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Swedish winter sports – part 1

Hej! Being an international student in Hong Kong, where I do not have the opportunity to try out every winter sport, I have found them particularly mesmerizing since I arrived here. As we are approaching spring in Sweden and before the winter ends, I would like to share with you some beloved winter sports that people enjoy doing here in Sweden.

My first skiing attempt recently at a ski resort in Sweden

Downhill skiing/snowboarding

Also known as alpine skiing, it is considered the most popular ski sport in the world. Skiers or Snowboarders get down the hill by following the designated runs within the patrolled area. Usually, they are classified in different color codes to indicate difficulty levels. For instance, from green (easiest) to blue, red, and black (most difficult). In general, the steeper the slope, the harder it gets. The sport demands a high degree of body coordination and reflex so that the skier can perform different gestures like acceleration, deceleration, turning and stopping.

In Sweden, there are 256 ski resorts in total, with 881 ski lifts included, which are the transportation for one to get to the top of the hill before performing downhill skiing or snowboarding. My first skiing experience was relaxing and satisfying. As I was skiing down the hill, the feeling of traveling at high speed in the snow with the combination of the scenery was magnificent. And I am glad I picked skiing instead of snowboarding, as my friends who did the latter reported that they had fallen over many more times than I did! And to me, skiing looks more elegant, but it always comes down to individual preferences, as either skiing or snowboarding has so much fun!

The breath-taking view of the alpine as I was skiing downhill

Ice-skating

Ice skating is another typical winter sport in Sweden. As winter comes, several spots around Stockholm have been transformed into public ice rinks. Thus everyone has another option apart from staying inside indoor ice-skating arenas to enjoy the sport. One of the most prominent locations is at Kungsträdgården (King’s Garden), where the ice rink is available every year from November to March. The convenient location with the skates and helmet rental services has made it popular among many.

I am impressed by these outdoor ice rinks, as back in my hometown in Hong Kong, we can only go indoors to do ice skating. The ice rinks are usually situated at the atriums of shopping malls, which are less accessible to people. On the contrary, the public ice rinks in Stockholm are more open, and because they are outdoors, the music creates a fantasy-like vibe and mood, especially when it snows. In general, I really like to go ice skating in Stockholm, and it has become one of my favorite weekend activities with friends ever since.

The ice-skating rink at Kungsträdgården at night

So that’s it for today! I will share other typical and interesting Swedish winter sports in other blog posts later. Meanwhile, you may learn more about Swedish culture from other aspects through Martyna’s previous post. And don’t forget to submit all the necessary documents for your master’s application which is due next week!

//Raygo

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