From Finland with love, Jaakko speaks about skating

By Praveen Kumar S Published on Feb 23, 2017 02:35 PM IST

Jaakko Ojanen

Chennai: Skateboarding is fast catching up as a sport though many have taken it up as a recreational activity.

As such efforts are on to popularise the same with Finland’s Jaakko Ojanen taking part in a promotional event here on Tuesday. Jaakko was the 2005 Finnish Skateboarding championship winner at the age of 10.

He called it the most emotional moment of his life. In 2009, he took the Volcom European Wild in the Parks junior title. Two years later, Jaakko won his Volcom European Wild in the Parks Championship title earning him a spot in the US championship in Austin, Texas.

He is hailed as a prodigy in the sport by many and is also a RedBull athlete now.

In a chat with News Today, he spoke about how skateboarding was attracting youngsters these days and said that it was gaining recognition as an international sport.

How has your visit to India been Jaakko?

It has been good. People here are very nice and the food extraordinary. I’ve tried every type of Indian food that I can and it tasted amazing.

Finland has a pretty long winter, how did you pick up the sport there?

It is true that Finland has a long winter that spans over six months. We skate indoors mostly. There are places specifically for us to do so. But, the moment the sun breaks out, I head out to be with friends and just skate all the while.

Tell us about the sport and when you started it.

I started skating with my brother. We saved up money to get a skateboard and I was seven when I had one in my hand. My brother and me used to see videos of other Finnish skateboarders for inspiration. But every single skateboard video found my attention at all times. From Finland with love... Skateboarder Ojanen happy sport included in Olympics.

Tell us about your practice schedule?

I just keep skating with my friends. When I won the Finnish Skateboard Championship in 2005, I had no prior practice. I just kept doing it and everything just fell in place.

What do you think about the Indian skateboarding scenario?

They have a good thing going on here. Places like Goa have a lot of skateboarders which is good to see.

Skateboarding has been included in the 2020 Olympics. Your views on that.

More and more people will start looking at the sport a lot seriously and acknowledge the players better. It will be good for skaters present everywhere.

What do you have to tell young skateboarders...

People should try skateboarding to know about it. The most important thing that a skater must learn is patience. It takes years to learn the tricks and the sport itself requires patience and skill to achieve big.