Tomorrow the Opening of the FIS Freestyle Ski World Cup season 2010/2011 will take place at Ruka, Kuusamo (FIN). Five years after Ruka hosted the successful FIS Freestyle World Ski Championships in 2005, excellent winter conditions await the athletes for the season's first mogul competitions on Saturday, with a great amount of snow.
Ruka has indeed already opened the Freestyle season on 3rd December with a FIS level mogul competition. Ski teams from Canada, Switzerland, Australia, Italia, Russia, Kazakhstan, Japan and Finland have already been training on site for several days. Over a hundred athletes are expected to compete in the FIS Freestyle Ski World Cup Opening at Ruka.
The mogul piste was reshaped after last weekend's competition and has been receiving much positive feedback. More than 20 staff have been working on it for days now. "The slope is in an excellent shape and has been much appreciated by the teams. Big thanks to the piste crew for doing such great work", said Chief of Competition Jussi-Pekka Kinnunen.
"The course is fantastic, and the organizing committee has everything structured super well. To start the season off with these kind of conditions is really good", says Canada's World Cup mogul team leader Darcy Downs.
It looks like the moguls events will be carried out in nice weather, too. According to the forecast for Saturday, the temperature should stay around -14 degrees Celsius. Wind shouldn't cause any problems since it's expected to blow from northeast, leaving the moguls course mostly calm.
The only challenge in Finland has been the strike of the Finnish airhostesses and stewards. "The teams have arrived although some required special arrangements. The biggest impact, however, will be for the departure from Ruka to the next World Cup competition in Meribel next Wednesday. In practice there is only one travel day so we will have to consider alternative options seriously if the strike continues over the weekend," said Marko Mustonen from Ski Sport Finland.