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FIS Newsflash articles 2010
Ruka Nordic Opening - season's biggest FIS Nordic World Cup event
The FIS Nordic Opening, the biggest FIS World Cup event in the Nordic disciplines, was staged at Ruka, Kuusamo already for the ninth time. During the three competition days, a total of 10 World Cup starts were organized in Ski Jumping, Nordic Combined, and Cross-Country Skiing. The weekend ended with an Austrian celebration as Andreas Kofler and Thomas Morgenstern dominated the individual HS 142 Ski Jumping competition, after the Austrian team also won the season opening team event on Saturday evening. Victories in the season's first Nordic Combined events went to the reigning World Cup champion Jason Lamy-Chappuis of France on Friday and last season's runner-up Felix Gottwald (AUT) on Saturday.
The weekend also included the first edition of the so-called Ruka Triple, a Cross-Country mini-Tour, which consisted of three stages on consequent days. Participation in all stages was required to compete for the 200 World Cup points awarded to the Ruka Triple overall winner. The victories went to so far invincible Marit Bjoergen of Norway who has collected four wins in as many starts this season and to Russia's Alexander Legkov who beat Swiss star Dario Cologna in the last uphill.
Vegard Ulvang, Chairman of the Cross-Country Committee was happy with the first edition of Ruka Triple: "I believe that the multi-stage events at the opening, the Tour de Ski and Finals provide a better focus for the overall World Cup. They serve as an answer to those who think that Cross-Country today has too many different events and is missing heroes, and also help us channel more attention to sprinters and distance skiers alike. The Cross-Country Committee will gather various feedback, assess that and discuss the results in June for a final decision on this test."
He added: "It was cold at Ruka but we saw some really nice winter images that helped tell everyone that the season has started. Moreover, events such as the Nordic Opening where the entire Nordic family are together are good for all of us."
General Secretary of the Ruka Nordic Opening Organizing Committee Seppo Linjakumpu was satisfied with the hectic weekend. "Once again, everything worked as planned and for a few days, the world's attention was focused on Kuusamo. Despite of the exceptionally cold weather, big and loud audiences cheered for their favorites during all three days."
Even though the Nordic Opening didn't break its 20'000-spectator record, the demand for VIP tickets was greater than ever before. Saturday's VIP packages were sold out already in advance.
Next year, Ruka Nordic Opening will celebrate its 10 years anniversary. Linjakumpu promises that organizers will further improve previous years' arrangements. "We are going to build some new indoor facilities, such as restaurants, into our race village so all visitors can enjoy even better services between competitions."
Includes contributions by OC Ruka