This is the ultimate way to de-stress.

By Katie Holdefehr
February 12, 2018
Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

When you think of Olympic sports, knitting probably doesn’t come to mind. But one Finnish snowboarding coach is proving that the traditional craft has a place at the Winter Games.

Antti Koskinen, the coach for the Finnish snowboarding team, was spotted Saturday on top of the slopestyle course in Pyeongchang, South Korea with needles and yarn in hand. As snowboarder Roope Tonteri was preparing to compete, the coach seemed to be calming his (and his team’s) nerves by serenely knitting. The unexpected activity at the top of the mountain set off a flurry of incredulous tweets.

Grace Dafoe, who’s competing on the Canadian skeleton team, posted a photo on Twitter with the caption, “The coach is just low key knitting while his athlete is getting ready to go.”

This isn’t the first time Koskinen has been caught knitting on the slopes. He also used the technique during the 2014 Winter Games in Sochi, Russia. And on the official Twitter page for the Olympic Team Finland, they revealed what the team is working on: ”We are #knitting again. In Sochi we made a huge scarf, this time we are knitting a blanket for our presidential couple’s newborn son.” Finnish President Sauli Niinistö and his wife Jenni Haukio announced the birth of their son at the beginning of February, so the team is now crafting a blanket to welcome the baby.

Many Tweeters laughed about the possibility of knitting a blanket while waiting to compete in the stressful Olympics games, but Koskinen may be purling and ribbing his team’s way to victory. Finnish snowboarder Enni Rukajärvi snatched a bronze medal in this year’s competition, showing that the surprisingly strategy may just be working.

If you’re feeling inspired to try the de-stressing technique yourself (even if you don’t qualify to compete in the Olympics) try spending a few minutes knitting before your next big presentation, interview, or event. These beginner kits from We Are Knitters will help you keep calm and go for the gold.