Ms. Marika Paananen has been appointed to the position of Secretary General at FIS World Cup Ruka Nordic starting 1.2.2021. Paananen has been working as a part of LOC at Ruka since 2013 and since then she has been managing various teams and task, such as the COVID-19 task force which was established for last year’s competition to ensure safe competition.

– This year is the 20th anniversary of FIS Ruka Nordic World cup, and thus the event will honor people who make it happen each year. Everyone are included, from volunteers to fans and from athletes to international organizations – and of course, the people of Kuusamo and Ruka, says Paananen.



During these two decades Ruka Nordic has established itself as one of the ”classics” of FIS World Cup events. Ruka Nordic has its own traditions and cornerstones, which give a great base for leading the competition for next decades.

– KEV (Kuusamon Erä-Veikot) has strong experience with organizing this event. For the task of maintaining this level of experience and quality in the future as well, we created a new post of Head of Competitions. After the 20th celebration this year we must keep our gaze towards the future, make sure that the fans and audiences are enjoying the event, and bring new people to Ruka, tells Paananen.

The long-term Secretary General Mr. Seppo Linjakumpu will retire of his duties during 2022, which is why the change in leadership became current this year. Linjakumpu has lead the Ruka Nordic World Cup since the beginning, and he will remain as a part of LOC as Senior Advisor.

– Ruka Nordic is one of the big events among Nordic sports. This 20th anniversary coincides with my retirement, as we wish to secure that the event will be organized successfully for many years to come. I wish to give my best support for the new Secretary General to ensure the successful celebrations of this year. These changes are necessary and we experienced ones are here to guide the new talents of Ruka Nordic, says Linjakumpu.


Jukka Tahkola starts as the new Head of Competitions

More changes are happening as Mr. Jukka Tahkola starts in the newly created position as Head of Competition. In this role Tahkola follows that the competitions will run according to plans and he will act as contact person of KEV in regards to competitional matters.

Tahkola has been a part of the LOC for 16 times, of which he has been the Head of Cross Country competitions 14 times. Tahkola is also part of the Finnish Ski Association’s Cross Country council, he is the chairman of Hiihto ry of Northern Ostrobothnia region, and he leads the “Susitiimi” athletics team of KEV.

–  As the LOC of FIS World Cup Ruka Nordic is going through changes, I decided I’d return for the duties again after a small break. This position as Head of Competition allows me to learn new things, while passing on my knowledge and experience to newer members of LOC, says Tahkola.

The Ruka Nordic World Cup is organized for 20th time at the wondrous sceneries of Ruka,  Northern Finland. The event is once again open for audiences and the tickets are being sold for the event.


More information:
Marika Paananen
Secretary General
Ruka Nordic
+358 44 5252444