At the Song Festival Grounds (Lauluväljak) in Tallinn, preparations are well underway for Tuesday's FIS (International Ski Federation) Cross-Country World Cup sprint event.
On Wednesday morning, there was a sense of anticipation in the air at Tallinn's Song Festival Grounds. With the FIS (International Ski Federation) Cross-Country World Cup set to take place next Tuesday, a special guest was due to arrive from Finland.
Olli Maunula, has been creating tracks for ski events in all kinds of international competitions for decades and his last major job was at the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics.
But while sun beat down on the artificial snow, which has been produced especially for the 750-metre-long, nine-meter wide track, nothing much else happened. Maunula's work could not begin until after dark.
"The problem was that the track machine was being serviced in Finland," Maunula said. It started moving a little too late in the morning. When I went to the ship, I said that there was another truck coming and asked them wait a little bit. So, they waited 10 minutes for the machine to get here," said Maunula.
"It's a normal job, but the course is great," said Maunula.
"It's quite rare that I've been in a place where the grandstands are next to the track and the skiing is happening right in front of everyone. You can see the whole track. It's a great place!"
The sun was shining again at Tallinn's Song Festival grounds on Thursday afternoon and the tractor was hard at work. It went on like this for some time. Afterwards, Maunula will share his skills and experience with his local counterparts.
The artificial snow is dense and holds the cold well. The temperature inside the layer is -7C. Once the World Cup event is over, the track will then be available for amateur skiers to try out.
Editor: Michael Cole