Women’s World Ringette Championships kicks off with the retiring of the game number of the Finnish ringette legend
While Finland team’s frame has remained largely the same since the previous 2019 ringette world championships in Burnaby, Canada, the team has also undergone significant changes. The coaching of the team has changed, in addition to which the long-time captain of the national team, Marjukka Virta, the most internationally successful ringette player with her seven world championships, ended her successful career at the previous World Championships. As a captain, Virta led the Finnish national team to six World Championship gold medals. During her time as a captain – in more than a decade – the team has not lost a single match. To honor her career, Ringette Finland has decided to retire Virta’s game number 4.
-Marjukka Virta is a top athlete of many superlatives, whose achievements are finnish sports history, by any measure. First is always a first, also when starting this particularly festive tradition in ringette,” says Markku Koli, chairman of Ringette Finland.
Marjukka Virta´s game number will be retired in connection with the first exhibition game between Finland and Canada at the Rajupaja Arena (former Marli Arena) in Turku on Tuesday 1st of November 2022. In addition, Virta’s respectable career will be recorded in the National Collection of Sport, when the ringette will be elevated to the main exhibition of the Cultural Centre for Sport and Physical Activity TAHTO in late autumn.
-It seems incredible that I get to be the first player whose game number is frozen. Time went past so fast and at no point did I really stop to think about what all that has been achieved. It has been a privilege to always be able to play with the best in the world. And the greatest honor has been to be able to be a captain an incredibly skilled team. Thank you all for making such a tribute possible for me,” Virta commented emotionally.
Hopefully, all the ringette clubs in Turku and nearby areas will have this event already recorded in their own calendars, because this is the highlight of Tuesday evening!
The World Ringette Championships and the U21 World Junior Championships, which will be played at the same time, will be held in Espoo on 31.10.–6.11.2022. National Finnish television will broadcast live both women’s final matches and the U21 final. The first final game for the women’s National Team will be played on 4.11.2022 at Metro Arena.