When it comes to winter sports in Rovaniemi, there's plenty to choose from. Brendan Smith from Australia loves skiing, Ha Hgo from Vietnam likes ice skating. Nic Hilov's favourite is winter car rally.
Thanks to its location on the Arctic Circle, there indeed is a superfluity of winter sports in Rovaniemi, so much so that sometimes one even finds it a hard to pick the right one.
Some of the prominent winter sports here include skiing, snowboarding, skating, snowmobiling, snowshoeing, ski jumping, husky ride, reindeer sleigh ride, ice-fishing, ice-climbing, winter-swimming, and of course ice hockey. But what and why is one winter sport more favoured by a particular citizen of Rovaniemi than others? To find out, the Daily Finland ventured to interview three of them.
Brendan Smith from Australia, said:
“My favourite winter sport is cross-country skiing. It’s a really good exercise. It also gives me a chance to soak in the vibe and beauty of nature. The tracks are always well prepared here providing very good conditions for my favourite sport. I get enough variety in the landscape, so I can go up and down. It’s not just a boring flat track. On the contrary, it’s immensely interesting, for it always offers me something to watch. And I have to use a tiny bit of strategy as well.”
“Cross-country skiing is quite important to me, because I’ve never really been a sports person, and I’ve never really found that I’m particularly good at sports, but skiing has always been my thing, because it’s one thing that I can actually do well. And it’s not competitive, which is good for me as well. It makes me feel really proud of myself that I am able to do this, which means quite a lot to me. I have lots of happy memories associated with skiing. In every place where I skied, I would usually remember who I was skiing with, or how I felt that day, and what the snow smelled like, because each temperature has a different feel and a different smell. One of my happy skiing memories is when I was skiing alone in my own space, just minding my own business. And an older lady, about 60, went skiing past me. As she passed, she was singing to herself very lightly and it was so beautiful! It made me so happy, to think of that!”
Ha Ngo, an international student from Vietnam, shared how ice skating bestowed her with some warm memories.
“Of all the winter sports I have tried here, ice skating has so far been my favourite. Back in Vietnam, I wanted to try it so many times, but as it’s too expensive there, I never did. I have always liked to watch people ice skating in the Olympics -- the way they dance and jump on ice! It really makes me want to do it, too.”
“When I came to Rovaniemi, I had a chance to try it out, and I just grabbed the chance. Even though in the beginning I would fall frequently and would fail to keep my balance, I loved it nonetheless. I learned fast with the help of my friends. We laughed a lot as we kept falling. I never believed that I would be able to keep my balance on ice for more than 30 minutes, but finally the day came when I achieved the feat. Since then, it has been pure fun. It makes me feel like flying on the ice.”
Our third interviewee was Nic Nilov hailing from Russia, who is into fast cars and photography. Sharing his fascination about winter car rally, Nilov said:
“My favourite wintertime activity here in Rovaniemi is rally. It’s a lot of fun to get there on track and see the properly prepared cars speed right next to you. There is usually makkara grilling and general partying. To me winter rally means fun, an opportunity to take some nice photos, spend some time outdoors in the nature, and yet enjoy a spectator’s experience.”
“The Arctic Lapland Rally is a big thing here in Lapland,” said Nilov. “I like to attend it every year in a different spot. So, although the places are different, the purpose is the same and the experience is similar – it feels like a tradition.”
City of Rovaniemi-Daily Finland Report