Project Ylläs-Levi 2019

We repeat last year's success, with candidates from three countries working towards competing in the Visma Ski Classics competition in Ylläs-Levi, Finland.

 

Meet the brave faces of the Ylläs-Levi challenge!

6 inexperienced skiers; Nicola Leeuw, Mikael Joakimsen from Norway, Monica Eriksson and Patricio Beck from Sweden and Anni Maunu and Ben Weber from Finland have accepted the ultimate Visma Ski Classics challenge. On the 13th of April they will cross the finish line in the final Visma Ski Classics race of the season, Ylläs-Levi. From January we will follow them on their journey towards becoming long distance skiers!

Norway

Nicola Svabø

Position:
Service Owner for Visma Help Centre (previously Support Panel)

Experience with skiing:
Until recently I have lived on a beach in Sydney - so zero

Why did I apply:
I love Australia, my home, but I have promised my Norwegian husband I will do everything in my power to fall in love with Norway in the next few years and going all in with Winter sports will hopefully help me learn to love the cold.

My expectations:
Am I putting too much pressure on the trainer if I say win the race? But I will settle for finishing in one piece also

Motto:
Always push the button, the worst that could happen is - nothing

Mikael Joakimsen

Position: Consultant at Visma Comenius, Visma Software Labs AS

Experience with skiing:
I don’t have a lot of experience with skiing. At least not without an orange, “Kvikk Lunsj” and “Solo” in my backpack. Last winter however was a bit more productive with 5-6 times out in the tracks. At least I own a pair of cross-country skis, which I received as a Christmas gift about ten years ago.

Why did I apply:
First of all, I love cross country skiing, at least on the television. Unfortunately, I grew up in a part of Northern Norway without significant amounts of snow (Vesterålen, where I’m from has a coastal climate). As a result of this, my techniques and experience isn't like expected from a Norwegian.

This, I believe, could be changed dramatically with a project like this, and with some professional help. This rare opportunity was really too good to not give it a chance.

My expectations:
I do expect to develop my skiing techniques to become more like a pro, in addition to improving my strength and stamina. Now I can finally become the stereotype Norwegian who spends every single spare moment out in the forest skiing, yelling “LØYPE” to anyone who’s unfortunate enough to get in my way.

And it goes without saying, I’m excited to meet a lot of new and top motivated colleagues which is a huge bonus. Looking forward to this lifetime experience!

Motto:
“Say yes - then learn how to do it later!”. That’s exactly what I’m going to do.

 

Sweden

Monica Eriksson

Position:
Application Consultant WFM, Visma Enterprise AB

Experience with skiing:
Basically non-existent in adulthood, I skied a few miles on the field last year.

Why did I apply:
I read about the challenge and thought it would be fun to take the opportunity to improve my skiing skills and to try out where my own limits goes. That it's a team challenge where we can fight together and hopefully inspire other Visma colleagues makes it extra
fun!

My expectations:
I expect to experiences many fun moments, many hours of hard work and a certain amount of doubt along the way, but above all I look forward to a fantastic ski experience together with new friends in the Visma-team on April 13 in Ylläs-Levi!

Motto:
Visualize the goal and do what it takes to achieve that experience...

 

Patricio Beck

Position:
Technical Support Manager at Visma Movenium.

Experience with skiing:
As a child and teenager living in Täby, a Northern suburb of Stockholm, you filled your spare time with winter fun stuff, amongst cross-country skiing. Loved it. Have skied a couple of times the last 8-10 years, no long distance races.

Why did I apply:
Since I early this year stepped out my comfort zone and secured a start number for my first Vasaloppet in March 2019, I also wanted to work hard at my physical shape, develop fitness and ski experience and to be able to power myself on skis for the 90 km journey.

I have since I started at Visma, admired the culture around the adventures of Visma Ski Classics races, and Project Ylläs-Levi is a great opportunity to gain benefits related to fitness, strength and balance, together with motivated colleagues. I couldn't miss out on this opportunity to become part of this project.

My expectations:
Really looking forward to this fantastic adventure. I hope to gain skills that will help me develop strengths and technique. Also looking forward to be pushed to the limits by the coaches for me to reach a new level of skiing :-)

Motto:
Never let good enough be enough!

Finland

Anni Maunu

Position:
Customer Manager, after sales, Visma PPG Oy

Experience with skiing:
I enjoy skiing and would like to develop my skiing technique a bit further. I was born in eastern Finland where winters have always been cold and snowy, so I've skied a lot since early childhood.

Why did I apply:
I want to challenge myself and test my own limits.

My expectations:
Get a great experience and a memorable journey. Who doesn't want to see a reindeer, when going skiing to Lapland? :)

Motto:
Sometimes you have to be a little crazy, to fulfill your dreams.

Ben Weber

Position:
Business Improvement Manager, Visma Software Oy

Experience with skiing:
My experience is quite limited. I did some skiing back in the days with my family, but that was not really my cup of tee as a kid. Last time I did any sort of cross-country skiing was in the finnish military 2010, and that was with skies from about the 80’s wrapped to my rubber boots from the 90’s. No formula for success - let’s see how it goes with modern equipment.

Why did I apply:
I’ve been active in sports all my life and used to play handball semi-professionally. Lately however, I’ve been searching for something new and exciting to motivate me in a training setting. A bigger reason than just to stay healthy. Something to aim for that would reignite the motivation to push myself to the limit, a motivation I have not had too many times since I threw my handball shoes in the basement.

Ultimately, this project presents the perfect opportunity to train hard and have fun at the same time. Additionally, cross-country skiing is a completely uncharted territory for me and a sport I probably would not pick up without participating in the project. Something truly new and exciting.

My expectations:
I expect the project to be challenging, but fun at the same time. Learning the proper skiing technique will probably be one of the more difficult tasks (if we don’t count the event itself). I’m definitely looking forward to get in better shape personally and also getting to know the other participants in the project.    

Motto:
Want to come in second? Follow me!

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