Finland won the ice hockey world championship yesterday. It was a great showcase of Finnish mental strength, honesty and team player attitude. Same things why Finland is often appreciated in China. China chose Finland as their winter sport (incl. ice hockey) partner ahead of Beijing 2022 Olympics.
Finland came up victorious in the ice hockey men’s championship tournament of 2019. This ”miracle on ice” represents many of the qualities why Finnish mentality is also appreciated in China.
There are couple of things that make Finnish ice hockey best in the world right now:
- It is all about the team. How Finnish team worked and supported each other speaks volumes about the fact, that in the end it is the team that matters. Also more than 3 million people (more than half of Finnish population) were watching the gold medal game against Canada. In the past 10 years Finland (with population of only 5,5 million people) has become the most successful team in terms of won medals among all countries.
- Hard work and self confidence beats talent. Before the tournament the Finnish team got bashed for lacking any solid international experience and superstars. On an international level the team’s core consisted of novices, as most of the players donned the national ”lion” jersey for the first time at this level. Since there were no superstar egos or renown special talent to lean on, the team had to rely on hard work, dedication, and never-give-up-attitude (Sisu).
- Team work beats individual skill. It is always nice to have exceptional individual talent and luminous superstars, but in ice hockey (as in life in general) having a team working together-will come out stronger in the end. No one was expecting the Finns to win gold medal, especially when facing superstar-filled teams such as Russia, Sweden and Canada. Finland turned lack of individual talent, what at first seemed to be their weakness, to actually being their biggest strength.
China and Finland winter sport partnership
This year also marks the start of China-Finland winter sport collaboration. Winter Sport Year 2019 is inherently unique because it is the first instance of sports-focused bilateral collaboration between China and other countries. Sino-Finnish winter sports collaboration combines the knowledge and experience of all previous areas of cooperation. The year was kick-started in Beijing this January.
Finland has a proven track record in winter sports success. Moreover, Finnish winter sports-related products and facilities (such as ice rinks) are known for their quality and reliability.
The roots of Finnish winter sports success lie in the fact that sports education starts early in life and that winter sports naturally become part of an active lifestyle for Finns, first through play and later through more formal training. In the Finnish sports culture, ethics, the spirit of fair game-play, and the idea that everyone is welcome are very important and play a crucial part in fostering healthy sports culture and success.