Hatching Eagles

The unlikely story of the quickest ever rise from beginner to Olympic heroes

Hatching Eagles The national ski jumping team of China is trained in Finland, starting from scratch just three years before the Beijing Winter Olympics. Under the guidance of legendary coach Mika Kojonkoski, in an unprecedented training project, young athletes strive to represent their country on the world stage. Training is tough and the cold is biting, but relationships warm the heart. The team becomes a family, and the pursuit of joy ultimately becomes the most important factor in their development.

Hatching Eagles (2024) on IMDb

Festivals and Awards

LaurelInternational Sports Film Festival Slovenia | Official Selection

The Producers

Jukka Tallinen – Director

Jukka Tallinen is a Finnish director and writer, who has worked on films that explore topics such as immigrant children, sports, technology and food production. For several years Jukka has also created commissioned works for the likes of Asics, Nokia, and the United Nations. His love for cinematography and writing inspired him to pursue a career in film, and a curiosity to portray the real world steered him towards documentaries.

Making The Film

When I first learned about the project to train an Olympic-level ski jumping team from scratch for China in an unprecedented timeframe, I was fascinated by the great contrasts and the potential for a unique story.

The framework is a three-year coaching project, aimed at developing athletes to become part of the international elite sports. However, the young athletes are starting a sport about which they know nothing. How does a top coach meet a beginner, especially when communication is through an interpreter who is also unfamiliar with the sport?

At its core, my work as a filmmaker was about connecting on a human level and understanding how to empathize with youths experiencing cultural disorientation, some as young as thirteen, who were separated from their families. It was a great privilege to observe the rapid progress and enthusiasm of the athletes, as well as the joy they discovered in the sport and in different cultures coming together.

Jukka Tallinen

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