After 6 years of extremely active training I received my 1. dan black belt in karate in year 2000. With the help of friends I founded the Finnish Parkour Association in 2003. Our vision was to share information about the sport for the Finnish public. In addition, for the ones who wanted to train the sport we wanted to offer teaching and training possibilities, thus I became one of the first teachers in parkour in Finland. These days many of my old students have surpassed me skill wise, but I'm very happy about it as now many of them have become parkour teachers themselves. In my opinion, putting the good forward is the best that everyone can do ;D My path with the Finnish Parkour Association ended in the beginning of 2006.
Later that year, in the summer, I received my Master's degree from the Helsinki School of Economics. Instead of having a more common career path I decided to become a stuntman. I can never thank my mentor H-P Virkki enough for giving me all the support in my career as well as in my personal life. Although, it might appear that things have gone really well for me, there have been times when I have really thought of giving up my dreams and going back to a more stable life-style.
I guess life just wanted to play tricks with me because during these times of insecurity I was blessed with good fortune. I got the role of Noa Okada in the most popular Finnish TV drama, Salatut Elämät (Eng: Concealed Lives). Since September 2009 my character has been seen on nearly 1 million Finns' television sets. Some people even recognize me in the local grocery store. So far, all experiences have been positive and I am very thankful for that!
Sports, health and well-being has played and important role for me since childhood. I am happy that I have been given an opportunity to share my knowledge and life experience to the Finnish youth through the Nuori Suomi (Young Finland Association), a respected non-profit organization that is partly financed by the Ministry of Education. I am involved with the Your Move youth campaign that aims to improve the sporting activities in schools. Instead of adults making all the decisions and actions, Your Move campaign activates youngsters themselves to do as much as possible by themselves.
My role as a Superfan of the campaign is to inspire youth for taking action. In general Superfan is a person who is known and respected among the youth; usually they are somehow related in sports or in the entertainment industry. I am looking forward to attend various events arranged by the youngsters themselves!
My first task was to help Nuori Suomi with the Suomen Urheilugaala 2010 event (Best Athlete Awards) that took place on 11th January 2010. The main organizer of the event was Finnish Sports Federation. For Nuori Suomi the event was a great way to inform top athletes and their various associates about the Your Move youth campaign. By giving Nuori Suomi access to my personal contact network they got Will Funk For Food (WFFF) locking crew and mr. Elmeri Rantalainen to perform in the event. Both of them are known for the Finnish public from the Finland's Got Talent TV show. In addition I helped recruiting three talented parkour boys, Riku and Werner Gröhn and Winston Spennert, for the same event. Riku had already worked with Nuori Suomi before so everything worked smoothly!
In overall, attending the event itself was a blast! All the hard work everyone had done paid off as most of the over 1000 invited guests came, there were thousands of people in the audience, and probably a few hundred thousand Finns watched the show from the TV! I am really honored to been given a chance to work in these kinds of massive 'good feeling' events :D
See the pictures below what happened in the event (from our point of view):
Will Funk For Food (WFFF) performing at the day event.
WFFF boys and the Nuori Suomi people working on the Your Move campaign.
Your Move team at the Urheilugaala's evening event at the Hartwall Areena. I was the photographer ;D
From the left: Superfan Motoriikka Miikka (Winner of the Finland's Got Talent show), Laura Lepistö (European World Champion 2009 in figure skating), Superfan Elmeri Rantalainen and me.
Your Move Expo Area.
Elmeri signing autographs.
Parkour boys Winston and Werner performing at the entrance of Hartwall Areena. Picture taken by the 3rd parkour boy, Riku.
Elmeri performing on the main stage.
Motoriikka Miikka performing on the main stage.