Cross-Country Talk: Anne Kyllönen (FIN)
Finland's Anne Kyllönen broke through last season with three World Cup podiums including her first World Cup victory. The skier from Kajaani spoke with FIS Cross-Country News about her love for Cross-Country skiing, passion for training and goals for the Olympic season.
Q: How did you come to Cross-Country Skiing?
A.K.: Well, I live in Finland, country of white Christmas. My mother told me that when I was a little girl, I just loved to ski and compete. There were no limits for me and one competition per week was not enough. That feeling is still in my heart. I love Cross-Country skiing, I love to train and I really love to compete. This is my life and I just love it.
Q: You claimed your first individual top 10 World Cup result in Milano in 2012. Last winter you were three times on the World Cup podium and once won the World Cup. What has happened with your shape you are so good?
Anne Kyllönen: For all of us, athletes, it´ll take time to get to the “top”. I have been training now about 10 years constantly. About five years ago, I actually did made up my mind that I want to test my limits. These past years I have been training more and very professionally. Also, in this context I want to mention our National ski team (Finnish Cross-Country National Ski Team A), which is really a great team. We have excellent coaches, very good team spirit and competitive group of tough ladies. When we train together, we always push and motivate each other. I also have very good and reliable personal team around me. Altogether, these are very special things for me and help me to totally concentrate on my job. Thanks to these components, I think my results and my shape is now better and will be better every year.
Q: When I look at your results, you seem to be very universal skier. What makes you so skilled both in sprints and long distances?
A.K.: Actually, this is something to do with me, myself and my capacities for both, sprints and distance. Of course this is thanks to training. I have improved my training methods in the past years and of course this is big reason for this whole picture. And … couple of things more, I love training and I never give up
Q: How did you recover from the season?
A.K.: I just did normal things, about few weeks after the season. Spent good time with my family and friends, and of course my dear dog, called “Star”. I came back to work in May.
Q: How has been your off season, where did you train?
A.K.: My off season has been grate - I have been training a lot. Of course in Finland, but mostly in Alps at Italy, Switzerland, Austria etc.
Q: What do you do the evening before an important competition? How do you concentrate on your performance?
A.K.: The evening before a competition I eat and try to sleep well. The way how I concentrate depends on many thing but usually I try just not to think too much. I really trust myself and know that I´ll always do my very best and it´s enough for me. I think I don´t have nerves any more (she laughs) but seriously I just try to relax and take it easy.
Q: Your coach told me your goal is to make Therese Johaug in Sochi feel like a turtle on a beach. Is it true :-)?
A.K.: Are you sure? Did't he say that I will be this turtle on a beach?…heh. But really, Therese is dear friend of mine and these past seasons has been great for her. I am sure she will be in very good shape also this coming season. For me, this summer, I improved my training. I will go further step by step and we'll see the results after.
Q: At the pre-Olympic World Cup in Sochi you won the team sprint. What is the main goal for you next season and at the Olympics?
A.K.: Sochi might be my first Olympics Winter Games and I'll do my very best in every competition to get qualified. That is my main goal. The upcoming season and Olympic Games are important for me, I just can´t wait to start competing.
Find out more about Anne Kyllönen on her website: http://www.annekyllonen.fi