Virpi Sarasvuo

Virpi Sarasvuo

Finnish skier
Date of Birth: 20.05.1976
Country: Finland

  1. Biography of Virpi Sarasvuo
  2. Early Career and Doping Scandal
  3. Successes at the Olympics and World Championships
  4. Tour de Ski and Retirement
  5. Personal Life

Biography of Virpi Sarasvuo

Finnish skier Virpi Sarasvuo, formerly known as Virpi Kuitunen, has had two particularly successful periods in her career. In 2001, she won a silver medal at the World Championships in Lahti, which she later lost due to a doping scandal. In 2006, Sarasvuo bounced back from previous failures and achieved a series of brilliant victories. She was born in Kangasniemi, Southern Savonia, Finland.

Virpi Sarasvuo

Early Career and Doping Scandal

In 2001, Virpi Kuitunen had a highly productive performance at the World Championships in Lahti. However, her victory was short-lived as she was soon disqualified. The official reason for the disqualification was the presence of hydroxyethyl starch, a banned plasma expander, in Kuitunen's blood. The scandal forced her to return the earned silver medal from the 4x5km relay and to withdraw from high-level competitions for two years.

Virpi Sarasvuo

Successes at the Olympics and World Championships

In 2006, Sarasvuo won bronze in the team sprint at the Winter Olympics in Turin. She also set a personal record with a 5th place finish in the individual sprint. Four years later, she won another bronze medal in the 4x5km relay at the Vancouver Olympics. In total, Sarasvuo won a total of 7 medals at the FIS Nordic World Ski Championships, including 5 gold medals. Her first gold medal was in the 5+5km pursuit race in 2001. In 2007, she excelled in the team sprint and 4x5km relay, winning gold in both disciplines. She repeated this achievement in 2009. Additionally, Sarasvuo won silver in the 30km race in 2005 and bronze in the individual sprint in 2007. Throughout her career, she also achieved a total of 34 victories at various levels and distances.

Virpi Sarasvuo

Tour de Ski and Retirement

In the 2006-2007 season, Sarasvuo became the first female champion of the Tour de Ski, defeating Norwegian skier Marit Bjørgen. Shortly after, she won the Cross-Country Skiing World Cup and earned 3 gold medals at the championship in Sapporo. For her numerous successes, Sarasvuo received the 'Best Finnish Sportswoman of the Year' award in 2007. She continued her outstanding performance in the following season, once again dominating the World Cup. In the 2008-2009 season, she won the Tour de Ski for the second time. Sarasvuo announced her retirement from professional skiing at the end of the 2009-2010 season.

Personal Life

On July 16, 2010, Virpi Sarasvuo married Finnish businessman Jari Sarasvuo.