my first trainings and I loved it so much that I’m still doing it. They also offered an opportunity to try Nordic Combined and that’s when I knew what I wanted to do when I grow up.
Can you let us know some characteristics that make you who you are?
I’m very goal oriented and my attitude is almost always that I can do anything I put my mind up to. I also have a good sense of humor and I know how to laugh at myself. I am also very positive and I don’t worry too much. Sometimes it drives my parents crazy because they think that I don’t care about those important things. I think I can say that I’m a good loser because I don’t take the losses too hardly. I’m just a little shy at first with new persons but when I get to know them I’m a very social and talky person.
What do you like to do in your free time?
I like to go somewhere and just hang out with my friends. I also play very much video games and sometimes TOO much. I also like to go play football with my friend Jesse and the guys from his football team.
Let's talk about the sport now. This season, you've celebrated some victories in the Lidl-Cup and became the Finnish U18 Champion in January. How are you feeling about this?
Yeah, this season has been very good this far. The wins in LIDL-cup were one of the goals this season and I’ve been at my own level in those races. The U18 win was a little surprise because my goal was that with good luck I would be 3rd or 2nd but the jump was good and the Gundersen went great. My physical condition was as good as it could be and I hadn’t been ill the whole season. Let’s hope that the Youth Cup competition in Trondheim goes the same way.
At the beginning of February, you were also successful at the junior competitions in Sweden (winning silver at the 8km Individual Gundersen and gold at the Team Sprint with your partner Atte Korhonen). What experiences did you make in Sollefteå?
Sollefteå was one of the main targets/goals of my season and the preparations for the race went very well. But if the success in U18 was a surprise then I think I can say this came even more behind the corner. I never would’ve thought that I would be so successful there. It was a great experience and gave a lot of self-confidence and motivation for the future.
How did you like competing on a more international level and would you like to do it more often in the future?
It was very fun because you couldn’t really know how good the others were before the race so there was some more excitement than in a normal home-land race. It would be very fun to compete on an international level and it actually is one of my dreams.