Each week through the summer, the Spider soccer team will highlight a senior or a coach on RichmondSpiders.com as a part of a Throwback Thursday series.
Name: Mika Elovaara
Position: Associate Head Coach
What is your favorite...
Athlete: Wayne Gretzky
Professional Soccer Player: Zinedine Zidane, Lionel Messi.
Sports team: Boston Celtics, Minnesota Wild, 1.FC Koln, Newcastle United FC
School subject: English
Food: Reindeer Stew with Mashed Potatoes and Lingonberry jam
Movie: Too many to pick, but some older ones include Braveheart, Gladiator, 300, Top Secret!, Mrs Doubtfire...
Breakfast cereal: Kellogg's Special K Apple Raspberry Almond
Soccer memory: There's so many I could pick, but I guess I'd have to say the whole time I was at Kastelli Sports Academy; spending all my time with my best friends, practicing twice a day and winning three national championships.
Vacation spot: Oahu, Hawaii
Joke: Leaving for the grocery store, a wife said to her husband: “I'll be right back.” He said: “OK, I'll be Center back, then.”
Color: Navy blue
Gift you have ever been given: Three wonderful, healthy children.
Song: Right now, Lujaa Tekoa by Mokoma
Motivational Quote: “Vision without action is a dream. Action without vision is a nightmare.”
Holiday (why)?: Christmas. In our family, it has always been a period of ultimate family time for several days.
What's one thing not a lot of people know about you?: In 2011, I was as an expert guest on a TV show called Ridley Scott's Prophets of Science Fiction on Science Channel.
Where's spot in the entire world you would like to visit that you haven't?: Japan
Age you started playing soccer: 5
What has been one of your most exciting memories with your Spider Family so far?: Beating JMU 4-2 in 2016 (this will change in 2017!).
Before each game I…: Go for a run in the morning, write notes for the game, drink my favorite coffee and listen to my pre-game playlist.
If you were granted one wish, what you want it to be?: World peace
If you could have dinner with any one celebrity, who and why?: I'd have dinner with Shakira. She is obviously known for being a popular singer, with over 32 million followers on Instagram, 43 million on Twitter and 104 million fans on Facebook, but she is also a mother of two children and a spouse to Gerard Pique, the world-class defender for Spain and FC Barcelona; most importantly, she is recognized by Forbes as one of world's most important leaders because of how she has leveraged her platforms for major philanthropy in early-childhood development, nutrition and education across Latin America.
Starbucks or Dunkin?: Starbucks
Most famous person you've met (where and when): Sidney Crosby or Shawn Johnson
Dream job: Soccer Coach
Hobbies/Interests: Spending time and playing sports with my children, reading, watching sports, watching Vikings (TV-show), listening to music
Do you have a nickname the team calls you?: Meeks
Ideal temperature in your house?: 72
Greatest invention of the last 100 years: Internet
Apple or Android?: Apple
For me, I love playing soccer because: it's the players' game – 90 minutes of problem solving, critical thinking, technical, tactical, physical and mental challenges with no timeouts, line changes, etc. Just play!
Greatest inspiration: My grandfathers who fought in WWII to preserve Finnish Independence and protected the freedom for me to lead the life I want to lead.
Cat, dog, or turtle?: Turtle
Biggest fear: Fear itself
If you were stranded on island, what 3 things would you chose to have with you?: If I couldn't bring three people with me, I'd bring a boat and two oars. ; )
What's your 10 year plan?: To continue to love life, watch my children grow, win championships with URSpiderSoccer and help us rise to Top 20 in the nation.
Why did you come to Richmond?: I believe in the pursuit of athletic and academic excellence, so when I was offered the opportunity to be able to work with student athletes at an institution and athletic department whose core values are aligned with mine, it was a proverbial “no-brainer.”
If you could have one superpower, what would it be?: Heal any disease, injury, illness by hand.
Least favorite household chore: vacuuming
Do you prefer to grab your next piece of toilet paper over or under the roll?: Over. There's no other way.
Where do you like sitting on the bus for road trips?: In the front, three seats back.
If you somehow inherited Bill Gates's fortune, what would you do with it?: I would donate $50 million to Spider Athletics, donate a million dollars to a 100 charities selected by 100 people I know, set up a trust fund to each of my three children, invest in research and development of sustainable energy, donate $100 million and endow money to start an initiative to make Richmond a city with safe bike paths throughout the city to make cycling to work and school an option for people, pay off my sister's mortgage and my nephew's student loans…