XC Skiing is hot in Sweden. Read an article in a Swedish paper today that said interest in XC skiing has never been this high before. The last two years snow conditions have been quite good and people that had not paid much attention to XC skiing were out XC skiing again. According to Sweden’s largest newspaper the reason is not Johan Olsson or Marcus Hellner, but Charlotte Kalla.
The renewed interest in a sport that was dying in Sweden in the 90’s began when Kalla won Tour de Ski in 2008 and interest continued when she took Gold in the 2010 and 2014 Olympics.
In Sweden’s first race at Bruksvallarna this week Kalla won as expected, but the real surprise was the 20 year old Sofia Henriksson who finished 2nd. Sofia has some pretty serious credentials: Two Gold and one Silver from the World Junior Championships. She beat Anna Haag and Emma Wiken, two of the women from the 2014 Olympic Gold winning relay team.