It was only at the beginning of March that Finland’s ski jumping legend Janne Ahonen, in his capacity as a TV expert, loudly flirted with a comeback. Now the 45-year-old is getting serious: in mid-April he will be back at the ski jump in his home country.
It’s not as if Janne Ahonen didn’t hint at his comeback from the hill recently. “I never said I gave up,” Finland’s ski jumping idol clarified to the Norwegian daily Dagbladet during the Nordic World Ski Championships in Planica.
His fans don’t have to be patient for long. According to “Yle”, the Finnish public broadcaster, Ahonen will compete on the normal hill at the National Championships in Rovaniemi on April 14th and 15th.
According to the report, Ahonen does not set a medal goal. “I know that I have the best-looking helmet in the race. I won’t say more about that yet,” joked the oldie, who celebrates his 46th birthday on May 11th.
How ski jumping legend Ahonen justified his sensational comeback
The spring sun, the longing for excitement and a great desire to challenge himself are what drives him, revealed the overall World Cup winner of the 2003/04 and 2004/05 seasons: “When the spring weather comes and the sun shines, you get the urge to be like a little boy to go to the sledding hill and have fun.”
Ahonen ended his active career in October 2018 – finally, as it was called at the time.
At the beginning of 2022, however, the five-time winner of the Four Hills Tournament made a spontaneous comeback. At the national championships, the then 44-year-old sensationally finished third. Only the two still active World Cup starters Antti Aalto and Eetu Nousiainen landed in front of him.
“First and foremost, I took part to have fun,” Ahonen explained at the time about his motives – and did not rule out further starts.