Sprinting around the Royal Palace in Stockholm


We headed along to the Royal Palace Sprint at the Palace on Gamla Stan (Old Town) the other evening after I’d seen an ad on the train and thought it might be fun to go. Competition skiing in the middle of the city is not a sight you see very often. So along with a few hundred other sports fans and in the usual freezing cold we went.

Basically some world class skiers female and male race around the Swedish royal palace in Stockholm on specially prepared snow. It’s been run 7 times before and was actually quite exciting. Not that I could see much being so short compared to everyone else. But they had a huge tv screen hanging off one of the buildings at the end of the course so I got to see Emil Jönsson win the sprint. The first Swedish man to do so. Petra Majdic of Slovenia won the women's title but nobody cared cos she wasn't Swedish. (The cameras of course zoomed in on Princess Victoria and Prince Daniel who were in the crowd. I was surprised they were there. But then they didn’t have to walk far. Victoria always looks happy to be in a crowd. Maybe she doesn’t get out much. You never see them pulling a face from the cold. They must practise.)

Jönsson was very happy of course and so was the crowd. It was funny when they introduced the skiers you could’ve heard a pin drop for everyone except the Swedes. (I wonder if Victoria and Daniel clapped the non-Swedes?) Not very sportsmanlike I thought. But then as soon as he’d won everyone left poste-haste and didn’t bother waiting for the podium and speeches. We did too but I felt rude after his phenomenal effort.

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