Standing on the corner, watching Peeter Kümmel whip by
Archived Articles 18 May 2007  EWR
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And Jaak Mae. In shorts and a t-shirt – skiing! Inner city and summer ski sprints are nothing new in Northern Europe, but the Tallinn Old Town Ski Sprint on May 12 was a first in Eesti. Although not (yet) a race for World Cup points, this fun show race attracted the best of the best to ski the 850 m trail from Vabaduse väljak along Harju tänav, up Niguliste to the foot of Lühike jalg and back. 150 truckloads of snow had been waiting under a pile of sawdust at Lauluväljak and even a decent hill (by Estonian standards – in the upper left of the photo), was constructed along the Harju stretch.

Norway’s Jens Arne Svartedal won the men’s race and Pirjo Manninen of Finland was the day’s fastest woman. 25 year-old Peeter Kümmel, currently our most promising sprinter, finished seventh.

What could be better than standing on the corner in close to 20 degree weather, listening to meltwater babbling down the cobblestone street and watching Odd-Björn Hjelmeset whip by? NB: Odd-Björn is oddly similar to Karu-Ott, the old pet name for bear in Estonian.

Text and photo: Riina Kindlam, Tallinn
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