“The fact that the super sprint takes place during the FIS Alpine World Ski Championships is heartwarming”, said Johanna Ojala, former elite skier and currently a TV expert on Swedish television.
We are used to watching the cross-country sprint events take place in cities in Europe and North America, but during Åre 2019, Sportkompaniet Jämtland and Åre Event School decided to stage a super sprintevent.
The race started in front of Åregården Hotel and finished 100 meters further down at Åre Square (Åre torg). It was the perfect way to spend time between the ladies’ super-G title event and award ceremony at Medals Plaza that also featured live performances by Wahlstedt and Teddybears.
Strength, agility and ability to push the limits were required to succeed at the Åre 2019 Town Sprint – an event that attracted a fairly large crowd.
– This is the Formula One of cross-country skiing, said local athlete Olle Jonsson from Duved.
– The Spring Challenge was a really awesome event, he continued.
Current athletes competed in the Elite Class where world record holder Ludvig Sognen Jensen was defeated early, before the semifinals. He did compete somewhat injured and without his own ski poles. The final was a tough race between Marcus Grate and Johannes Hortlund where Grate, who has competed in the World Cup before, was pronounced the winner.
Norwegian world record holder Marte Nordlunde, who has competed in cross-country sprint events in Sweden and Norway, was the undisputed winner in the ladies’ Elite. It was a Swedish defeat as she was the only Norwegian in the competition.
Norwegian legends competing included Frode Estil and Tor-Arne Hetland, but it was Peter Larsson, Sweden, who won the clash of legends. In the ladies’ legends race, it was a close call between previous champions Anita Moen and Bente Skari, both from Norway. In the end, Skari prevailed the fastest 100 meters super sprinter. For sure, putting on the race suit and feeling the atmosphere brought back memories from each of these athletes’ successful careers.