With her initiative, cross-country skier Aino-Kaisa Saarinen emphasises that today’s athletes are responsible for the stars of the future. She challenges every one of Finland’s top skiers to give lectures to the juniors of their organisation on clean sport and fair play. Finnish Antidoping Agency FINADA hopes that both top skiers and top athletes in other sports will follow Saarinen’s fine example.
According to Aino-Kaisa Saarinen, the aim of the initiative is to increase the appreciation of athletes, influence attitudes and increase information through open dialogue. Saarinen herself will give an example by giving a lecture on clean sports in Vierumäki on June.
Saarinen began her career as a voice for clean sports as early as the third grade: she put up a poster on the school wall that said, among other things, that doping causes beard growth in women and lowers their voice; it was given to her by her father, a physical therapist. The poster stayed on the wall all semester long and gave rise to a lot of debate.
“Everyone in the national ski team has a story of good sport to tell. I myself have received so much from sport that it is time for me and others to give something back. Young people make decisions influenced by a variety of factors. As today’s top athletes and role models, we can also influence future stars. We can nurture athletes in an atmosphere of respect through our own example and create clean future top athletes whose achievements we can watch from the rocking chair as pensioners and be proud of them: we have been involved in doing this,” Saarinen says.
“Saarinen’s initiative is excellent and exceptional in the world of sport. It is particularly pleasing that the initiative comes from the athlete in person, and we hope that the national ski team will take up the challenge fully and publicly. This is a strong message that there is no room for foul play in modern top-level sport. Aino-Kaisa’s idea would work well in other sports as well, and we hope that it won’t stop here,” says Susanna Sokka, FINADA’s Information Manager.
Aino-Kaisa Saarinen’s challenge is part of the Clean Win programme with which FINADA and stakeholders in sports together have highlighted the significance of clean sports and fair play. FINADA supports the skiers’ lecture tour.
Finnish Ski Association, Executive Director
Mobile: +358 40 576 1001
Information Manager, FINADA
Mobile +358 40 740 7477