Shot-putter Niklas Loukola tapes his fingers before every training session. They are the most vulnerable part of every shot-putter, albeit the explosive sport is a trial to the whole of the athlete’s body.
”My joints are already ruined”, the 26-year-old athlete says. ”In shot-putting, fingers are the most fragile part of your body. I try to strengthen my fingers through exercise.”
Recording your performance on a video is an essential part of shot-putter’s training. ”On the other hand, you do know yourself when the put is good and when it’s not”, Loukola says.
Niklas lives in the centre of the Seinäjoki city, a short distance away from his school, the Seinäjoki University of Applied Sciences. This spring, Loukola will graduate as a construction engineer.
”Seinäjoki is a good place to train. I mainly train at the Urheilutalo sports centre and the Elisa multipurpose hall. I don’t train much at home. I do have an exercise mat at home but no other equipment. When I lived with my parents, there was a gym in the house. It was great for gym exercising. But now that I live in the centre of the city, everything’s nearby.”
Along with good shot-put results and placings, Loukola is waiting to meet with his colleagues at Kalevan kisat, the Finnish national championships. ”You don’t have much time to chat at the competitions, but they are still social events for us athletes. With many people, big competitions are the only event where we see each other. Otherwise, I keep in touch with other shot-putters through Facebook. Us shot-putters are on good terms with each other. Even though we are all serious about the competition, jokes are flying around outside the shot-put circle.”
Lakea is the main partner of the Kalevan kisat 2017 sports event. The competition will be held from 20th to 23rd of July in Seinäjoki. Lakea follows the athletes getting ready for the event.