Since Nicky Slater reckons that she is a star for the future, I thought I would get in early and start a fan thread for Jenni Saarinen!

OK, so the fact that I have a specific question I want to ask about her might have something to do with it too...

Ever since I saw Jenni’s name on the entry list for the 2013 Junior Worlds, I have been wondering something:

Does anybody know if Jenni is in any way related to the (still much-missed) Finnish motorbike racer Jarno Saarinen?

Jarno Saarinen was the 250cc World Champion in 1972, and is still the only Finn to win a tarmac motorcycle world championship. But he died the following year in a crash during the Italian Grand Prix at Monza.

As I wasn’t born until 12 years after his accident, I don’t know anything about Jarno’s family. So, I don’t know if he managed to have any children, or if he had any siblings, that Jenni might be descended from.

Now, I know from her ISU Bio that Jenni is originally from Espoo, while Jarno was from Turku. Although the 2 towns are 100 miles apart, that is not much in a country as large as Finland. So, it might be possible that they are related in some way.

On the other hand, in a country with as small a population as Finland’s, it is possible that Saarinen is a very common surname! So, it might be just coincidence.

I just don’t know enough about Finland to judge whether it is plausible.

So, can anybody shed any light on the matter?

Before I go, may I just congratulate Jenni on her results in Junior Worlds. She was the youngest girl in the competition, so to finish 14th overall out of such a big field was brilliant! Considering she is so young, her performances in both the Short (19th/45) and the Free (13th/24) were very impressive.

OK, so she is not yet in the same league as Elena Radionova or Annabelle Prölß, who were born in the same year but are already big stars. But the potential is there...