Para skier Sini Pyy works hard, both to make the world a better place as well as get to the podium at the Winter Paralympic Games in Beijing.
“I was injured in a car crash eleven years ago. I was seventeen. After the initial shock, I haven’t really felt that the injury has limited my life that much. I was able to keep on playing sports and study, which I would have done anyway. I’d say that the injury hasn’t affected my world view any more than becoming older.
What I have learned is to set realistic goals and focus on them better. As a person with a disability, you have to accept certain kinds of limitations. Learning how to let go has helped me to direct my energy to things I can change. At the same time, I have learned to look at the world from outside of my own perspective, which has made me more empathetic and has encouraged me to stand up to injustice.
The biggest surprises have been the societal structures and the attitude towards disabilities that some people have. We’re still far from an equal society, but I believe that as a para athlete I can do my part in making things better for people with disabilities across the world.
Due to the exposure I get from sports, I feel that I have an obligation to talk about these challenges, so that some day everyone would have equal opportunities. As a female para-athlete I can, for my own part, break the stereotypes of different kinds of bodies and their abilities. It’s awesome that social media allows you to talk about things from your own perspective and in your own words, instead of through the eyes of a person not living with a disability, which is often the case in traditional media.
At the moment, I’m training for the Winter Paralympic Games in Beijing in 2022 and the World Championships that take place before them. A para-skier needs a lot of power, which is why strength training is a bigger part of my training compared to traditional endurance sports. I focus on sprint distances, so we also train maximal oxygen uptake and speed.
Nutrition is a very important part of my training. For an endurance athlete, getting enough food is crucial for recovery and development. Because of my spinal cord injury, my metabolism is lower, which is why I need to keep an eye on the food I eat. In all the sports I play, power to weight ratio is a big part of the performance.
A few years ago, I developed stomach issues that forced me to focus on my diet even more. For a long time, I couldn’t use sports supplements at all because of the artificial sweeteners. I’m happy I found Nosht - I can finally be at ease with my stomach.
My days are often jam-packed. In addition to sports, work and studying, I’m part of the Women in Sports committee for the International Paralympic Committee as well as the Athletes’ Commission of the Finnish Paralympic Committee. To balance things out, I cook, read, watch films and hang out with my dog Simpponen.
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 parasports, you can stil be on the top in your 50’s. So there is still time!”
Meet the Noshter:
Name: Sini Pyy
Location: Rovaniemi, Finland
Type of adventure: The best adventures include sports and fells or mountains.
Dream: To fulfil my dreams in sports and at the same time build a life that looks like my own. Secretly, I dream about having way too many dogs considering the size of my flat.
Motto: Kun kaikki menee päin mäntyä, paista pannukakku. (When everything goes wrong, make a pancake.)
Favourite Nosht product: Winter Sports Drink - naturally!