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Iltalehti article (February 5th, 2009)

(Translation of the article published in Finnish tabloid newspaper “Iltalehti”, on February 5th 2009):

Kiira Korpi assures that she is pleased with her performance and her result in the European Championships.

Kiira Korpi delivered real sports drama in the European Championships in Helsinki, when she fell in her free skate. We can still remember her television interview, where she in an emotional way burst into tears.

(NOTE: maybe they are referring to this interview (and here a slightly better quality version, but I’m not sure if that can be viewed outside Finland), where she is very close to crying. Especially as the tabloid newspaper Iltalehti and MTV3 television station belong in the same corporation. It seems that they simply turned the cameras off when they noticed that she had difficulties in keeping composure – which I think was very tactful, kudos to the news team. The interview was finished, however, the transcription of it is here and the short section that was videod is the part that in the text is from “Tietenkin tuollainen harmittaa…” to “APUA” when Kiira turns her face away.)

– European Championships were a big victory for me, even being selected there felt terrific after such a difficult autumn. So it didn’t involve any feelings of disappointment or sadness. Actually I was really pleased about how good and balanced skates I was able to perform after so little training and competition background.

– I don’t know where the impression, that I would have been very disappointed about my performance in the European Championships, comes from. The burst into tears after the skate was only due to the release of shock and tension, as I realised that I did very well after all.

Korpi hit heavily the board. The pain was evident from the agony of her expression.

– Yes, it did hit pretty hard but fortunately I didn’t feel the pain during the remainder of the skate. Also the adrenalin levels are so high that you don’t notice small pain. Of course I was upset of the unexpected fall, but I could keep my concentration and make a good skate unbelievably well, Korpi says.

The skater was given a moment to decide, whether she wants to start her program again. The audience and coach Maaret Siromaa gave her strength to continue.

– I went through quite a range of emotions then, but luckily I could avoid major outburst of feelings. I have to thank my coach, who was extraordinarily calming and supporting in that situation. Also the support from the audience was absolutely wonderful. I could sense how the audience lived with me in that moment. So, I have to thank the audience, too, for their great support. I am delighted how many people have congratulated me for a good competition. Many have also wondered, how on earth could I continue my program after such a bad fall let alone to skate so well, Korpi says.

After the competition frenzy the daily routines of Korpi has been filled with studying and sports.

– Morning training session, lecture, napping, afternoon traning session and to bed. That’s roughly how it is, Korpi summarizes.

The skater also went to a floorball game with her father, Rauno Korpi.

– It was very nice to go and watch a floorball game live again. My dad asked, if I wanted to join him and I thought why not, as I for once had free from training.

Although the main goal of Kiira Korpi was in the European Championships, there are still markings in her competition calendar.

– I rested for a week after the championships, but now I have again started full training, Korpi says. – I will be competing in the universiad games in China in the end of February The level there is high, because many good competitors will be coming from e.g. Japan and USA. I am eagerly awaiting for that competition. They are also my very first universiad games, and it’s great that so large a team of other athletes is going from Finland. The feeling must be like in a “little olympic games”.

European Championships-medalists Laura Lepistö and Susanna Pöykiö will head for the World Championships in Los Angeles. And when we add Jenni Vähämaa, who is currently injured, the competition for Finland’s spots for the Olympic Games in Vancouver must be very tight.

– The European championship was of course wonderful for Laura and for the Finnish figure skating in general, but actually it wasn’t such a big surprise. I knew that Laura and Carolina Kostner were the biggest favourites, who both had a good and solid season behind them. Also Susanna controlled her nerves unbelievably well, because it couldn’t have been easy for her to skate right after Laura. The atmosphere in the arena was unebelievable, when it was clear that Finland would get two medals.

– My attention has been at Vancouver Olympics already after 2006 olympics. It will be again a tough competition for “entry tickets” between us Finns, so my goal is to remain healthy and get to Vancouver, and be in the best shape of my life there.