Kiira Korpi

Surviving the Ruthless World of Championship Figure Skating


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About the Book

Finnish figure skater Kiira Korpi’s career included triumphal championships and bitter disappointments. Trained from early childhood in a sport that demands uncompromising self-discipline and unrelenting work, her “fight until you make it” attitude brought her success and fame—and an insidious performance anxiety. Mental and physical burnout forced her retirement in 2015.

With interviews and quotes from family, friends, coaches and competitors, Korpi’s candid memoir describes the making and eventual undoing of a champion, reveals a darker side to the “ice princess” image of women’s figure skating and advocates a more holistic, athlete-centered model of training.

About the Author(s)

Kiira Korpi is the winner of several European Figure Skating Championship medals and Grand Prix events, a five-time Finnish Champion and two-time Olympian. Now a psychology student living in New York, she trains young skaters using positive coaching methods.

Jere Nurminen is Director of Communications and Brand at Yle (the Finnish Broadcasting Company), where his long career as a sports journalist has focused on figure skating.

Bibliographic Details

Kiira Korpi with Jere Nurminen

Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 192
Bibliographic Info: 25 photos, index
Copyright Date: 2022
pISBN: 978-1-4766-8508-3
eISBN: 978-1-4766-4657-2
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Preface  1
1. Café Pushkin  3
2. From Cracks into Fragments  5
3. The Gold Tap  15
4. When Everything Was Still Fun  27
5. ­Olympic-Size Nerves  39
6. Everyone’s Kiira  48
7. Paying the Bills  55
8. Those Triple Jumps Hiding in Warsaw  64
9. Weight Watcher  70
10. 282 Jumps  81
11. Imperfect Perfectionist  85
12. The Big Fall  91
13. Friendship and Envy  96
14. The Man with the Strange Name  101
15. Police Costume  107
16. When Nothing Is Enough  119
17. Text Message  126
18. A New Beginning  134
19. Torn  140
20. “You are no longer good for me”  152
21. From Kiira to Kiira  157
22. Breaking into Wholeness  161
23. Surrender to Life  169
Epilogue  178
Index  183

Book Reviews & Awards

“An impressive and candidly informative sports biography.”—Midwest Book Review