At the age of 19, Petteri Koivisto got a new main partner and world champion Matti Heikkinen as his mentor after an exceptional offer.
Young national team skier Petteri Koivisto was 19 years old when Matti Heikkinen was a very exceptional thing for him.
At that time, in the spring and winter of 2019, Heikkinen was at the end of his career leading to the World Championship at his best and presented Koivisto with an offer that was not worth refusing.
Four days earlier, Heikkinen had received a call from the chairman of the board of his main partner, GRK Infra From Keijo Haaviko.
“He said we will continue that deal through some young and promising male skier. My task was to find a suitable person, ”Heikkinen says.
This after Heikkinen started a lively scouting. It included a ring tour for skiers and a discussion among other things Iivo Niskasen with.
“The mouth of all these people became Petter’s name. When Petteri was in Äänekoski, I took him for an interview and went through this matter. Petter knew how to speak smartly and was himself. There was a good picture everywhere: that the man is healthy and has enough oxygen intake, so nothing else was needed. ”
Of course, Heikkinen already knew Petteri Koivisto, but they hadn’t talked to each other before.
In the spring, Koivisto and Heikkinen went together to visit GRK Infra in Vantaa and the agreement was made.
“You can always call me and tell me good or bad stuff.”
Like certainly everyone in a similar situation, Koivisto says that he was surprised by Heikkinen’s offer.
“Yes, it was such that it could not be refused. That was a big deal for me. Now GRK Infra is my main partner, ”says Koivisto, 20.
The agreement included Heikkinen acting as a kind of mentor for Koivisto.
“You can always call and tell me good or bad stuff, and then I help in every way. I am sometimes called Petteri own nokkinenikin, asked about news and told the aspects of our own, “Heikkinen says.
It was also part of the transfer of the legacy that Heikkinen inquired about Koivisto’s maximum oxygen uptake capacity.
When Heikkinen discussed in 2008 the transition to represent the Vantaa Ski Club, one of the club’s supporters, who has since become an important support person for Heikkinen, Arto Suikka asked right out of the box, “how much sun millit is there”.
Thus, in both cases, a picture of the potential of the young skier was obtained.
“Sustainability sports have not changed at all, which means that the importance of oxygen uptake never disappears,” says Heikkinen.
Koivisto says that he talked to Heikkinen about both sports and non-sports issues.
“Matti has been such a spiritual support. It has been helpful. ”
“You just had to go through that bad feeling.”
Weak and Koivisto are united by factors other than the fact that both are from Kainuu.
Soon after the collaboration began, Koivisto had problems when he drifted into a bad congestion state in the summer of 2019 after getting excited to train too hard.
In this field, too, Heikkinen was an experienced expert, as he also suffered from an overwork condition at the age of 23 after joining the men’s national team.
“In the spring, the truck from the previous season was still on at the time, but the season got off to a good start and I was in pretty good shape pretty quickly. There was a leg injury and more, so I couldn’t train full time, but the numbers were the same, ”Koivisto says about the roots of the difficulties.
Koivisto admits that he trained harder at that time than he should have done according to the training program.
“The hunger grew while eating, and came pulled at a fairly high pace. It was simply too much for the body at that point. ”
At the same time, Koivisto from Kuhmo received an offer to move to the Puijo Ski Club in Kuopio, whose “big guns” are Iivo Niskanen and Perttu Hyvärinen.
“I went for a little jog with them and saw what it takes to be on top and what kind of training pace they had. I am an ambitious athlete, and I do not settle for a while, but in any case I aim at bigger things. Sometimes you have to take risks, but then it crashed at the end of the summer. ”
In late summer and in the fall, Koivisto’s feelings were “infinitely bad,” and he was unable to practice at all.
“I just had to go through that bad feeling. Then things started to get better, even if it took time. ”
The whole last season, the last in the under-20s series, went completely out of Koivisto. When he began to show signs of recovery in the spring and winter, there was a coronavirus pandemic and all other races were canceled.
At the end of last season, Koivisto became his personal coach Mikko Virtanen, who also plays the same role as Hyvärinen and is also a national team coach.
“It’s a much brighter situation now, even though the summer training was broken because of the military. While it is the army a year, I have taken steppejä forward. “
“There have not been many bends thrown at the barracks during the winter.”
Koivisto and Heikki are also connected by performing military service according to the longest formula, ie including the training of reserve officers.
Koivisto is still an officer student this weekend, but on Monday he will become an officer candidate for the remainder of his service, which ends at the end of March.
In the autumn, Koivisto moved from the Kainuu Brigade to the second location of the Finnish Defense Forces Sports School, Santahamina, Helsinki, for the training of reserve officers.
“Very much has gone by the sport. There have not been many bends in the barracks during the winter. ”
Among national team-level skiers, acquiring reserve officer training has been a very rare choice in recent decades.
“I have more to do with challenging myself. From a sports perspective, it would have been a much better solution to go through a shorter formula. A year of military service is a sportingly challenging equation. There are quite a lot of compromises to be made with the training, ”says Koivisto, who has officer traditions in the family.
Heikkinen says that he also discussed with Koivisto the acquisition of officer training, but the young man made his decision independently.
“It’s part of a whole sound way of thinking. He can behave on and off the track, ”says Heikkinen.
“The blank is good, but it takes time.”
The army Despite the challenges it offers, Koivisto’s season has gone well. At the end of November, he became Vuokatti’s roommate Miska Poikkimäki after another Finnish male skier born in the 21st century in the World Cup, when he entered the mini race of three races in Ruka.
Last week, Koivisto presented one of his best skis of the season in the Vantaa Finnish Cup, when he passed the national team’s number one chain. Joni Mäki chase and anchor with the second fastest time to the Puijo Ski Club’s message victory.
That performance helped me choose the host country’s quota for people under the age of 23 for the Lahti World Cup, where Koivisto will be able to taste a combination race, or skiathlon, for the second time in his career. It is also the fourth mc start of his career.
“I’m going to ski the best performance, what I have so far skied,” says Koivisto, who in the 2019 World Junior Championships in Lahti, Finland achieved its best grips of seven and 12, as well as the message was the third leg of the fastest.
Heikkinen considers Koivisto to be an determined athlete with a strong competitive edge.
“There is a lot of desire for a young man to show up, and sometimes it can lead to a pit and sometimes drive forward. Everyone has that kind of balance. He is dedicated to sports and can look at things openly. It has been easy to do business with him. The blank is good, but it takes time. Now the direction is right, ”says Heikkinen.
Iivo Niskanen “opening of the race season 2.0” and a clear picture of his own condition
Finland number one skier Iivo Niskanen won the Lahti home championship in 2017 at the 15 km world championship, and the same trip has not gone much worse in the following years’ World Cup on the same tracks.
In 2018, he was the second 50-kilometer Olympic champion to finish second in Lahti, and last winter he won.
Today, the situation is different when Niskanen returns from an eight-week, almost two-month, voluntary competition break.
This season, he has competed in only three official competitions at the Ruka mc opening at the end of November.
“The opening of the race season is 2.0, that’s what Lahti is for me,” Niskanen wrote in a publication published on Wednesday. on his blog.
Their break from the competition During this time, Niskanen has trained and participated in training competitions in Vuokatti.
In addition, he has done familiar and comparable roller skiing exercises on the test mat.
“Various factors have been measured and I have a clear picture of the condition. I’m not talking about a practice competition. The condition will be seen in (official) competitions, ”Niskanen said on Friday in Lahti according to STT.
In Lahti, men will ski a 30-kilometer combination race, or skiathlon, on Saturday, which will probably also be part of the Niskanen program at the World Championships in Oberstdorf. The corresponding competition for women is 15 kilometers.
You can expect high levels from the competitions, because the World Cup is already a month away and the top countries are involved all the way to Norway.
Last At the World Championships in 2019 in Seefeld, Niskanen collapsed with the traditional part of the combination race but still fought fourth.
In the World Cup preliminaries last winter, he tried aggressive tactics, tried a detachment a couple of times and finished eighth.
“At least we tried it, what kind of tactics are worth skiing here. It was a great day, but the tactics weren’t overcoming. Sometimes you just have to try bold skiing, ”Niskanen said at the time.
In Lahti, Niskanen expressed his dissatisfaction with the fact that only 2.5 km of runs are run in the competition, separately on the traditional and free runs, instead of using the 3.75 km tracks of the World Championships.
Niskanen finds the traditional trail easy, so it is difficult to break up the group.
“The traditional section pretty much becomes the mood for a joint start when there is so much flat on the route. The free share is tougher than traditional. It asks the skier more resilience, ”said Niskanen, according to STT.
■ 20 years old, born in March 2000
■ Coming from Kuhmo, lives in Vuokatti, Sotkamo
■ Coach Mikko Virtanen
■ Achievements: 7th and 12th best places in the Youth World Championships 2019, championships and other medals in the Youth World Championships
■ Also played football and athletics