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”, 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