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Four times Swedes took on the snow chaos and won

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Four times Swedes took on the snow chaos and won
The Riksdag building in Stockholm on Wednesday. Photo: Vilhelm Stokstad/TT
13:56 CET+01:00
Wednesday was the November day with the most snowfall in Stockholm for a century, creating huge problems for commuters, but not all of them sat back and suffered. Instead, some took on the snow and won.

1. The Eurovision winner who took the subway for the first time in 34 years

To most of the world the name Carola will probably mean very little, but in Sweden the 1991 Eurovision Song Contest winner is a household name, and you can imagine the singer's horror when the sudden downpour of snow in Stockholm on Wednesday threatened to derail her day.

The musician was on her way to preparations for the launch of a new cookbook when her taxi was caught in the snow in Stockholm. Already late for her next engagement, she took the painful decision of leaving her make-up bag, tripod and candelabra (yes, you read that right) behind in the car to catch the train instead.

The only problem was, it had been decades since she last used Stockholm's metro, and the singer wasn't quite sure how the whole thing worked these days. Fortunately, she thought fast and quickly found a good Samaritan.

“I asked a woman in front of me and she let me in with her blue card (the electronic cards used to travel on the Stockholm metro),” she told newspaper Expressen.

In other words, she didn't even have to pay the fare.


Carola dressed for the snow. Photo: Jonas Ekströmer/TT

2. The people who saw the highway was blocked and simply walked instead

If you think Carola's snow plight sounds bad, picture the faces of the many drivers attempting to travel through central Stockholm during rush-hour yesterday when the snow brought everything to a standstill.

Instead of moping however, hundreds of them decided to ditch their cars or buses and instead walk into town along the highway.

“There were at least 200 people, adults and kids. They were walking in traffic and cars drove past them” eyewitness Tiffany Persson told newspaper Aftonbladet.

According to the tabloid, by lunchtime the queues of static cars had stretched for kilometers along the road, with the cause determined to be two buses which had broken down in the snow at the front of the line. So in the end those folks who got out and walked had the last laugh.


Car? I don't need no car. Photo: Fredrik Sandberg/TT

3. The soccer team that got stuck on a bus for five hours... but became celebrities

In team sport there are few things more important than qualifying to move up a division, and it is that prize that lower league sides Karlbergs BK and IFK Luleå thought they would be competing for on Tuesday afternoon.

The latter team flew over 700 kilometres from the north of Sweden to the country's capital in order to face Karlbergs for the right to play in the third tier of Swedish football. But at 5.30pm, Luleå's bus got stuck in traffic on the road to the match venue.

The hours rolled on and the bus barely moved, and the struggle of the small side from the north soon caught the attention of several high-profile figures on social media, not least Celta Vigo and Sweden forward John Guidetti.

“I can't sleep in Paris it's too exciting,” he tweeted from the French capital, where Sweden are due to play France in a World Cup qualifier tomorrow.

Incredibly, after five hours on the bus, Luleå finally reached the venue for the match. But when they got there the contest was on a knife edge: rumour had it that the referee was going to suspend the fixture.

The Swedish sporting world cried out in anger, and the referee must have heard it, because the decision was taken for the match to go ahead – at 12.20am.

When followers of the drama on Twitter requested that the game should be streamed, one of the people in attendance took the initiative of filming it on Periscope. Over 35,000 watched it – which must be a record for two amateur teams in the fourth division.

The game ended 2-2, in case you were wondering. Guidetti didn't seem to mind.

4. The women who came to the aid of stranded motorists

Not everyone who was caught in the travel problems created by the weather had the luxury of being able to ditch their cars or grab the subway: when travelling out to Stockholm's distant suburbs, that simply isn't possible.

Some drivers spent as much as ten hours edging forward inch by inch on snow-laden roads, only to be brought to a standstill for lengthy periods at a time, then start moving forward painfully slowly once more.

Being stuck in a tin box for such a long time is not only uncomfortable, it's also hungry business, and concerned about the latter point, one Swede decided to act. Wilda Lorentzen saw the drama on the E4 motorway then reacted by heading off to her local supermarket. Filling a basket with emergency supplies, she was also given extra drinks, buns, biscuits and fruit from staff who wanted to help.

Lorentzen put out a call for help on social media and received a response from Kia Holm. The pair spoke to police monitoring the road and were given permission to walk along it and dish out supplies to the stranded motorists. Take that, snow!


A biscuit and a drink while stuck in this is about as good as it gets. Photo: Vilhelm Stokstad/TT

Honourable mention: The guy who snowboarded through the streets of Stockholm

Watch the video below, shot by Lena Sahlberg of her colleague Mauritz Armfeldt making the best possible use of the snow. We don't recommend trying this at home, kids.

 

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