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Home » EMA Best Master 2023: Interview with Senni Sopanen, the Finnish fairy

EMA Best Master 2023: Interview with Senni Sopanen, the Finnish fairy

    Today we talk with Senni, 96 years old, and we know for her Finland means everything. She is very patriotic and calls herself “a blue and white Finn”. She has worked in Canada and Sweden for many years, but prefers her home country. Senni has never been married. She doesn’t have any children. She had 4 siblings and one of her younger brothers was also a masters athlete and he made a world record in pole vault.

    1) Has athletics influenced your life outside of the competition field too?
    I worked as a nurse in a hospital and I didn’t do much athletics then. Maybe doing sports helped me
    to work until I was 77 years old. Injuries in sports have of course made my other life harder, but on
    the other hand sports has been a good way to relax from work. Sports has given me and still gives
    me joy, strength, and positivity.
    2) What does it mean to you to be a role model and source of inspiration for other masters
    athletes?

    It is nice and I am happy that I have been able to do sports so long. I am glad if I can inspire others.
    Olga Kotelko from Canada has been my inspiration.
    3) What were the most significant moments of your sporting career?
    The most significant moment was when retired and I started attending masters athletics school for
    the first time. I found a whole new world. I started practicing and competing. I made a lot of new
    friends.
    4) How has your experience in athletics influenced your perspective on overall health and well-
    being?

    I have noticed doing sports, any kind, has a positive effect on health, not only physical health. Just
    going to practice with others gives a lot of meaning to life.
    5) Do you have any particular rituals or practices that you follow before competitions to ensure the
    best performance?

    No, not really. Well, I get a massage for my legs before competition. I have found that to be
    beneficial.
    6) Looking back, what do you feel has been your greatest learning in athletics, and how have you
    applied it to your daily life?

    I have learned that I need to be active, but not to push too hard. I have learned routines and being
    systematic. Athletics gives me positivity. I try to keep doing things instead of staying in my rocking
    chair.
    Thank you to Karito Soukko and Finland Masters Athletics for the help in interview by phone