Just few weeks ago we got to cheer a WiCo Team member, our sponsor athlete, a pro cross country skier Tuuli Raunio, as she skied her way into the starting weekend of the FIS World Cup Ruka Nordic.

“Well, that weekend wasn’t a walk in the park, it wasn’t handed on a silver platter. I was exhausted when I finished on the last sprint but I knew crossing the finish line that now I have a change of qualifying to the World Cup.” says Tuuli.

This was Tuulis first time competing in the World Cup. She made her first ever start on Friday 26th of November at 11.00 (UTC+2) in the Under 23 Women’s Sprint Team.

It was the big league. There you found the greatest skiers Finland has to offer. Icons like Krista Pärmäkoski, Iivo Niskanen, Jasmi Joensuu, Kerttu Niskanen and Ristomatti Hakola, just to mention a few.

Tuulis’ personal goal was to rank in top 30, with the pure intention of getting through from the qualifications. It was more about exceeding yourself. Tuuli was also excited to see how everyone else is performing. To be able to compete with such high performing, national top skiers was already a huge honour.  

”Actually, I wasn’t that nervous about it. Of course, it is exciting and I was thrilled to be there. Normal nervousness is a part of competing and comes naturally with charging to the race. “

Tuuli Raunio, World Cup starting weekend, Ruka Finland

From past seasons the team, couch and Tuuli learned what’s the most suitable and effective way to prepare and train for an up-coming competition.

“We learned that taking breaks and easing up before the competition week, so the body isn’t totally tense and screwed to the highest point, works best for me. After the World Cup staring weekend, I could start training again, as much as I wanted, in the schedule that we’ve made towards the season”.

The biggest goal for this season in Tuulis’ mind, is the 2022 Junior World Championships in February in Norway.  

“We’ve seen results of improvement on my form and that could tell that the possibilities are open. The conditions are perfect for success on the race.”

But how does a major league athlete spend their Christmas, at the tracks perfecting their kicks and starts?

“I’ll go where there’s snow. That’s kind of how I like to spend my holidays. Of course, I’ll visit my family and spend time with them. I’ll stuff myself with all the Christmas treats in one evening, but we’re in the middle of the season so you kind of must navigate your way back to the habits of an athlete.” the determined skier states.

We wish all the best for Tuuli and greatest speed and grip to this season!
Like the speed of Wind!