Valtter Virtanen hesitated to go to the European Championships for a long time.
Figure skater Valtter Virtanen wondered for a long time whether he would go to Tallinn for the European Championships at all.
In the end, the decision was positive. On Wednesday, Virtanen will skate at the Tondiraba Ice Rink. The men’s freestyle program is scheduled for Friday night.
“To the end, I wonder if I dare to leave. Due to the corona pandemic, there has been little taste of the races if there is no audience. And if you get a positive test result, it’s not nice to stay in a hotel quarantine when you have a small child and civilian work at home, ”Virtanen thought about the beginning of the week.
Tallinn will not compete in a similar corona bubble as at the World Championships in Stockholm last March. The European Championships will be open to the public with a corona certificate and recent corona tests.
“Because the corona bubble isn’t tight, the hustle and bustle is hasard. As long as it doesn’t go the same way as the youth World Hockey Championships at the turn of the year in Canada, ”says Virtanen, referring to the tournament, which was suspended due to the pandemic.
Virtanen concern to understand. As a doctor for the JYP league team, he has closely followed how coronavirus infections have also affected sports. JYP matches have been postponed and the team was quarantined until Monday.
“Last week was stressful when I had to wonder if it was safe to play.”
Virtanen wonders about corona restrictions when sports venues and facilities are closed, even though it would be safe for him to do hobbies in many places.
“It seems that rational logic has disappeared and slipped out of hand. There is a lot of political circus in the restrictions. Closure of sports facilities can have far-reaching consequences. Many have already stopped practicing. ”
Virtanen the main job is at a doctor’s office in Jyväskylä. So Pesti JYP has a side job for him.
“The experience has been great, even though I’ve only been in regular season games so far. He sees more than figure skating, ”says Virtanen.
In October at the Finlandia Trophy, Virtanen’s race music started playing from the wrong place, which messed up his skating. When Virtanen went to a JYP match the following week, the team’s coaching staff asked him half-heartedly what miraculous music was being played for him.
“It was a funny remark and showed that the feel of the team is different than in individual sports. I like to be part of a team. ”
Virtanen became JYP’s doctor a bit by accident when the team’s long-term doctor quit.
“An acquaintance asked if I knew anyone who would be willing to become a JYP doctor. I said I don’t know but I’m interested. ”
In December Virtanen won his sixth Finnish championship. He is competing in the European Championships for the eighth time. At his best, he was 18th in 2015.
In Tallinn, Virtanen’s goal is to skate as well as possible and improve his personal points.
He no longer has a chance at the Beijing Olympics. No Olympic seats will be awarded at the European Championships.
“Technically, I’m on my own level and the presentation has matured. My life is over when I have a profession and a family, ”says Virtanen, 34.
“I don’t know if these are my last European Championships. Many things affect the continuation. ”
As a figure skater Virtanen is an irreversible inner bag, even if the Olympic dream does not come true in his career. He still spends a week a month in Oberstdorf under professional training conditions.
Virtanen plans to continue competing at least this season, if not longer.
“It doesn’t make sense to stop through the European Championships. The different thing then is how the season can be continued because of the corona or whether the season ends completely because of it. Nothing can be said yet about the World Cup in the spring. ”
In 2023, the European Championships will be held in Helsinki. Virtanen may well continue until the successor is immediately visible. Finnish champion in 2019 and 2020 Roman Galay has been on the sidelines for a long time due to a leg injury.
“I don’t know if these are my last European Championships. Many things affect the continuation. It feels like I have new experiences all the time and I can train without distractions, ”says Virtanen.
The European Figure Skating Championships will start in Tallinn on Wednesday with a short program for men. Yle Arena at 11.20.
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