One of the most successful Finnish woman skiers of all time, Aino-Kaisa Saarinen, is back at the World Cup after her’s maternity leave. Last time Saarinen competed on international level was exactly one year ago in Ruka.

Saarinen can’t hide her excitement before the race tomorrow.

“I’m so thrilled and I’m also so nervous, it’s like this was my first time here. This is a new situation for me that it feels like I’m a first-timer”, Saarinen told the press on Friday.

Saarinen, 37-years-old, knows that she cannot be in top shape right away.

“The last two weekend’s when I’ve raced I have been feeling better and better. Of course you would want to take big steps of improvement every time, but the main thing is to get better with small steps”, Saarinen said.

The women’s and men’s World Cup starts tomorrow with sprints. Qualification starts 11 AM and the finals at 1.30 PM Finnish time.

“I’m so happy to be here and that’s the most important thing. Tomorrow I’m going to ski with joy”, Saarinen ended.

Antti Järvinen / Laajasalon opisto