John Suuronen is a long time Ottawa resident and is well known in the area. He was born in eastern Finland, where he lived for his first twelve years. It was there that he was introduced to cross country skiing at the young age of 2. He lived far away from his school and used skiing as transportation to get there.
John started his Canadian experience in Toronto, where skiing took the back burner and he took up running seriously. He was an impressive marathon runner with a best time of 2:36!
He started skiing again when he moved to Ottawa and raced in University. He lists one of his best skiing moments as being when he upset Richard Weber in the infamous Nakkerloppet (a local, backcountry type race known for its capacity to damage delicate racing equipment) sometime in the 1980s. John started his coaching career in 1984 and has coached Nakkertok, Fastrak, Gloucester High School and worked with the Ontario Team. Some successful skiers he has worked with include Jill Stanley, Adam Welsh, Erik Suuronen, as well as Mark Rabb and Rob Keith, who both represented Canada in international competitions.
XC Ottawa is excited to work with John this year. We have a lot to learn from him and it promises to be a fun and challenging year.