Stefan’s little sister was just shy of her 11th birthday when I first met her.
In September, she turns 30.
But today, she participated in the biggest cross-country race in the world, Vasaloppet (Vasa Marathon) . . . . it’s 90km, classic-style (meaning they can’t skate-ski, but must do the style where the feet slide forward and the arms do most of the work). There was somewhere between 14 000 and 15 000 participants.
I am so impressed.
It was fun watching the race on TV, and keeping track of where she was on the course via the computer. She finished in 8 hours 12 minutes and 34 seconds. She was skiing for over 8 hours.
We’re so proud of her. This was a huge accomplishment. And, I have a feeling it won’t be the last time for her . . .
And, some background information on Vasaloppet (from Wikipedia):
Vasaloppet is an annual long distance (90 km) cross-country ski race held on the first Sunday of March in Sweden between the village of Sälen and town of Mora. It is the oldest, one of the longest, and the biggest cross-country ski race in the world.
In 1520, the young nobleman Gustav Ericsson Vasa was escaping from the troops of Christian II (king of Denmark, Sweden and Norway - the Kalmar Union). Much of the Swedish nobility was in opposition to the king, and had nicknamed him Christian the Tyrant. In a move to silence the opposition, Christian invited the Swedish aristocracy to a reconciliation party in Stockholm, only to have them (including Gustav's parents) massacred in what came to be known as the Stockholm Bloodbath.
Gustav was escaping through Dalarna, fearing for his life if he were discovered by the king's troops, when he spoke to the assembled men of Mora and tried to convince them to start a rebellion against King Christian. The men did not want to fight while escaping on skis, so Gustav continued toward Norway to seek refuge. He was caught at Sälen by two Mora brothers on skis. The men in Mora had changed their minds after hearing that the Danish rulers had decided to raise taxes, and they now wanted Gustav to lead the rebellion. On 6 June 1523, Gustav Vasa was crowned king of Sweden, having defeated the Danish king Christian and dissolved the Kalmar Union. Sweden has been fully independent ever since.
The outskirts of St. Pete
Saint Petersburg: Sankt-Peterburg, Russian pronunciation: is a city and a federal subject of Russia located on the Neva River at the head of the Gulf of Finland on the Baltic Sea. The city's other names were Petrograd (1914–1924) and Leningrad (1924–1991). Founded by Tsar Peter I of Russia on 27 May, 1703, it was the capital of the Russian Empire for more than two hundred years (1713–1728, 1732–1918). Saint Petersburg is home to more than two hundred museums, many of them hosted in historic buildings. The largest of the museums is the Hermitage Museum, featuring interiors of the former imperial residence and a vast collection of art. Celebrating the 300th anniversary of its foundation, Saint Petersburg was selected as the main motif in a recent Finnish commemorative coin, the €10 Mannerheim and Saint Petersburg commemorative coin, minted in 2003. The reverse of the coin features a view of Saint Petersburg, with the Peter and Paul Fortress and its three turrets. In the coin the words "St. Petersburg 1703-2003" can be seen.