World Clock


Finland

Interview on Expressi 2/2006/Expressi誌のインタビュー

Photo:Jukka Jarvinen

[en]Interview on Expressi (ExpressBus customer magazine) 2/2006
(English translation by Ville)

Figure skating is ridiculously fun

Few 17 year olds live as strictly planned life as Kiira Korpi does. Apart from skating, there has to be enough time for school and also different sponsor-related events take their part. Despite the strict schedule, the girl is growing enthusiasm for skating and the tone is positive even when the subject changes to school. She sees that she hasn’t had to give up on very many important things because of the figure skating.

How did you become a figure skater?
– I started when I was four. Because of my fathers coaching job, we lived in Turku and my older sister Petra already skated. I begged so earnestly, so my mother decided to take me too to the practices. The next year, we lived in Austria. I did some skating over there too, but when we the following year moved to Tampere I kind of started over. And that’s the road I’m still travelling, Kiira says.

Do all your friends skate too?
– When I started skating in Tampere, I went to the practices with my neighbour and best friend Elli. At the moment I have close friends among the skaters of our club, and of course when travelling around the world I have made friends with foreign skaters, especially with competitors from other Nordic countries.
– On the other hand I have a lot of good friends at school. The best thing is that with them you can forget the skating and discuss other things. We do also chat about other topics with my skating friends, but still the figure skating is always in the background.

Did you have other important hobbies when you were young?
– I did gymnastics for a while, but I quit it before I had advanced so far that competitions would have stepped into the picture. Skating took so much time and it was so much fun that I didn’t even want to do anything else, Kiira says.
Photo:Jukka Jarvinen
How much time skating currently takes from your life?
– More and more all the time. Now that I have moved to the senior level, apart from skating, time is consumed with different sponsor related negotiations and events, giving interviews and of course there’s a lot more travelling than before. This spring there were three big competions almost in a row.

What targets have you set for your skating career?
– The next Olympics are already in my mind and preparing for those kind of begun right after the previous one ended.
– But other than that, I have no exact plan. We are just going one season and one competition at a time and then see how it goes. On the other hand, you get more and more ambition all the time and of course I hope that I would be able to gain success in important international competitions.

And after competition career, are you thinking of becoming a pro?
– In this sport, the competition-career is rather short even if the average age has increased a bit over the last years. Previously it was so that someone took a couple of championships at the age of fifteen and then quit. Today most skaters peak around the ages from 20 to 25. This year in the Olympics, there was one thirty years old skater from Italy, but a career that long in skating is exceptionally long.
– Many skaters move to the professional ices after their competition careers, and I haven’t ruled it out for me either. I could possibly tour a year or two as a professional skater.

Have you already planned your life after skating?
– Then it’s definately time to concentrate on studies. I can’t say anyting more specific because the interests change with time and I’m interested in many things.
– I could picture myself doing something in the world of sports, but not necessarily with figure skating. If I travel around skating rinks for the next ten years, I believe thats enough for the skating scene. After that I should move on to something completely different, Kiira laughs.

Can you concentrate on school while skating?
– I’m currently doing my second year in highschool. It’s true that too little time is left for school at the moment. Then again, at highschool, I can make my own curriculum, and especially this spring when there was those three big competitions, I made my timetable as light as possible so that I was able to manage it properly. I’m satisfied that I was able pass five courses along with the competitions.
– On competition trips, I am not really able to study, but on free weekends, I try to catch up as much as I can. On modern subjects I can usually pass by just reading the books by myself, but with math I have needed some tutoring. I’m studying advanced math and you can’t learn it by just reading the books.
– Foreign languages have usually been easy to learn for me, and all the travelling for competitions has been a good way to develop my skills.
At least I feel that it’s the best and easiest way learn languages. Last summer, I spent six week in the United States, and there, English was the only way to communicate.
– Also in my junior years, when I was the only finn in the international competitions, I got to talk foreign languages with my fellow competitors. Sometimes I felt sad that there were no other finns there, but now afterwards it was a good thing for language learning and social skills. I had to make contact and meet new people when I didn’t want to spend
all the time with my coach, Kiira recalls.

Is there anything else in your life beside school and skating?
– There’s very little time for anything else, but atleast there’s some on weekends. Sunday is free of practice and on saturday the practice session is in forenoon. Then I have time to meet friends and just relax.
– When I have free time I also like to read, listen music, watch movies, surf on the net and chat via Messenger, Kiira lists.

Do you have any other hobbies than skating?
– Last fall I begun going to astanga-yoga, but I haven’t had much time for it, one time a week at max.
Photo:Jukka Jarvinen
Do you ever feel that because of skating you are left out on something important that your other friends are able to do?

– Of course there are sometimes things I would like to participate, but I can’t because of the skating. When friends after school go out for a coffee, I usually have to hurry for my practices and I have to pass all events late in the evening because of my early morning practices.

What is the best thing this sport has given to you?
– It has given me so much. The topmost thing is the trip to the Olympic Games. It was unbelievably great to get there this early. The atmosphere in the Olympic village was unlike anything else. Particularly great was the feeling that you were a part of a big team, especially when skating usually is very lonesome and at younger age I often was the only finn in the competitions.
– Us skaters weren’t there in Torino from the beginning, but it was a completely different feeling of watching the games on television when you knew that you were going to be there shortly. And taking part in the ending seremony was a thrilling experience. It was so great to walk in to the stadium before the huge audience and to enjoy the feeling, Kiira says with trembling voice.
– I have never regretted that I have put so much into skating. It has always felt ridiculously fun. I have sometimes wondered myself that despite the occasional setbacks I have never felt like just throwing the skates in to a closet and quitting, Kiira wonders.

[photo caption] If I travel around skating rinks for the next ten years I believe thats enough for the skating scene. After that I should move on to something completely different, Kiira Korpi is planning.
[/en][fi]Interview on Expressi (ExpressBus customer magazine) 2/2006
(English translation by Ville)

Figure skating is ridiculously fun

Few 17 year olds live as strictly planned life as Kiira Korpi does. Apart from skating, there has to be enough time for school and also different sponsor-related events take their part. Despite the strict schedule, the girl is growing enthusiasm for skating and the tone is positive even when the subject changes to school. She sees that she hasn’t had to give up on very many important things because of the figure skating.

How did you become a figure skater?
– I started when I was four. Because of my fathers coaching job, we lived in Turku and my older sister Petra already skated. I begged so earnestly, so my mother decided to take me too to the practices. The next year, we lived in Austria. I did some skating over there too, but when we the following year moved to Tampere I kind of started over. And that’s the road I’m still travelling, Kiira says.

Do all your friends skate too?
– When I started skating in Tampere, I went to the practices with my neighbour and best friend Elli. At the moment I have close friends among the skaters of our club, and of course when travelling around the world I have made friends with foreign skaters, especially with competitors from other Nordic countries.
– On the other hand I have a lot of good friends at school. The best thing is that with them you can forget the skating and discuss other things. We do also chat about other topics with my skating friends, but still the figure skating is always in the background.

Did you have other important hobbies when you were young?
– I did gymnastics for a while, but I quit it before I had advanced so far that competitions would have stepped into the picture. Skating took so much time and it was so much fun that I didn’t even want to do anything else, Kiira says.
Photo:Jukka Jarvinen
How much time skating currently takes from your life?
– More and more all the time. Now that I have moved to the senior level, apart from skating, time is consumed with different sponsor related negotiations and events, giving interviews and of course there’s a lot more travelling than before. This spring there were three big competions almost in a row.

What targets have you set for your skating career?
– The next Olympics are already in my mind and preparing for those kind of begun right after the previous one ended.
– But other than that, I have no exact plan. We are just going one season and one competition at a time and then see how it goes. On the other hand, you get more and more ambition all the time and of course I hope that I would be able to gain success in important international competitions.

And after competition career, are you thinking of becoming a pro?
– In this sport, the competition-career is rather short even if the average age has increased a bit over the last years. Previously it was so that someone took a couple of championships at the age of fifteen and then quit. Today most skaters peak around the ages from 20 to 25. This year in the Olympics, there was one thirty years old skater from Italy, but a career that long in skating is exceptionally long.
– Many skaters move to the professional ices after their competition careers, and I haven’t ruled it out for me either. I could possibly tour a year or two as a professional skater.

Have you already planned your life after skating?
– Then it’s definately time to concentrate on studies. I can’t say anyting more specific because the interests change with time and I’m interested in many things.
– I could picture myself doing something in the world of sports, but not necessarily with figure skating. If I travel around skating rinks for the next ten years, I believe thats enough for the skating scene. After that I should move on to something completely different, Kiira laughs.

Can you concentrate on school while skating?
– I’m currently doing my second year in highschool. It’s true that too little time is left for school at the moment. Then again, at highschool, I can make my own curriculum, and especially this spring when there was those three big competitions, I made my timetable as light as possible so that I was able to manage it properly. I’m satisfied that I was able pass five courses along with the competitions.
– On competition trips, I am not really able to study, but on free weekends, I try to catch up as much as I can. On modern subjects I can usually pass by just reading the books by myself, but with math I have needed some tutoring. I’m studying advanced math and you can’t learn it by just reading the books.
– Foreign languages have usually been easy to learn for me, and all the travelling for competitions has been a good way to develop my skills.
At least I feel that it’s the best and easiest way learn languages. Last summer, I spent six week in the United States, and there, English was the only way to communicate.
– Also in my junior years, when I was the only finn in the international competitions, I got to talk foreign languages with my fellow competitors. Sometimes I felt sad that there were no other finns there, but now afterwards it was a good thing for language learning and social skills. I had to make contact and meet new people when I didn’t want to spend
all the time with my coach, Kiira recalls.

Is there anything else in your life beside school and skating?
– There’s very little time for anything else, but atleast there’s some on weekends. Sunday is free of practice and on saturday the practice session is in forenoon. Then I have time to meet friends and just relax.
– When I have free time I also like to read, listen music, watch movies, surf on the net and chat via Messenger, Kiira lists.

Do you have any other hobbies than skating?
– Last fall I begun going to astanga-yoga, but I haven’t had much time for it, one time a week at max.
Photo:Jukka Jarvinen
Do you ever feel that because of skating you are left out on something important that your other friends are able to do?

– Of course there are sometimes things I would like to participate, but I can’t because of the skating. When friends after school go out for a coffee, I usually have to hurry for my practices and I have to pass all events late in the evening because of my early morning practices.

What is the best thing this sport has given to you?
– It has given me so much. The topmost thing is the trip to the Olympic Games. It was unbelievably great to get there this early. The atmosphere in the Olympic village was unlike anything else. Particularly great was the feeling that you were a part of a big team, especially when skating usually is very lonesome and at younger age I often was the only finn in the competitions.
– Us skaters weren’t there in Torino from the beginning, but it was a completely different feeling of watching the games on television when you knew that you were going to be there shortly. And taking part in the ending seremony was a thrilling experience. It was so great to walk in to the stadium before the huge audience and to enjoy the feeling, Kiira says with trembling voice.
– I have never regretted that I have put so much into skating. It has always felt ridiculously fun. I have sometimes wondered myself that despite the occasional setbacks I have never felt like just throwing the skates in to a closet and quitting, Kiira wonders.

[photo caption] If I travel around skating rinks for the next ten years I believe thats enough for the skating scene. After that I should move on to something completely different, Kiira Korpi is planning.
[/fi][ja]
Expressi誌のインタビュー 2/2006

フィギュアスケートはこの上なく楽しい

キーラ・コルピほど、綿密に計画された人生を送っている17才はほとんどない。スケート以外にも、学校のための十分な時間がなければならないし、いくつものスポンサー関連のイベントにも参加しなくてはならない。厳しいスケジュールにもかかわらず、この少女はスケートに対する意気込みに燃えている。そして、話題が学校のことに変わっても、口調はポジティブだ。彼女は、フィギュアスケートのために自分がそれほど多くの重要なものをあきらめる必要はなかったと思っている。

どのようにしてフィギュアスケーターに?
「私は4歳でスケートを始めました。コーチをしている父の仕事の関係で私たちはトゥルクに住んでいたのですが、姉のペトラはすでにスケートをしていたんです。私がとても熱心にせがんだので、母は私のことも練習に連れて行くことにしました。翌年に移り住んだオーストリアでも少しスケートをしたけど、次の年にタンペレへ引っ越したとき、改めて始めた感じです。そして、その道を今もたどっているんです」とキーラは言う。

友人もみんなスケートをするの?
「タンペレでスケートを始めた時は、近所に住んでいた親友エッリと一緒に練習へ行きました。今も同じクラブのスケート仲間に親友がいます。もちろん、世界中を旅する時には、北欧をはじめとする海外の選手と友達になりますね」
「その一方で、学校には多くの親友がいます。一番すばらしいのは、スケートのことを忘れて他の話題を話し合えること。スケート仲間とも他の話題についてしゃべるけど、その背景にはいつもフィギュアスケートがあるので」

小さいころ、ほかに大切な趣味はあったの?
「しばらくは体操をしていたんだけど、上達して大会に出場するようになる前にやめました。スケートに時間をいっぱい費やしたし、とっても楽しかったから、ほかの事は何もしたいと思わなかっんです」とキーラは言う。

今はどのくらいの時間、スケートに時間を費やしているの?
「ますます増えて、スケート漬けです。シニアに移ったので、スケート以外にも時間を取られるんです。スポンサーがらみの打ち合わせやイベント、インタビューへの対応もあるし、もちろん以前より遠征も増えたので。この春には、3つの大きな大会がほぼ同時にあったんですよ」

スケート選手として、何を目標にしていますか?
「次のオリンピックのことはすでに考えています。ひとつ終われば、すぐに次の準備をします」
「でも、それ以外には具体的なプランはないんです。シーズンを迎えると同時にひとつの大会に参加して、結果を見て考えます。一方で、人々の期待はいつでもどんどん高まります。もちろん私も、重要な国際大会での成功を手に入れられるようになりたいです」

選手引退後、プロになることを考えたことは?
「ここ数年で平均年齢が少し上がってきているとはいえ、このスポーツの選手生活はかなり短いんです。以前は、15歳で2、3回優勝して引退した人もいました。最近はほとんどのスケート選手が20~25歳ごろにピークを迎えます。今年のオリンピックでは30歳のイタリア人選手がいましたけど、スケート選手の選手生活としては例外的に長いですね」
「選手引退後にプロに転向する人は多いけど、私もその考えがないわけではないです(注:以前、プロ転向を否定するインタビューもあった)。年に1、2度、プロスケーターとしてツアーに出るかも知れません」

スケートをやめた後の生活をもう考えてる?
「今はまさに学業に集中すべき時です。それ以上のことは言えないですね。興味の対象は時とともに変わるし、いろんなことに興味があるので」
「スポーツ界で何かをしている自分は想像できます。でもそれがフィギュアスケートである必要性はない。この先10年、スケートリンクを渡り歩いたら、スケート界はもう十分だと思うんです。その後は、まったく違う何かに転向すべきでしょうね」とキーラは笑う。

スケートのシーズンでも学校で集中できるの?
「いま私は高校の2年生なんですが、現状で学校に割ける時間はあまりに少ないのは確かです。その代わり、高校では自分だけのカリキュラムを作れるんです。特にこの春は大きな大会が3つもあったので、きちんとやりくりできるように時間割をできるだけ少なくしました。大会に出ながら5教科の単位を取れたので満足です。」
「遠征中は勉強ができませんが、時間のある週末にできるだけ追いつけるようにしています。modern subjectなら本を読むだけで普通は試験に合格できるのですが、数学は家庭教師を頼んでいます。いまは上級の数学を勉強しているのですが、本を読んだだけでは理解できないですよね」
「外国語はたいてい私にとって習うのが楽でしたし、海外遠征はいつも上達へのいい方法でした。少なくとも私はそれが外国語を最善で一番楽な方法だと実感しています。去年の夏はアメリカで6週間過ごしたのですが、そこでは英語だけがコミュニケーションの手段でしたからね」
「ジュニアのころも、国際大会でフィンランド人が1人だけの時は、ほかの選手と外国語で話していました。フィンランド人がほかにいなくて時には悲しくなったこともあったけど、今となっては、語学の習得と社交術を身につけるいい機会だったと思います。コーチとずっと過ごすのが嫌な時は、知らない人に会ったり連絡したりしなくてはならなかったから」とキーラは思い出す。
(つづく)

[/ja]

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