Emmi Parkkisenniemi from Kuusamo got on skis and to the slope for the first time when she was four. Eight years later at the age of 12, Parkkisnniemi’s cousin swapped skis for a snowboard and soon, young Emmi did the same.
“I can definitely say that it was love at first sight. Compared to skis, snowboarding offered so many new and interesting aspects that I was sold.”
Parkkisenniemi says that she enjoys the thrill of the speed and adrenaline pumping through her veins.
“Snowboarding lets you challenge yourself and test your limits in a good way. However, the most amazing thing is the freedom: I can do and develop just the things I want to.”
Slopestyle is Emmi’s favourite
Parkkisenniemi emphasises that you need a hard head and a good set of nerves to become a great snowboarder. You have to be brave and ready to put yourself out there. In addition, you must know your body well.
Of the snowboarding styles, her favourite is the slopestyle.
“It’s definitely my thing.”
The slopestyle jumps also put your body to the test. Coming down from the jump, your back and knees have to be fit and, as Parkkisenniemi says, you must be able to hold your body together when landing.
Her previous season was interrupted by occasional back problems, and that’s why the snowboarder’s top priority is to compete throughout this season. The competition season is the busiest in the spring. Beijing Winter Olympics 2020 loom on the horizon, but for now, Parkkisenniemi is focusing on this season.
“I graduated from upper secondary school last spring, and now with my studies behind me, I’m currently focusing 100% on sports.”
Of her achievements so far, Parkkisenniemi values most her place in the Finnish national snowboard team and competing in her first World Cup finals in Seiser Alm, Italy last year.
“I finally came in fifth. It was a great course where I challenged myself.”
Home in Kuusamo
Parkkisenniemi praises the team spirit of the Finnish national snowboarding team. It’s her third year in the team, and she follows the competitions and roots for her friends in the team. She’s also interested in how the top snowboarders of the world perform. Otherwise, she’s not interested in watching sports, with just one exception.
“I have to watch the ice hockey world championships every time! It’s a sort of a tradition.”
After upper secondary school in Vuokatti, Parkkisenniemi returned to Kuusamo, at least for now. At home, she relaxes with her dog Ninni. The energetic Finnish Spitz often goes on nature excursions with the athlete. For Parkkisenniemi, nature is an important place for recharging.
“It’s good to spend time in the forest, by a swamp, think about your own thoughts in peace and quiet. For me, nature is very important. But you can also empty your head at home, for instance, by watching a series on Netflix.”
Important at home
Recharging, relaxing and Ninni the Dog
The Lumo sponsorship and grant programme supports top Finnish athletes as well as individual and team sports for young people.
In 2019, the sponsored individual athletes are Anna Haataja (orienteering, long-distance running), Joona Kangas (ski slopestyle), Henry Manni (wheelchair racing), Oskari Mörö (400m hurdles), Nooralotta Neziri (100m hurdles) and Emmi Parkkisenniemi (snowboarding).
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