National team skier Jasmi Joensuu is not afraid to take a stand.
Should Russian and Belarusian athletes be allowed back on international fields?
The thorny question came to the fore when the International Olympic Committee IOC and the International Ski Federation Fis announced at the end of January that there are plans to bring the athletes from Russia and Belarus back despite the war. The IOC has hinted at the participation of athletes in the 2024 Olympics without country codes.
Finnish skier Jasmi to Joensuu in my opinion, banning athletes from Belarus and Russia from competing is the right solution in the current situation.
– The war situation is much more serious and bigger than skiing. We’ll see again when the situation calms down. This is good, says Joensuu.
Many other skiers are also on the same lines.
Some of Sweden’s and Norway’s skiing stars said they would boycott the World Ski Championships if Russian and Belarusian athletes were allowed on the slopes. At least they announced their boycott options Linn Svahn and Paul Golberg.
Fis later announced that the competition bans for skiers from the aforementioned countries will not be lifted.
Joensuu has not considered a boycott, even if the Russians are on the track.
– We should think about it if the Russians were involved. I don’t think it’s relevant.
Cat on the table
Joensuu is often seen smiling in public, but he is not afraid to take a stand.
Joensuu criticized Fisk in December, when all those who reached the finish line in the Davos sprint qualifying received World Cup points. Fis renewed the World Cup points system for this season so that points are awarded to the top 50 of the competition. Previously, spokes were distributed to the 30 best skiers.
– Fis has completely failed for this weekend, Joensuu said at the time.
The Finnish skier is also not excited about Fis’s reform to make men and women ski the same distances in the World Cup. The women will race 50 kilometers for the first time at Holmenkollen in March.
– It’s too long a journey for women. Already at 30 kilometers it was clear who is the most durable. That’s my opinion, but I understand the other point of view.
Joensuu wants to express his opinion so that athletes are not forgotten in decision-making. In its reforms, Fis often refers to whether or not there has been negative feedback from skiers.
– I feel that the athlete’s voice is really important. Many things are kept quiet.
– Fis certainly thinks the best of the athletes, but not all things are in the athletes’ minds. It is also important to listen to the athletes.
The World Cup starts in Planica, Slovenia on February 22.