New coach to lead flying Finns
The Finnish National Ski Jumping team will have new leadership and direction for the coming World Championship season, it has been announced recently. Longtime head coach Janne Vaeaetaeinen will step down and Finnish native Pekka Niemelae, who has worked in recent years for the growing French jumping squad will assume the reins of the program.
Niemelae, who has been working with the French team since 2006, will take over this spring."I feel very good and honored and I have a lot of motivation, " he said at a press conference. Niemelae, 35, began his professional coaching career working as a club coach in Kuopio, prior to a move to Japan, followed by a stop in France.
Vaeaetaeinen, who has been the Head Coach of the Finnish team for two years, following a number of years as an assistant coach, implied he was tired of traveling all over the world, saying "there has to be more in life that just jumping hills and airports, but I do not know what I will do next."
The Finnish jumpers have not known the best of times of late. They did not enjoy great success at Planica's ski flying event, despite the fact that they won the bronze medal in the team competition. They enjoyed only one World Cup win this season and came away from the Whistler Olympic Park hills without any medals whatsoever, that hasn't happened since 1994 at the Lillehammer Olympic Games.
Niemelae is already thinking big things, telling the web site Berkutschi, that medals will be won again. "It's a tough time for Finnish jumping. I like challenges and working with the Finns is a great project."
By: Peter Graves