Skiing through the Chinese culture at the Vasaloppet China

The 15th anniversary of the Vasaloppet China opened the Worldloppet winter season 2017.

Contributed byVasaloppet China

"Ski around the world!" The Worldloppet slogan talks about the joy of traveling around the world to ski the best skimarathons on the globe in different countries, cultures, continents. More than 600 skiers - the major part of them from abroad - practiced this slogan last week in China. The Vasaloppet China invited the international Worldloppet skiers to its 15th anniversary and to open the Worldloppet winter season 2017. 

Chinese brother of the Vasaloppet

Most of the skiers arrived two days before the race day (4th of January). These two days were necessary not only to inspect the tracks and facilities at the Jingyuetan park in Changchun, but also to overcome the jetlag. There was also another reason why it was worth it to have a little more time calculated at the Jingyuentan lake: The start area of the Vasaloppet China is also the home of many huge snow sculptures - probably the biggest in the world. 

The most international skiers including the elite group were accommodated in the Sheraton Hotel of Changchun, where also the wax cabins and race office were situated and the side events took place. Early in the morning of the 4th of January, a shuttle bus took the athletes from the hotel to the starting area. Between hundreds of spectators, show acts and snow sculptures the over 600 participants warmed themselves up and did their last preparations either for the 25-km-race or the full Worldloppet gold race over 50 km. At 11:00am the start gate opened and the skiers started their way through the park and over the lake. Since the sun was shining and the temperature was something about -4 degrees, it was a perfect day for marathon skiing. 

Scandinavian favorites and a Russian surprise

The big favorites for the victory in the 15th edition of Vasaloppet China came from the Scandinavian countries, like Stian Hoelgaard, Andreas Nygaard (both NOR) or Britta Johannsson Norgreen (SWE) on the women's side. And pretty soon in the race, it was clear, that one of the Norwegians or Swedes will take the victory. In the end, Andreas Nygaard was the strongest among the remaining eight competitors on the finish lane and he sprinted to the 1st place in the anniversary edition of the Chinese brother of the famous Vasaloppet. Behind him, his team colleague Jens Eriksson (SWE, who also won the sprint at km 25) took the second place and Hoelgaard jumped on the 3rd podium place. 

In the women's competition, the result surprised more than in the men's race. The Russian Olga Rotcheva, member of the Russian Marathon Team, managed to get rid of the big favorite Britta Johannsson Norgreen from Sweden and crossed the finish line 1:43 in front of Norgreen who took the second place. The 3rd place goes to Japan, to Masako Ishida.

Celebration of the 15th anniversary

After a long day of Worldloppet skiing in the Chinese Changchun, the skiers only had little time to relax, because in the evening the big Vasaloppet China Night was scheduled. At this gala, the organizers showed how welcoming the Chinese people are and how good they treat their guests. Organizers, athletes, spectators, officials, politicians, members of the government, the major of Changchun and many more were eating Chinese food and drinking local wine together to celebrate the 15th anniversary of the event.

Meanwhile, dancers, singers, traditional figures etc. served a great show on the stage to give the skiing travelers an insight into Chinese tradition. Until the morning hours, the feast was on - for some even until the bus in the morning was leaving to the airport. 


Important links: 

Vasaloppet China and Worldloppet

Vasaloppet China Homepage

Vasaloppet China opening the Worldloppet winter season 

Photo gallery of Vasaloppet China 2017 

Worldloppet Calendar 


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