Why Are Those Finnish Olympians Knitting?

Finnish snowboarding coach Antti Koskinen, snowboarder Roope Tonteri and ski jumper Eetu Nousiainen pose with their knitting during a press conference. NewsCenter/YouTube

The Olympics are a high-stakes situation for all the athletes and their coaches. But sometimes you just need to relax and knit, even if you're about see if you can win a medal in snowboarding.

It seems the Finnish Olympians have taken this idea to heart because they're constantly knitting — and Olympic viewers are noticing.

These tweets mostly feature the Finnish snowboarding coach Antti Koskinen knitting right before one of his athletes goes for the gold. Normally at a time like this, coaches would be offering last-minute advice, or a pep talk. Not Koskinen.

"We want to keep things kind of lighthearted at the start, you know, a little bit of joking around, and, you know, keeping the mood light, and this definitely helps with that," Koskinen said during a Feb. 14 press conference that addressed the team's knitting.

"And when I see Antti knitting," snowboarder Roope Tonteri said, "you know, I just laugh at him, so, I'm not actually thinking about that much."

"And I don't mind being laughed at," Koskinen replied.

Knitting during the Games isn't anything new for the Finnish Olympians. In the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympic Games, the team collectively worked together on a scarf, which they then handed over to their 2016 Rio de Janeiro Summer Olympic counterparts.

Why you need a scarf in Rio in the middle of summer is anyone's guess.

"It's a really Finnish thing to do," Tonteri said, "so you don't need to talk to anyone while doing it."

"No unnecessary chitchat is needed," Koskinen said while chuckling.

The knitting this year is more than just a stress reliever for the Fins; they're knitting a blanket for the newborn son of the Finnish president. President Sauli Niinisto's wife Jenni Haukio gave birth to the couple's first child on Feb. 2.

Not everyone is keeping to the project, however.

Ski jumper Eetu Nousiainen made two squares, got bored and didn't want to start another end, so he began work on his own scarf.

"It could be a blanket for the president's dog," someone else on the team quipped.

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