Knitting at the Olympics? You bet!


Coaches from several countries have been spotted knitting at the Olympics: but would you?

Most people would say that coaching athletes for some of the biggest moments of their lives wouldn't inspire them to pick up the needles seconds before they perform their event. But Antti Koskinen, the Finnish snowboarding coach, sent knitting groups across the world into a spin when he was spotted knitting during his athletes' events. This isn't the first time he has pulled out the needles at an Olympic event: in 2014 at the Sochi Olympics, he was working on scarves to give to his athletes after the games were over. No word yet on what he's working on now! 

2014 was a big year for Olympic knitting: Finnish hockey player Noora Räty shared a photo of her pre-game prep, which includes knitting a Finnish flag garter stitch scarf. 

Noora Raty knitting at the 2014 Sochi Olympics

Finland doesn't have the lock on Olympic knitting, though; in 2014 the Russian speed skating coach Mikko Koskinen was also seen knitting in the run up to his athletes' events.  

In addition to coaches knitting, the winter Olympics are known for their penchant for stunning and patriotic knitwear. From thick stranded knitting cardigans to colourwork hats and scarves, it's become tradition for many countries to show off their best efforts. The 2014 American Olympians caused a stir with their Ralph Lauren cardigans, knitted with wool from a family owned wool mill in Oregon. 
USA team 2014 colorwork knitting
Not to be left out, the Canadian team is sporting new hats this year with a colourwork theme - though they don't look hand knitted to us! Maybe next time?
Canadian team Olympic knitting
While knitting in the winter Olympics is widely celebrated, not all sporting events are created equal for knitters, it seems. During Andy Murray's 2012 set at Wimbledon, the cameras spotted a woman in the stands working on some pink knitting. She was widely condemned for knitting during a match, with articles in many major newspapers. But we think, if coaches can knit during events at the Olympics, surely an audience member can knit during a tennis match!