"I just love the speed and feeling of freedom when cycling."
15 years after my accident, in 2004 I found a paralympic sport that really appealed to me with its’ speed and difficulty: handcycling. Being the first Finnish handcyclist to compete internationally from 2009 onwards, my dream was to make it to Paralympics. I missed out on London 2012 but kept working hard and managed to qualify for Rio, where I finished 8th in the 60 km Road race. I love the sport and keep working to be in the fight for the top positions in Tokyo 2020.
Competition on the highest level is like life in a nutshell: you need to give it absolutely everything. And to succeed, keep going when others think about quitting. To be able to do that, you need to live in the moment and enjoy even the difficulties.
I played ice hockey with passion all my childhood, but when I was injured in a motorcycle accident at 16 years age resulting in paraplegia, that sport ended for me. Soon after rehabilitation I continued my education and also continued with sports in wheelchair racing reaching some success in Finnish national championships. After a while, I decided to focus on studies instead. I finished my Masters’ in Engineering and started my career successfully in a large engineering company.
My challenge as an athlete is the triple life of a father, an engineer and an athlete. My wife and kids, aged 9 and 6, completely support the sports, and family life is a good balance on the hectic work and on stress of high-level sports.
SMACK C1 Paracycling, Sweden
National Championship (Finland)
Road cycling - 1st place
Time Trial - 1st place
Festos C1 Paracycling, Greece
UCI Para-cycling Road World Cup - Basque Country (Road) H3
Paralympic Games (Rio)
Time Trial - 10th Place
Cycling Road - 8th Place
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