Virpi Kuitunen leading the group in the quarterfinals of Tour de Ski, Prague 2007
||Virpi Katriina Sarasvuo
20 May 1976 |
Virpi Katriina Sarasvuo (née Kuitunen, born 20 May 1976 in Kangasniemi, Southern Savonia) is a Finnish cross country skier who competed from 1995 to 2010. She won a bronze medal in the team sprint event (with Aino Kaisa Saarinen) at the 2006 Winter Olympics in Turin and earned her best individual finish of fifth in the individual sprint event in those same games. Four years later in Vancouver, Kuitunen won another bronze, this time in the 4 x 5 km relay.
Kuitunen has seven medals at the FIS Nordic World Ski Championships with five golds (2001: 5 km + 5 km combined pursuit, 2007: Team sprint, with Riitta-Liisa Roponen, 30 km, & 4 x 5 km; 2009: Team sprint, 4 x 5 km), one silver (2005: 30 km), one bronze (2007: Individual sprint). She also has thirty-four additional individual victories at various levels of various distances since 2000.
Kuitunen won the first ever Tour de Ski competition for women in 2006–07, winning over Norway's Marit Bjørgen by 1:17.5. She also won the overall 2006–07 Cross-Country Skiing World Cup, as well as the sprint World Cup the same season. In the season 2007–08 Kuitunen won the overall again.
Because of Kuitunen's successes in cross country skiing in 2007, she was awarded Finnish Sportswoman of the Year. Kuitunen also won the Tour de Ski in 2008–09.
Virpi Kuitunen married Jari Sarasvuo on 16 July 2010.
Doping controversy 
At the 2001 FIS Nordic World Ski Championships in Lahti, Kuitunen was disqualified when she tested positive for hydroxyethyl starch, a banned blood plasma expander. This forced her to relinquish her silver medal earned in the 4 x 5 km and serve a two-year suspension that would not end until the 2003 FIS Nordic World Ski Championships.
External links 
Media related to Virpi Sarasvuo at Wikimedia Commons