I flicked on the TV in the hope of getting a bit of Ice Hockey from the Sochi Olympics. Instead, I got Freestyle Snowboarding. And here’s the top of the course with one of the Finnish competitors about to start (or “drop in”, as it’s apparently known):
Yes. The guy next to him is knitting.
Off you go then, mate. Good luck with the run. Don’t forget to let go of my ball before you head off, hey? Wouldn’t want you getting tangled.
And before you ask: No, I have no idea.
When viewers turn on the NBC broadcast of the men’s snowboard slopestyle finals Saturday night, they might see an odd sight at the top of the course: a man knitting a scarf.
That man is Antti Koskinen, Finland coach, and at Saturday’s competition he was busily working cream-colored yarn with green needles. The scarf is something others on the Finnish team will add to before handing it off to Finland’s Summer Olympic team going to Rio de Janeiro in 2016.
What they will do with a giant scarf in South America is unclear.
The idea for Koskinen to work on the scarf at the starting gate was that of Finnish snowboarder Roope Tonteri, who finished 11th Saturday.
“I think that it looks really weird, so it’s kind of funny,” Tonteri said. “Everybody just thinks, ‘What’s he doing?'”
Tonteri noted that his coach is a slow knitter, but that beats the alternative: Tonteri doesn’t knit at all.