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© Airi Mikkela

Finnish girls Airi versus Nanna: Fighting for the Road to Rio!?

© Airi Mikkela+

Hey! This time I'm writing about something I haven't really mentioned on my blog before. I've told a million times about how I want to qualify for the Olympics in Rio but I've never mentioned the fact that I'm not the only Finnish girl with this goal.

You probably understand that when there are two hard-working girls and only one spot in Rio, that gives the best circumstances for a catfight, right?

People are asking me all the time about Nanna - are we friends, how much do I hate her, is there a lot of pressure and do I think that she is very annoying. I know that this is a very interesting situation and so I feel like I finally need to open up and tell my honest feelings about this battle.

When people ask me those questions mentioned above I usually just laugh. People seem to assume that we have a catfight. I totally understand that though, since this situation is perfect for drama and in many other countries the competition is very fierce. But I still can't give any other answer than that of course we are friends and Nanna is a super nice girl!

Many people seem to find it hard to believe that we actually get along so well but that's just how it is. We've never done anything bad to each other and I've always had only positive things to say about Nanna, so why should that suddenly change now? If I play badly, is it somehow Nanna's fault? Or if she is working hard and playing better than me, is it then something I should get mad about and start bad-mouthing her as a person?

I really appreciate the fact that we get along so well. I'm happy to share a hotel room and chit-chat and giggle with her. We also help each other in many ways, for example finding the cheapest hotels and other cheaper travel options. We have also talked about how good it is to have this competition from each other to push us both forward. We are definitely not trying to do any harm to each other, we are just not like that as persons.

However, I don't want to make this sound too good to be true. You know, this still is a competition. I wouldn't even try to be very close best friends with Nanna at the moment and I also think that it's good that we train and live in different countries at the moment so we can both focus on our own things. Because on the court we definitely don't want to lose! Of course I want to win and be the better one. I get very mad and sad if I lose. And of course it's totally fair if I have a good draw in a tournament and the most unfair thing ever if Nanna is the lucky one with the draw, hahah. I guess these are just normal feelings? Still, I think that to be better I need to focus on training and developing and not focus on hating and envying others. For me it's important that the fight happens on the court and it's over as soon as I'm out of the court.

Badminton Europe wrote a while ago in their article about this "Finnish battle". Some people agree with the article that it's respectable that we get along so well. A healthy competitive relationship, mature attitude and so on. Some people, in turn, have told me that I'm too kind and friendly. All I have to say to that is, that I have enough pressure and stress even without any extra drama so I don't feel like fighting outside the court. And as I said, I'm for sure not too friendly on the court!

All in all, I'm very happy and grateful for the fact that I'm competing against such a smart and nice girl. I really hope that one of us will make it to Rio although it's not gonna be easy. Exciting four months and many more adventures are waiting for us!

xxx
Airi

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via Airi Mikkela

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