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26th February 2018

Tuula Olin, 76

Tuula is a competitive ice skater based in Porvoo, Finland. Bolder photographed her at Myllypuro Ice Hall in Helsinki.

“I’ve skated for my whole life, but when my husband died back in 2009, I decided to start synchronised skating as a way to meet people. Skating really kept me going these first two years, which were quite heavy-going. I made lots of new friends and what’s really nice is that many of them are thirty years or so younger than me.

More recently, I’ve started to skate competitively in the adult competitions organised by the International Skating Union. Last year I came third in my age category for free skating, and the year before I came first in figure skating.

Of course, I fall quite frequently, but there is no problem with that. There is even special padding that you can wear. Perhaps when I am a little bit older, I’ll buy a helmet. The worst part for me is getting back up again. I’ve always been quite fit, though, which helps. The most important thing in skating is balance; even while I am cleaning my teeth, I try to stand on one leg at a time as I look in the mirror. I also swim every morning of the summer in my little outdoor pool – it is freezing, but the best way to wake up.

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