Sofia Rönkkö

Sofia Rönkkö

Sofia Rönkkö is a 23-year-old weightlifter from Jyväskylä, representing Rovaniemen Reipas, started weightlifting 2.5 years ago. Since then, she has already won two Finnish Youth Championships, two bronze medals in the general classification and sixth place at the European Youth Championships. Sofia's longer-term goal is to reach the top international level of weightlifting. Now, she is looking ahead to 2024 and 2025, when she will be aiming for the European Championships in the general classification and the transition from the national youth team to the national team in the general classification.

The beginning of a sporting career

Sport has always played a big role in Sofia's life. Her first passion was swimming, which were part of her passion for almost 10 years. "I went to a sports high school in Kuopio and went straight from there to the University of Jyväskylä to study social sciences of physical education. Then I just dropped swimming and started crossfit."

In Crossfit, Sofia found that she liked weightlifting and strength training the most, which led her to weightlifting in 2020. "I realized that strength training was my thing. Weightlifting is challenging and you never get bored with it. After 1.5 years of training, I joined the national youth team."

Study and leisure

Sofia is currently studying Social Sciences of Sport and Economics at the University of Jyväskylä. As an ambitious nature, Sofia is about to complete two master’s degrees, so studying takes up a lot of her time outside of training. "Studying has been a nice counterbalance to sport and I've been able to plan my studies so that I don't have to compromise on my sporting commitment. I have enjoyed my time at university." The first Master's degree is due to be completed in autumn 2023.

In her spare time, Sofia is creating content for TikTokk about beauty and Afro-Hispanics. She is one of Finland's only afro influencers and enjoys being able to speak on the topic. In her free time, Sofia relaxes by watching a good TV show and enjoying good food.

The future

Sofia has achieved a lot in weightlifting in a short time. In the future, she will compete in the international championships in the general category and the Finnish championship in the general category. "My thing is courage and willingness to work hard for my goals. As an athlete, I am relentless, passionate, motivated and a bit stubborn. I'm always ready to be the first to go to training and the last to leave, and I'm not satisfied with a mediocre performance. But you have to learn lessons from defeats and failures, and you also have to be kind to yourself. At the end of the day, the most important thing is to keep the joy and enjoyment in sport."

As an Afro-Finnish athlete, Sofia also wants to showcase her Nigerian roots on her social media channels. Sofia's dream is to act as a role model for people with an African background living in Finland. "Especially for young Afro-Finnish people, the success of an athlete from a similar ethnic background can be a great source of motivation and inspiration."

Sofia is motivated by seeing her own development and becoming a better and stronger athlete. "I am very ambitious and self-critical both in and out of sport. That's why I need sometimes to remind myself to relax also and enjoy the journey. So, my motto is: seriously but not too seriously.