Tomorrow the Vasalopp gets underway. Basically, a really, really, really long cross country ski race. Really long. 90 kilometer long. Nearly 56 miles for those of you converting at home. There are all kinds of variants but the big one. The real one is the 90 km race.
The race celebrates the vaunted historical path that Gustav Vasa took in 1520 as he fled from the king of the Kalmar Union, who had just massacred a bunch of Swedish noblemen at the Stockholm Bloodbath. An interesting aside is that here in Sweden, this King is usually referred to as the King of Denmark, which I suppose since he is Danish is true, but he also ruled over Sweden and Norway which was part of the Kalmar Union. Anyway, massacres aren’t nice. So Vasa decided to man up and ski a long ways trying to drum up support for a rebellion. And being a charismatic young man, and stunningly handsome, he managed to convince a few people to follow him. Which led to him being named king a few years later. And a boat being named after him even later still. Which sunk. But no worries. Now it sits in a museum. And his name of course adorns the cross country ski race commemorating this legendary trip. Kind of like the whole marathon story I suppose. Except in the cold. In Sweden. And a lot farther.
And of course it will be shown on TV. And I’ll probably watch for a little while. Because I just need some sort of televised sport fix. And it might be relaxing. Which is a weird concept when watching sports. And one that I am not entirely sure I want to embrace. But it seems very Swedish. So I’m going to give it a go.
Unfortunately though, I missed seeing Princess Madeleine finish the Tjejvasa. And she is hot. Which is why it was unfortunate that I missed seeing it. The Tjejvasa is the woman’s Vasa, which only happens to be 30 km. Wusses. And where is that Swedish equality? A woman should be able to handle the 90 km if a man can. This is Sweden, where women can do anything a man can do. And more.
Anyway, it’s still impressive. I’ve never cross country skied 30 km. Or ever really. I prefer downhill. The Princess however, apparently likes the cross country. Or she just wanted to show off and become the third member of the Royal Family to complete the race (I learned that from thelocal.se). Well done. But I’ll really be impressed when she rocks the real one.
But tomorrow it is. SVT will be showing the race. And I will marvel at the simplicity of cross country skiing, and the fact that they are doing things that would absolutely kick my ass. So even though it might be relaxing. Some might say boring. I know that I couldn’t grab a pair of skis and do that tomorrow. And that’s the beauty of watching athletic endeavors.