This coming season, the Finnish National Ski Jumping team will say goodbye to long-time coach Janne Vaeaetaeinen and say hello to Finnish native Pekka Niemelae as the new head coach. Niemelae is no stranger to the team, having worked with them since 2006. “I feel very good and honored and I have a lot of motivation,” Niemelae said at a press conference. Niemelae, 35, began his professional coaching career working as a club coach in Kuopio then onto to Japan and finally in France before coming home to coach the Finns.
Vaeaetaenine’s reason for leaving? He’s simply tired of traveling so much. “There has to be more in life that just jumping hills and airports,” Vaeaetaeinen said. “But I do not know what I will do next.”
Niemelae is ready to bring major changes and improvements to the team. They went home from Vancouver medal-less this year, and only had one World Cup victory. “It’s a tough time for Finnish jumping,” Niemelae said. “I like challenges and working with the Finns is a great project.”
It will be great to see how the program grows. Best of luck next season Finns!