Reijo Jylhä and Eero Hietanen to lead Finnish Cross-Country team

15 May 2014 07:55
Reijo Jylhä and Eero Hietanen
Reijo Jylhä and Eero Hietanen -


Finnish Ski Association has made a four-year-contract with two coaches for the next Olympic cycle.  Reijo Jylhä and Eero Hietanen have taken over responsibility for the Finnish Cross Country development. That means that the athlete´s path from early childhood until national team will be covered and taken care of.

“The entire organization for coaching is under construction in Finland. We have to have more wider overlook to Cross-Country Skiing.”, Jylhä says.

Reijo Jylhä will be the next head coach for Finnish National Cross-country skiing team and Eero Hietanen will be in charge of the Finnish Cross-Country skiing as general team director.

Finnish Cross-Country is developing new kind of coaching coalition. Jylhä and Hietanen as two highly experienced Finnish coaches were signed to do the job. “Sport is never one, two or even three men show. We all need each other. We have lots of recourses and knowledge in Finland that hasn’t been properly used. Now we all need to come together, join our forces and create a team”, new head coach Reijo Jylhä says.

Head Coach of Finnish National Team will be working side by side with Eero Hietanen, who will manage the Finnish Cross Country scene and create the path for skiers starting from early childhood aiming to National Team. One important step concerning the future of Cross Country skiing in Finland is recruiting more children to skis.

To aim at working closer together and think tanking is a new way of approaching in Finnish individual sports. It is also in line with the Finnish Olympic Committee´s strategy.  ”Now we have to work together in order to create a new system that will collect all the knowhow and resources we have to the sport itself and to the athletes. We want to guide the path from childhood to Championships. We also want to gather all the coaches and top level athletes’ personal coaches around the same table in order to start working together and learning from each other”, Hietanen says.

The two new coaches of Cross Country Ski Team Finland have a vision: In three years we will be having Lahti2017 World Championships. “Our dream is that we all could then say that we did it. Everyone of us, together.”

Finnish Ski Association press release