Whether it's carrying crystals, meditating, or mainlining gummy bears — we all have our own ways of dealing with stress. And, this Finnish coach knitting at the 2018 Winter Olympics to keep himself calm proves that all-star athletes and their coaches really are just like us — except for that whole Olympic athlete thing... but, hey, let's not split hairs here. Olympic viewers took to Twitter to discuss Finnish Snowboarding Coach Antti Koskinen casually knitting during the Olympic snowboarding competition. Because knitting during a sporting event, especially if you're the coach, is not something people see every day. And, there's no shame in Koskinen's knitting game.
Inquiring minds want to know just what Koskinen is making. Perhaps it's a fuzzy little gold-medal sack for all of the Olympic medals he wants his athletes to win? Because, where does one keep all of those winning medals anyway? Even better: Yahoo! Sports reported that this isn't the first time the Finnish coach has pulled out his knitting needles during competition. Koskinen also knitted during the 2014 Sochi winter games.
While public knitting might seem odd, plenty of well-know people turn to yarn to relieve stress, including rock star Stevie Nicks, who furiously crocheted to get over heartbreak during Fleetwood Mac's heyday. KnitCrate magazine noted that actor Ryan Gosling is also a known knitter. Seriously, whatever works for you.
1. Everyone Loves A Knitter
Yahoo! Sports reported that "Koskinen explained ... back in 2014 that he brought out the knitting kit in order to keep things light for the athletes before competition began." Because, a knitter is never bitter. And, it's not whether you win or lose, it how fast you can knit a scarf while your athletes are competing.
2. Free Hugs For All Knitters
And, maybe Koskinen is on to something. Perhaps we should all take up knitting. "The craft's two-handed, repetitive movements paired with its tactile, visual and emotional stimulation are among the aspects that make it especially effective, pros say," Anna Medaris Miller reported for U.S. News.
3. Hugs & Scarves Take The Pressure Out Of Competing
"Knitting also offers a rare sense of control, in part because knitters can easily undo any mistakes and use that same yarn to try again," Miller explained. So, while he can't control whether or not his athletes will medal, Koskinen can control how he makes that scarf to wrap them in at the finish line.
4. There's No Shame In His Game
A study published in the British Journal of Occupational Therapy found that there is a "significant relationship between knitting frequency and feeling calm and happy. More frequent knitters also reported higher cognitive functioning." Seriously, knitting for the gold!
5. When Knitting Is More Captivating Than Snowboarding
While watching someone knit seems to be thrilling people on Twitter, the the British Journal of Occupational Therapy noted that "Knitting has significant psychological and social benefits, which can contribute to wellbeing and quality of life." So, if you enjoy watching knitters, you also might benefit from getting your own knitting kit.
6. Knit It Or Quit It
If you have a high-stress job (like coaching Olympic athletes), knitting just might keep you from feeling frazzled. "Research found that the [knitting] program reduced burnout most in those who felt most overwhelmed by their jobs," Miller noted in reference to a nurse who started a knitting movement at work. The bottom line? Knitters aren't quitters.
7. Because, Live Knitting Really Needs More Recognition
If you're feeling anxious, knitting might be the cure for your wandering mind. "The rhythmic repetitive movements seem to put us in the present moment, distracting us from mulling over the past or fear of the future," Temma Ehrenfeld wrote for Psychology Today. "The relaxation response is known to bring down blood pressure and heart rate and help to prevent stress related illnesses."
8. Keep Calm & Knit A Scarf
While Koskinen's knitting routine kept him calm on the snowboarding slopes, the Olympic website shows that none of the Finnish snowboarders qualified for the finals. But, that's OK because instead of medals they're going home with scarfs, which are mandatory in Finland. Because it's cold. There are no losers in knitting. With knitting, everybody wins.