The biographical information was provided by the Vancouver Organizing Committee (VANOC) for the 2010 Vancouver Olympic Games.
Nickname: 'Ritu'. (hiihtoliitto-fi-bin.directo.fi, 02 Mar 2009)
Previous Names: Riita Liisa Lassila
Hobbies: Riding, baking, reading, spending time with her family and cooking. (hiihtoliitto-fi-bin.directo.fi, 02 Mar 2009)
Occupation: Coach, Athlete
Education: Sports Institute of Rovaniemi: Rovaniemi, Finland
Family: Husband Toni Roponen and daughter Ida [b. 2004]
Language spoken: Finnish, English
Club name: Oulun Hiihtoseura: Oulu, Finland
Coach: Toni Roponen [husband] (NOC, 20 Jan 2010)
Sporting Relatives: Her husband Toni Roponen is a former Finnish biathlon head coach. (Olympic News Service 2006)
Debut: 2001 for Finland (NOC, 01 Dec 2005)
Injuries: In 2008 she suffered from inflamed muscles in her shoulder and then in her hip. Although she didn't miss any of her training, both injuries required cortisone injections. (hiihtoliitto-fi-bin.directo.fi, 02 Mar 2009)
Marital status: Married
As the pilot for the USA-1 bobsled, I broke a 62-year gold medal drought when my sled, the 'Night Train" won the Olympic title at the 2010 Vancouver Games. A degenerative eye condition nearly caused me to quit my sport in 2008, but corrective surgery restored my vision to 20-20.