5 minutes with... Emma Terho
In this new episode of the “5 minutes with…” series, we spoke with five-time Olympian Emma Terho. Emma is a two-time bronze medalist in ice hockey at the Winter Olympics. In addition to playing for Finland, she played professional hockey in Russia and four years of college hockey in the USA. Besides the WADA Athlete Committee, she is the Chair of the IOC Athletes’ Commission. Watch the interview to also discover which language she is currently learning and her parallel career in an entirely different field!
This interview transcript has been slightly adapted to make it easier to read, without altering the meaning.
Why did you join WADA’s Athlete Committee?
My motivation for being an athlete representative is the fact that I have been getting so much from sport throughout my career. A lot of friendships, a lot of experiences, it has taught me a lot of things. As a person, a lot of skills and I also saw a lot of things that are working well that are important for athletes. But I also realize in talking to my peers that there are things that can be improved. I think it’s very important that we have the athlete voice bring the messages to the management, to the organization so that we can make the future for sports, for events, the best possible. Anti-doping is a crucial part of every athlete’s life. To get the most out of sport, we need to make sure that we can play true, that we have the same rules, education for clean sport, and we can make sure that everybody is on an equal playing level. So, I think it’s important to have the feedback from whereabouts, from education and that the athletes’ voice is also heard in anti-doping.
Tell us something we don’t know about you.
Maybe something that nobody knows, sports related, I am an ice hockey player, but I like water in all elements. I like to do a lot of water skiing; I love cross-country skiing. I do a lot of different sports that are related to water, whether it is snow, ice, or water.
What is your best sporting memory?
My best sporting memory is winning a bronze medal at the Vancouver 2010 Olympics as an ice hockey player in front of a Canadian audience. Everybody was cheering. We’d had a very rough year, maybe a rough 2 years. It was really a journey to become a tight group of friends and teammates as part of the national team. After all the struggle, we ended up with a very good result and a great atmosphere. That’s something that I will remember for the rest of my life. That journey definitely shaped me as a person.
What are your hobbies outside of sport?
Outside of practicing sport, my hobbies would be following a lot of sports, and being on the administrative side of sports if I’m doing some coaching. But outside sports, I like to read books from people that I think that have an interesting career or done something interesting. Right now, I decided that I want to learn French so maybe that’s a hobby. I’m not very good yet but that’s something that I am doing right now.
What key values do you want to share with your kids?
I have a 7 and a 9-year-old kids, and I am also coaching 10-year-old kids. The most important value that I want to teach is respect. For other people, also respect for yourself. And maybe a life lesson: live to the values you value yourself, don’t let anyone else tell you that this is how you should do things. What you have inside and what you value the most, as long as you respect people around you.
What do you want to achieve as a member of WADA’s Athlete Committee?
As a WADA Athlete Committee member, I think the really important project that we’ve been working on lately is having the athlete Ombuds person implemented... And what is very important is to make sure that we have tools and continuous improvement of education for athletes. Educated athletes understand the rules and fair play. I think education also protects a lot of the athletes so the lack of education doesn’t make them take the wrong decisions and harm them.