Jasmi Joensuu has been rewinding videos and sweating in training so that the tears in Beijing would not happen again.
- Jasmi Joensuu is aiming for the sprint final at the World Championships.
- The emotional skier’s previous competitions ended in tears. Since then, he has faced his mistakes.
- Joensuu set himself strict conditions so that his career could continue.
– I would never have thought that I would be able to ski at this level. And not many others believed it either, national team skier Jasmi Joensuu says.
Joensuu, 26, will start the second adult World Championships in his career in February. The truth is that just a few years ago the skier was considering quitting.
– In 2019, I received job offers in the US in marketing and finance. It was a big place for discussion, says Joensuu, who studied finance and marketing for a bachelor’s degree at the University of Denver.
The skier already decided when he left for the United States that in order to continue his career, he had to come to Finland as an even better skier. Another factor that came to mind was the economy.
Civilian work would have guaranteed a stable income.
– I decided to continue professionally if I can play sports without thinking about what meat I buy at the store and without counting every penny.
The passion for skiing was enough and the career continued. At first Joensuu was supported by his parents and relatives.
The group of sponsors grew quickly, so there is no need to stretch a penny in the store.
– I realized that I still have a lot to give in the field of skiing. There is still life left to do other jobs, but the opportunity to ski had to be used immediately. In the end, it was an easy decision to continue.
Since then, Joensuu has become the standard face of the national team, recognizable by his sunny smile. When posing in front of the camera, it is difficult to get the skier to be serious, because according to his words, he only has one expression: a smile.
However, elite skiing has also created other emotional states on the face during the last year.
Expectations were high when Joensuu went to the first Olympics of his career last year. The road got up already in the quarterfinals of the sprint, when a pole break took away the chances for the next place.
Joensuu burst into inconsolable tears in front of the media. The Finn never skied in China again.
– It was a tough place. I knew there were many other journeys in the game. It was hard when I almost didn’t get to compete at all.
– I felt useless, what am I doing here.
Fresh in my mind was the thought of whether something could have been done differently. A year later, Joensuu acknowledges the fact.
– I could have survived the stick injury if I had been in better shape.
Joensuu is an emotional person. Two years ago, he was about to win the World Championship bronze in the relay and shed tears of happiness. At the Tampere WC, a skier got angry because of a broken pole.
– You can show your feelings. They are an important part of life. Emotions don’t always have to be so much at play.
Giving yourself grace is not always easy for the competitive nature.
– To tell myself why I didn’t do that and why I did that. You have to get over that quickly. I’m trying to improve.
Showdown on the track
Joensuu gets a chance to make up for his disappointment in Beijing in Planica.
The Finnish star wants to ski the sprint, double relay, 10 kilometers and long relay at the World Championships hosted by Slovenia.
– The sprint is the most important personal race for me, for which a lot of work has been done. All possibilities are for a place in the finals, he believes.
The sprint is skied to Joensuu with a stronger progression, i.e. traditional. The Finnish skier has familiarized himself with the terrain on the Rovaniemi roller ski mat, which has a track profile.
– The sprint race is tough compared to many others. There are ups and downs and curves. You can ski hard.
– Latu separates the wheat from the chaff. The best sprinter in the world will surely be the first to cross the finish line.
Joensuu, who swept the opening section two years ago, does not reveal which section he would prefer to ski in the relay. Iltalehti’s expert Reijo Jylhä previously analyzed that Joensuu would be the best choice for the third leg or as an anchor.
– The coaches consider the whole in the message and can certainly say what is best for each athlete in that situation. I don’t want to intervene in the process too much, Joensuu dodges.
Six women are currently competing for World Championship relay places. Kerttu Niskanen and Krista Pärmäkoski relay tickets can be considered safe, but Joensuu, Eveliina Piippo, Johanna Matintalo and Anne Kyllönen.
The skiing nation remembers how, even in the last decade, there were some controversies in the national team. According to Joensuu, the spirit of the current national team is good despite the tough competition.
– We have healthy competition. The team is really tough, we can be the best in the world at our best. Everyone appreciates Takuu’s relay team, even if they don’t belong to it themselves.
In Joensuu’s opinion, bickering between skiers is pointless.
– It does not move the situation forward at all. Athletes figure out the gaps on the track. Among women, it’s pointless to start speculating about who skis which distance.
Moki from the video
Joensuu has wanted to learn from his setbacks before the World Championships. He has watched his failed skis on video.
– You can see what he himself has done wrong.
Development has taken place. In November, Joensuu reached the World Cup sprint final for the first time in his career. The ranking of Ruka’s traditional sprint was fourth.
Last season, the Vantaa Ski Club’s woman was ninth in the traditional sprint at her best. In seven sprint races, he was among the top 15 four times.
– Everything starts from being in better shape. There has been a lot of development in it. My basic level is higher than before. Then it is easier to ski well tactically.
This winter, Joensuu has been 13th three times, which means it has narrowly missed out on the semi-finals. At its tightest, the next place is 0.1 seconds away.
– The end still doesn’t come as well as many others. It requires toughness.
– Travel speed should be made even more economical and easier. The more strength is saved for the end, the better the situation.
On normal trips, Joensuu has been tenth at best. He has invested in free technology.
The national team’s training monster Joensuu is not.
– My amount of training is certainly quite small compared to many other national team skiers. I don’t feel that my body would be at its best if I trained a thousand hours a year. It wouldn’t take the profit situation forward.
– For next season, the hours will definitely be increased when it is not a prize competition year. On the other hand, strength and speed are my best qualities. They must not be lost in too great a quantity.
Gratitude is repeated in Joensuu’s speeches.
He hopes that he could be a role model for young people who are thinking about combining goal-oriented sports and studies. A degree that acts as a backup plan relieves mental pressure.
Now the eyes are only on the track.
– Three years ago, I would not have believed that I would be at this point. If the development is similar, anything can happen.