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Olympic Silver Medalists Comment on FIS Tour de Ski

Mon, Nov  6, 2006 - By Tour de Ski

Virpi Kuitunen and Aino-Kaisa Saarinen (FIN) were silver medalists at the last Olympics.

Virpi Kuitunen: “My first thought about the Tour de Ski was negative. I was questioning our physical ability to handle it, and the logistics between the venues. But that we'll know once we have done it once.

I am now looking forward to the experience and see the Tour as quite a positive development. While the World Ski Championships remain my main goal, I wouldn't belittle the Tour de Ski, it just happens to take place first. I think I'll have good chances there – there are some great races there that should fit me and my strengths. And, although one is not in this business for the money, that type of prize money is surely a nice thing...”

Aino-Kaisa Saarinen: “When I first heard about the Tour de Ski, I was wondering how I will be able to manage it. How the service staff will do, how it will be organized. Now, when I keep hearing that it will be fine and everything will work out, I am starting to believe it. At the end of the season, we often race several series of races in Finnish Lapland. And in a year's time, with one Tour under our belts we'll know more. It is a bit like the Four-Hills-Tournament; we'll have to see how the public reacts.

Overall, I think the Tour de Ski is a great experiment even if it will be a tough event. I am now looking forward to it. Of course it would be great to do well, especially winning would be wonderful since the prize money is so high. For me, the Tour de Ski is one of the season's highlights though during a season with World Championships, it is not the main goal. In 2007/08, it will be a different story!”