The book is one of the best biography’s I’ve read. It is sporty, vibrant and dynamic. It has a lot of interesting pictures of the life of a professional athlete with pain, tears, adrenaline and glory.
It becomes clear since the beginning of the book that Teemu Selänne hasn’t been born into fame and fortune. He was born into a family that saw his talent and passion for hockey. As a kid he didn’t got the brand new gear, but he was given unconditional support.
I found it really admirable how Selänne was working for his fame. By showing up to practice no matter if he was tired from yesterday’s work. Rain or shine. By not forgetting to take care of the stretching, no matter how much others would laugh at him. And by playing with the team and being able to take feedback and advice that made him develop.
This all said, since his very young age Teemu Selänne is portrayed as a person who has an attitude where you seize the opportunity, but you also give back. The reader’s journey into his life gets launched from a summer of 2007 atmosphere in Coto de Caza. Teemu’s wife Sirpa was pregnant and Teemu was playing in the playoffs with the Anaheim Ducks.
The playoffs end with Teemu finally getting his biggest dream come true: winning the Stanley Cup. The reader was given a glimpse of Teemu Selänne’s talent. The author Mennander brings up Selänne’s resilient personality. This is shown even in his young age as a boy who suffered from Osgood-Schlatter’s disease which causes severe pain in the legs. This issue made Teemu end his successful hobby with soccer.
It becomes visible how much Teemu appreciates his friends. He has not forgotten where he comes from. When reading the book it’s not a big surprise why Selänne has become such a big star, and the face for the Anaheim Ducks. He is described as a sociable man. He knows that you don’t need to be best friends with everyone, but it is a virtue to remain polite.
The book is an opening to Teemu’s heart. How he was engaged to Anu, traveled after her to the USA and how the relationship ended when Teemu’s limelight in hockey started to grow bigger. Mennander was showing Sirpa’s role in Teemu’s success. She is portrayed as a woman who is a center piece of the strong foundation that holds up Teemu Selänne. She is a caring mother, loving wife and a smart person who shares the passion for hockey.
The book has a positive tone that mostly is a result of its subject. Teemu, a man with a positive attitude towards life. But it also discusses about his life in a context that reflect uphills, fights and disagreements. He isn’t always answering his phone and he might take his closest people for granted.
Author: Ari Mennander
Publisher: Otava, 2014