Monday, March 5, 2012

Vasaloppet, 1972

"Two minutes," someone shouts. There is a pause again—then without warning a grand, hair-raising sound wells up from within the mass of racers below. It is a chilling, exciting, yet oddly gentle sound. It is like a stiff west wind rustling the leaves of birch trees and the rush of free running water in an unstemmed creek and the flapping of 10,000 seagulls' wings. It is an unforgettable, immense sound. It is made by the wooden skis of 8,000 men gliding smoothly, relentlessly, over the field of snow.
This is one of the most amazing Vasaloppet stories EVER!  From William Johnson writing in Sports Illustrated, vintage April 3, 1972, it's poetic and funny and heartwarming; it's super long, which will give you time to smile and laugh and nod knowingly and, finally, at the end, maybe feel a little tear in the corner of your eye.  It will put you in the right frame of mind to read Martin's own Vasa report, which hopefully is coming later this week.  Enjoy!

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