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19024-Sini Pyy photo

Sini Pyy

Nordic Skiing

Biography

Impairment information

Type of Impairment
Spinal Cord Injuries
Origin of Impairment
Acquired
Classification
LW11

Further personal information

Residence
Rovaniemi, FIN
Occupation
Athlete, Student
Languages
English, Finnish, Swedish
Higher education
Political Science - University of Lapland: Rovaniemi, FIN

Sport specific information

When and where did you begin this sport?
She began skiing at age two. She took up Para Nordic skiing in 2012, two years after her accident.
Why this sport?
"Sit-skiing is one of the best ways to get to experience nature and relax in a snowy forest. Growing up in northern Finland has made me respect and cherish the environment we live in and I would do anything to keep it intact. Racing allows me to experience nature all around the world, which is just amazing."
Club / Team
Ounasvaaran Hiihtoseura: Rovaniemi, FIN
Name of coach
Ville Sampolahti [national], FIN
Training Regime
She trains for around 15 hours a week.

International debut

Year
2012
Competing for
Finland
Tournament
World Cup
Location
Vuokatti, FIN

General interest

Hobbies
Reading, cooking, playing the piano, travel, fashion, handcycling, walking her dog Simpponen. (sinipyy.fi, 14 Mar 2021; Instagram profile, 31 Dec 2020; oph.fi, 22 Sep 2021)
Memorable sporting achievement
Skiing for the first time after her accident, and achieving her first World Cup podium finish [third in sprint classic] at the 2016 event in Vuokatti, Finland. (Athlete, 10 Mar 2018)
Most influential person in career
Her father, and her coaches. (Athlete, 10 Mar 2018)
Hero / Idol
Finnish Para cross-country skier Tanja Kari. (Athlete, 10 Mar 2018)
Sporting philosophy / motto
"I don't think I can stop skiing until I have raced my perfect race. Perfect turns, fast skis, well timed rhythm changes and the feeling I gave my absolute all to the track. That is what I am looking for every time I put a bib on." (paralympic.org, 27 Dec 2016)
Awards and honours
In 2020 she was named Athlete of the Year at the Lapland Sports Gala in Finland. (paralympia.fi, 03 Feb 2020)

In 2018 she was named Young Success of the Year by the Finnish Youth Chamber of Commerce. (lapinkansa.fi, 13 Oct 2018)

She was the female recipient of the Whang Youn Dai Achievement Award at the 2018 Paralympic Winter Games in Pyeongchang. The honour, which is presented by the International Paralympic Committee [IPC], is given to athletes that best exemplify the spirit of the Games and Paralympic values. (paralympic.org, 16 Mar 2018)
Other sports
She competed in both cross-country skiing and biathlon at the 2018 Paralympic Winter Games in Pyeongchang. She also represented Finland in Para cycling at the road world championships in 2018 and 2019. (SportsDeskOnline, 29 Nov 2021)
Ambitions
To win gold at the 2022 Paralympic Winter Games in Beijing. (Facebook page, 08 Jun 2020)
Impairment
In March 2010 she was involved in a car accident on her way back to Rovaniemi, Finland, after attending her grandmother's funeral. She sustained a spinal cord injury that resulted in paralysis of her lower body. (Athlete, 10 Mar 2018; sinipyy.com, 23 Jun 2016)
Other information
FUTURE PLANS
In 2021 she spoke about her plans for after the 2022 Paralympic Winter Games in Beijing. "After Beijing, my goal is to keep on training. I haven't yet decided if my next championship goals are in cycling or skiing. One day, I'd love to try competing in triathlon. I believe that I still have a lot of potential as an athlete. In Para sports, you can still be on the top in your 50s. So there is still time." (nosht.com, 10 Mar 2021)

SKIING POSITION
In 2018 she changed her skiing position to more of a kneeling position in an attempt to improve her times ahead of the 2022 Paralympic Winter Games in Beijing. However, she decided to return to her old skiing position ahead of the 2021/22 season. "It has been three years since I have raced in this position. I am gaining more experience now, but the bigger goals are next year [the 2022 Paralympic Winter Games]." (hs.fi, 17 Dec 2018; yle.fi, 11 Dec 2018; hiihtoliitto.fi, 15 Mar 2021)

GLOBAL ISSUES
She has studied political science at the University of Lapland in Rovaniemi, Finland, and has developed an interest in climate change through both her degree and her sporting career. She is also involved with Protect Our Winters, an international project launched by the snow sports community in 2007 to combat climate change. "Sport is entertainment, but Para sport has a human rights perspective. There's a lot of good in it, but you also have to think about environmental issues and whether it is worth organising the races where you have to make new snow. I have really had to think about how I can justify travelling to a lot of events." In 2021 she said she had noticed a change in the snowfall near Rovaniemi. "We had winters with little snow and this year [2020], we didn't ski properly until December. We had the first snow tracks open but natural snow came very late and that is crazy because I remember the winters we had when I was a child, and they were so long. We are seeing this change already and, of course, it's more drastic the more south you go." (paralympic.org, 15 Mar 2021; hs.fi, 17 Dec 2018)

OTHER ACTIVITIES
She has been a member of the International Paralympic Committee [IPC] Women in Sport Committee. She has also served as chairperson of the Finnish Paralympic Committee's Athletes Committee. (paralympic.org, 01 Jan 2021; oph.fi, 22 Sep 2021)

FURTHER EDUCATION
She has studied for a master's degree in international relations. (sinipyy.fi, 14 Mar 2021)

Results

Unit Date Rank
Paralympic Winter Games 2014 (Sochi, Russia)
Event Medal Unit Date Rank
Women's 1 km Sprint Sitting Qualification 2014-03-12 22
Women's 5 km Sitting Final Round 2014-03-16 22
2015 IPC Nordic Skiing World Championships Cable (Cable, United States of America)
Event Medal Unit Date Rank
Women's Long Distance - Free Style Sitting Race 1 2015-01-25 11
Women's Sprint - Classic Sitting Race 1 2015-01-28 14
Women's Middle Distance - Classic Sitting Race 1 2015-01-31 14
Mixed Relay Final 2015-02-01 6
2017 IPC Nordic skiing World Championships Finsterau, GER (Finsterau, Germany)
Event Medal Unit Date Rank
Women's Middle Distance Sitting Final 2017-02-11 5
Women's Sprint - Free Style Sitting Final 2017-02-12 10
Women's Sprint Sitting Final 2017-02-18 9999
Women's Middle Distance - Free Style Sitting Final 2017-02-19 10
Pyeongchang 2018 Paralympic Winter Games (Pyeongchang, South Korea)
Event Medal Unit Date Rank
Women's 6km Sitting Final 2018-03-10 9999
Women's 1.1km Sprint Sitting Final 2018-03-14 13
Women's 12.5km Sitting Final 2018-03-16 14
Women's 5km Sitting Final 2018-03-17 14
4x2.5km Mixed Relay Final 2018-03-18 10
Prince George 2019 World Para Nordic Skiing Championships (Prince George, Canada)
Event Medal Unit Date Rank
Women's Middle Distance - Free Style Sitting Final 2019-02-17 6
Women's Sprint - Free Style Sitting Final 2019-02-18 5
Women's Sprint Sitting Final 2019-02-20 9999
Women's Long Distance - Classic Sitting Final 2019-02-24 9999