Iceman Kimi Räikkönen

Unfortunate children move the Iceman

They have called Kimi Räikkönen a human robot. The Finn is seen as a machine who’s emotional life is as frozen as frozen can be.

It’s time to put things straight. Even Räikkönen has his own sensitive spots. Kimi feels and emphasizes very strongly when the matters are close to his heart. Especially close to Räikkönen’s heart are children who don’t have much. It awakens Kimi’s will to help and he is happy if he can bring even a moment of joy to the grey everyday life. Now that he is wealthy, the 23-year old Räikkönen still remembers his own roots, starting points, how his parents did a long working day so that they could give their boys equal facilities to life as their wealthy neighbours could. Kimi has always known that money doesn’t grow on trees. When there is lack of money even a small help will offer a big joy. Even as a philanthropist Räikkönen walks his own paths. Last year the time was ready for it. Kimi didn’t want to become a public celebrity-godfather for Children’s hospital but he felt that the children suffering from cancer is his thing. Therefore he and his fiancé Jenni Dahlman went privately to visit Children’s hospital, department 10 (children with cancer) in Helsinki. Everybody, even the smallest cancer-patient got Kimi’s attention. And they all got all kinds of supporting material from Kimi’s collection. In winter Räikkönen gave his helping hand to Espoon Palloseura’s ice-hockey -juniors. He became their godfather and helps the team to raise money so that they can go to a hockey-match in Canada next winter.

Kimi remembers how much work his ice-hockey -hobby created to his parents. Once his mother Paula was driving him to practice at seven a.m. The sleepy Kimi in the back seat promised his mother that he could become a swordsman for example so that he wouldn’t be such a burden for them. Mrs Räikkönen laughed so much that she nearly drove the car into a ditch… Next summer Räikkönen’s reputation as a philanthropist will grow even more. Kimi is raising money for the SOS Children’s Village during the Monaco GP. He will rent a yacht, Trinity II. There is room for 70 guests. There are only 15 out of 70 places left. Each ticket costs 2500 euros. Räikkönen will donate everything to SOS Children’s Village. And this isn’t all. Two children who live in SOS Children’s Village will be invited to Monaco GP and the Trinity II -yacht for the whole weekend. Kimi will visit the yacht and say hello to his guests everyday but he won’t spend the night in the cabin anymore.

Last year Räikkönen spent the first night on the yacht. The wind was blowing hard and his sense of balance was disturbed. Next morning Kimi drove almost immediately into the fence during practice. Nigel Mansell who got to the yacht during midnight didn’t get the chance to warn Kimi in time. He told from his own experience that during Monaco GP it is absolutely forbidden for drivers to sleep on the yacht. Back in the times Mansell’s team mate Elio de Angelis – an Italian who loved boats – had taught that being on sea is not good for a F1-driver’s own balance. This year Kimi and Jenni will spend the night in a hotel room. Räikkönen looked for something to support which would bring joy to orphans and to society’s less fortunate children. That’s how he ended up supporting SOS Children’s Village. There are four Children’s Villages in Finland at the moment. The fifth Children’s Village is being built in Kaarina and the personnel’s education has already started. When money for children is raised during Monaco GP, Kaarina’s SOS Children’s Village will also get support. Eight homes are built up in Kaarina for 40 children. All and all 160 children live in Finland’s all five SOS Children’s Village. Own children aren’t yet in Kimi’s and Jenni’s plans. “Maybe after ten years,” Kimi says.

From: Turun Sanomat 5.4.2003
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