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19. Finding Love at Vasaloppet China 2005

by Ernst Aberger & Carina Hammarstrand

On December 28th, 2004 a group from Swedish Sya Ski Club started a trip to Beijing and Vasaloppet China 2005. The group included us – Ernst Aberger and Carina Hammarstrand, completely unaware of each other and what significance China 2005 would have for our future lives.

Vasaloppet China was held for the third time on January 2nd, 2005 and our group was not fully aware that it was not like skiing at home in Sweden. No oatmeal porridge to be found for breakfast but Carina found some kind of rice gruel and ate lots of it. During the race, the drink stations for the final participants were closed and no medals available at the finish line. Carina was extremely frustrated that there were no souvenirs to buy after the race. “Go all the way to China and not be able to buy a sweater with Vasaloppet China”, what a big frustration!!

But we had a fantastic trip that laid the foundation for our love, a love for skiing and the Worldloppet series. That trip also created an interest in China and in 2007 we were back there, but then for a road bike event. On that trip, we were told that the Beijing Olympic opening ceremony were planned for 08.08.2008 at 08:08 o’clock (8 is THE lucky number in China). Then we decided that we should get married home in Sweden, wearing Beijing tailor made clothes, on 08.08.2008 at 08:08 o’clock.

In 2012, Vasaloppet China became a member of the Worldloppet, that took us back on the starting line again to get a stamp in our second Worldloppet Passport. We recognized a fantastic development of the race between our first race in 2005 and the second in 2012. One thing that was really cool was to come into the newly built Vasaloppet Museum building and see fantastic pictures from our first trip in 2005, with many of our friends from Sya ski club.

We have also been back and skied the race in 2015 to celebrate the 10th anniversary of our love and 2017 to celebrate the 15th anniversary of Vasaloppet China.

What is very special about Vasaloppet China is the ski arena area with all snow & ice sculptures. We thought it was fantastic in 2005 but it has only got bigger and more powerful every time we have been there. The whole concept that exists around Vasaloppet China, where you get to meet a completely different culture for us Nordic people, is a fantastic experience from beginning to end. The whole organization is bursting with joy and willingness to make our meeting with Vasaloppet China a life-long memory. For us it has become the Story of Our Lifetime!

For us, skiing and the Worldloppet events have become an important part of life. This strange ski winter 2019/2020 we visited Jizerska50 in the Czech Republic with fantastic conditions and of course Vasaloppet in Sweden. What is so cool about the Worldloppet events are all the friends we have received from all over the world that you meet again and again at the races.

There is so much Love in Vasaloppet China for us, we will probably be on the starting line again in 2022 to celebrate the 20th anniversary.

With Love, Ernst & Carina

Chinese Version:

2005中国瓦萨邂逅浪漫爱情

故事发生在2004年12月28日,来自瑞典的斯亚越野滑雪俱乐部来中国长春参加2005中国瓦萨比赛,比赛之余在北京旅游。我们两个(艾尼斯·阿贝哥和卡丽娜·哈莫斯德)都是这个俱乐部的成员,自此结缘,之后便开始了属于我们的故事。

2005年中国瓦萨国际滑雪节是中国第三次举办,我们并不知道这会与瑞典瓦萨滑雪节有很大不同。饮食与我们瑞典的习惯不同,酒店的早餐没有麦片粥,卡丽娜选择了一些米粥来代替。在整场比赛过程中,最后的一些选手到达时,饮水站已关闭,没有拿到完赛奖牌。完赛后卡丽娜没有买到中国瓦萨的相关纪念品,她感到十分遗憾:“来中国并没有买到中国瓦萨的纪念衫好难过!”

但是这个奇妙的旅程为我们之间的爱情奠定了基础,我们都热爱滑雪,一起参与世界罗佩特系列比赛。2007年我们再次来到中国参加公路自行车赛,对中国的一切产生非常大的兴趣。在这次比赛过程中,我们得知2008北京奥运会将在2008 年8月8日8点8分正式开幕,这个时间对于中国人来说是非常幸运的。所以我们在回国之后,决定在瑞典家里2008 年8月8日8点8分穿着带着北京字样的纪念衫结婚。

2012年中国成为世界罗佩特滑雪联合会成员国。我们也拥有了第二本滑雪护照,也将开始我们第二轮世界罗佩特滑雪赛之旅,我们记录着中国瓦萨这个比赛的惊人变化,7年间,中国瓦萨博物馆建造完毕。在那儿,我们非常兴奋地找到了我们以及斯亚俱乐部成员参与2005年比赛的照片。

我们参与2015中国瓦萨滑雪节,来纪念我和卡丽娜结婚10周年。也参与了2017年的比赛,来为中国瓦萨15岁庆生。

中国瓦萨与众不同的是,在比赛场地有非常精美的雪雕装饰。2005年的雪雕已经非常漂亮了,每一次我们参与比赛都能看到非常壮观及震撼雪雕,冰雕艺术。中国瓦萨从开办以来一直融入冰雪文化艺术的概念,颠覆了北欧人心中的滑雪比赛的样貌。整个活动的组织都洋溢着喜悦和希望,愿我们与中国瓦萨每一次会面都成为终生难忘的回忆。对我们来说,它已经是我们一生的故事!

对我们来说,滑雪和世界罗佩特系列赛已经成为生活的重要组成部分。2019-2020这个与众不同的滑雪季,我们参与了捷克共和国的吉泽斯卡50公里滑雪赛,那里的自然条件非常好;当然还有瑞典的瓦萨滑雪节。世界罗佩特系列赛让我们结识了世界各地的朋友,在一次又一次的比赛中相遇。

我们深爱中国瓦萨,也期待着2022年,我们结婚20周年的时候能够再一次站在起跑线上。

艾尼斯与卡丽娜 敬上

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