15th February 2010, Helsinki, Finland – Antti Autti has officially announced that he will not be representing Finland at Vancouver after he was awarded the opportunity, due to the injury of Ilka-Eemeli Laari, to chase powder in Japan.
Antti, currently filming in Japan for his website, was approached on Thursday night by Finnish national coach Pekka Koskela to join the Finnish team in Vancouver. After much deliberation Antti has turned the opportunity down to stay in Japan and film with friends for his website. The decision by Antti has been based on his personal preparation leading into the Olympics and his commitment to his fans and providing them with A grade online content at anttisworld.com.
"Even though I had a result in the pipe leading into the Olympics at Stoneham, I still felt under prepared for the Olympics" said Antti from Hokkaido. "After my injury in November I guess I kind of switched off to Olympics and started focusing more on filming possibilities. I made plans back then to film in Japan for my website. Although the third place at Stoneham meant I went into a first reserve position in the Finnish team, I just didn't think I would be going to Olympics. My mind became more focused on filming and scoring powder in Japan."
The withdrawal of Antti has elevated Olympic veteran and 2006 bronze medalist, Marku Koski to the Finnish Olympic half pipe team.
"I am stoked for Marku" Antti went on to say. "Olympics is a huge deal and the preparation you need both physically and mentally is paramount. I was ready for it back in November and I might have been more prepared if I had outright qualified in Stoneham. Although I now feel 100% physically, my mind is just not focused enough. With Marku's experience at that level (Marku is competing in his third Olympics), I am sure he will do well."
Anttis plans now will involve filming in Japan before finishing off the final Swatch TTR World Tour events of the season.
"I always had the plan to film in Japan this season and it was meant to be after the Olympics. I brought it forward as soon as I heard I hadn't qualified for the team. I made a commitment to my fans at the start of the year to provide them with great content regularly and after getting first reserve for the team my mind was made up. We flew directly to Japan straight after the Canadian Open."
"So far I have been scoring some of the best snow of my life and getting massive amounts of filming done. I am now here for an extended period, right up until the end of February, simply just to film and I couldn't be happier. Snowboarding isn't just all competition and I am a firm believer in snowboarding as not just a sport but also a lifestyle. Riding powder like this is for me is just as rewarding as being in the Olympics. Although a medal would have been nice!" Antti finished laughing.
Antti Autti has now launched his first teaser from Japan, filmed around Sapporo in the past week. Antti will be dropping a free short film of his whole trip through anttisworld.com and other major snowboard media sites at the end of the month. Stay tuned for weekly updates as Antti and his friends score some of the deepest tracks Japan has to offer.
Antti Autti rides for Billabong, Giro, Rockstar Energy Drink, A+ Snowboards, Northwave boots and Drake Bindings. Check out anttisworld.com now and make sure you also sign up to follow Antti on Twitter and Facebook so you never miss a beat.