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Gripsholm Royal Castle Gives Skies to New Museum

Mariefred The skis have been on the castle’s attic for nearly a century. Now they are on their way to China, where a new Vasaloppet Museum opens early next year.
– It feels great since it was Gustav Vasa, who built the Gripsholm Royal Castle, “says Castellan Claes-Goran Hedén.

 It was at a spring cleaning at the castle’s attics a few years ago that his skis were found. They are not as old as the castle’s founder but have a long history behind it.

– They must have stood there for about a hundred years, we thought it would be very sad to throw them for nostalgic reasons. They have remained good but are dry as tinder, says “Castellan Claes-Goran Hedén.

Vasaloppet Museum
When Strangnas inhabitant Torbjorn Pettersson at Nordic Ways, learned of his skis, he was immediately interested. For the ninth consecutive year, he will be in the organization of Vasaloppet China in the Chinese city of Changchun. In connection with the next race in January 2011, an entirely new Vasaloppet Museum will be opened in the city.
– We are very grateful to the castle to give these skis to the museum. We will show them together with a picture of the castle and the story of Gustav Vasa, says “Torbjorn Pettersson.

The idea is that the museum will display the Chinese Vasaloppet’s history since the first event in 2003, but also Swedish and Nordic cross country ski history. Interest in the Swedish king and the original Swedish Vasaloppet history race appears to be substantial. Last year had 26 000 participants in the race where the longest distance is 50 kilometers.
– Most did the short track, which is three kilometers. Skiing is still very new in China and we do a lot to create interest in health care and daily exercise. But the Chinese are very interested and eager to learn, “says Torbjorn Pettersson.

Svard have took part and Lind will come this winter
Professional ski athletes from Sweden has participated in races on several occasions, including Oskar Svard and in January will twice Olympic gold medalist, Bjorn Lind come to start. The race goes through the Jingyuetan Park at the outskirts of seven million city of Changchun. There is no signs for  Mangsbodarna or Evertsberg along the track. On the other hand blueberry soup are served as the tradition should be.
– The first year we brought the soup from Sweden but now it is Chinese blue berry soup since there are a lot of blueberries there, “says Torbjorn Pettersson.

Right now the interior of the new museum being finalized and there are several gifts on the way from Sweden, including a Dala horse with a withers height of 165 centimeters, donated by the Mora Municipality. In addition, there is a stone of Alvdals quartzite arriving to China by boat in the next few days at a weight of 4.600 kg. An identical stone can be watched at Vasaloppet start in Salen, Sweden.

Maira Lindbla Molander
Maria.lindbla @ ekuriren.se
+46 152 474 02