10 Questions: Jenni Hiirikoski
- What constitutes a perfect morning for you?
Having some coffee and oatmeal, then heading to the gym.
- What does your typical day look like?
After waking up at 6:45 am, an ordinary day begins with breakfast and hitting the gym. Then practise at the rink, where I usually eat lunch as well. In the afternoon, I may have some rest or be able to do housework before the second practise of the day, which usually includes on-ice team training and some strength and mobility exercises. In the evening, I might get in contact with folks back in Finland.
- When did you know that you wanted to become an ice hockey player?
I’ve been on skates since I was two years old. As a child, I used to play outdoor games with boys from the neighbourhood. Already back then, everyone’s aim was to play in the NHL one day. However, it was during the Nagano Olympics in 1998, while watching women’s ice hockey matches on TV for the first time, when I got the feeling of, ‘Wow, I want to play there while representing Finland.’
- What would you say is your best asset as a player?
The desire to win, and also, I’d say that skating and physical fitness are my key strengths on the ice. Moreover, I like to practice and develop myself every day.
- Last week, you were chosen as both the best defenceman and a tournament all-star for your second straight Olympics, how does this feel?
It is a very nice recognition, personally. Although, thanks also must go to all my teammates. None of us is anything without the team.
- What is the most memorable moment in your career so far?
Winning the first World Championship bronze medal, and especially the moment when I witnessed what it meant for my more experienced teammates to win the medal. Winning Olympic bronze medals have been great moments as well. The fact that you can share these emotional moments on ice with good friends is great.
- Whom do you admire? Why?
My parents and grandparents. I am very proud of them and the kind of assistance they have provided me in my life. They taught me the meaning of hard work already at a young age at my grandparents’ farm. In addition, they have always made it possible for me to try and learn new things.
- As a captain, how do you prepare the team before important matches?
We all gear up together before games. There is a pep talk from other experienced players as well.
- What is the thing you miss the most about Finland whilst living abroad?
One thing I miss is, of course, 100 per cent rye bread. Of course, I obviously miss my loved ones the most.
- Where do you see yourself in 10 years’ time?
I hope that I will still be in the world of sport, perhaps as a coach.