Sat. Apr 13th, 2024

he world’s first transgender figure skater suffered a spectacular fall during the opening ceremony of the European Figure Skating Championships in Finland. 

Former Finnish male skater, Markku-Pekka Antikainen, now known as Minna-Maaria Antikainen, had a rather eventful debut at this year’s tournament despite only picking up the sport at age of 49.

The 57-year-old – a farm owner from Siilinjarvi – was provided with a solo act from the Finnish Figure Skating Association in the opening ceremony in efforts to promote diversity, equality and inclusion.

Minna-Maaria Antikainen, also known as Markku-Pekka, is the world's first transgender skater

Moment trans skater trips and falls in Euro Figure Skating event

The 57-year-old, who identifies as a gender neutral woman, needed assistance to get back up

However, nerves caught up to Antikainen. 

The figure skater, who is believed to identify as a gender-neutral woman, according to Finnish news outlets, showed off their beginner’s technique by stumbling to the ground rather quickly, seconds after having gone on the ice to start the performance. 

Thankfully for the amateur skater, a female hostess carrying the Finnish flag came to the rescue and helped them get back on their feet. 

It has to be said that some would feel bad for Antikainen, who once claimed they wanted to fulfill a childhood dream of being an ‘ice princess’, according to ‘pro-woman, pro-child safeguarding platform’ Reduxx Magazine. 

Prior to the disastrous performance, Antikainen practiced on ice for five hours a week and has previously been involved in several competitions both in their homeland and abroad, Skating Finland reported. 

Meanwhile, the ISU European Figure Skating Championships’ opening ceremony drew its inspiration from the event’s theme ‘Just be you’. 

The Finnish Figure Skating Association intended to promote the importance of equality and diversity and develop skating according to its values after many have weighed into the debate of whether ‘same-sex skating pairs’ should continue to be banned from the sport. 

The 57-year-old is a farm owner from Siilinjarvi who started figure skating in 2014

‘Figure skating is a very conservative sport with various strict rules. In international competitions, same-sex skating pairs are not allowed, and there is no category for non-binary skaters,’ said Outi Wuorenheimo, Executive Director of the Finnish Figure Skating Association.

‘I hope that every country will start working for equality and diversity in the field.’ 

The ISU European Figure Skating Championships will go on from January 25 through January 29.