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Princess completes Vasaloppet ski race

Published: 24 Feb 2008 10:08 GMT+01:00
Updated: 24 Feb 2008 10:08 GMT+01:00

Princess Madeleine completed the Vasaloppet">Vasaloppet cross country ski race on Saturday. Madeleine came in around 900th and became the third member of the Swedish royal family to complete the race.

Despite having been able to train only once during the winter due to the shortage of snow in Stockholm, 25-year-old Madeleine completed the 30 kilometre Tjejvasan in 2 hours, 22 minutes and 19 seconds, according to race website vasaloppet.se.

Madeleine was among the 7,393 women who started the 20th Tjejvasan race, one of the nine races that builds up to the main 90 kilometre Vasaloppet on March 2nd.

"I haven't had the chance to feel how tired I am, but conditions were good and I have had fun on the track. We will have to see if I collapse into bed," said the princess to news agency TT.

Madeleine is the third and youngest child of King Carl XVI Gustaf and Queen Silvia. Her father has completed the main race three times - in 1977,1987 and 1997, while her brother, Prince Carl Philip, completed the race in 2004.

The Vasaloppet was first run on Sunday March 19th 1922 when 119 skiers started the race. The story of the Vasaloppet dates back to 1520 and the flight of Gustav Eriksson Vasa from imprisonment by the Danish king Kristian II. Vasa was caught up by two skiers, sent by the parishes in Mora, near Sälen and returned to lead the Swedes to victory against the Danes. On June 6th 1523 at a national assembly in Strängnäs, Gustav Eriksson Vasa was elected king of a free Sweden.

Peter Vinthagen Simpson (news@thelocal.se)

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