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Photographer: Svenska Skidförbundet

Hanna Falk Competing at Home in Cross-Country World Cup

  • Johan Wetterberg

Ulricehamn will play host to the Cross-Country World Cup, both in 2017 and 2019, which means Western Sweden is in full winter-mode. And although Swedish skiers are all getting to compete at home, the World Cup weekends will be a little more special for cross-country skier Hanna Falk, who was born and raised in Ulricehamn.

She grew up a stone's throw away from the Lassalyckan ski area, and planted her first pole at Ulricehamns IF sports club.  In January 2017, Hanna Falk will experience something extraordinary – she will return to her hometown as part of the Swedish national team.

"It feels incredibly inspiring and fantastic – for me as person, for Ulricehamn and for skiing in Western Sweden in general. I know that the organisation is already working very hard, so it's going to be truly amazing. Everyone who is able should really try to make their way to Ulricehamn to witness the world's best cross-country skiers. And if they'd like to cheer me on a little extra, that would awesome of course," jokes Hanna.

Lassalyckan's 15 km Trail a Personal Favourite

Even though Hanna moved from Ulricehamn to Falun a few years back, her hometown – and all of Western Sweden – will always have a special place in her heart. She isn't able to visit much during the skiing season, but when she does, she uses the time to recharge her batteries. She spends plenty of time with her family, who still live there, but she also trains a great deal.

"It is wonderful to train in the area around Lassalyckan," says Hanna. "Everybody working on the ski trails there are incredibly knowledgeable, and they're always willing to work hard to groom the trails. The hilly 15 kilometre trail is my favourite."

Photo: Roger Borgelid

Hanna's journey from training on Tuesdays and Thursdays as a child on artificial snow tracks at Lassalyckan has taken her from Ulricehamn all the way to the Olympics and World Championships, along with two World Cup victories in Sprint – so far. Next year, the Nordic World Ski Championships will be held in Lahti, Finland, and 2018 will see the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea. Hanna's goal for the season is to secure a place on the podium in one of the sprint events.

Sunbathing in Åsunden

Finally, if we were trying to get some genuine inside information on Ulricehamn from someone in the know, what would Hanna recommend?

Photo: Jan Töve

"There's so much to choose from! In the summertime you can't miss Åsunden lake. Sunbathing along one of the beaches, or going for a jog or bike ride are all fantastic.  After which you can enjoy a lunch or coffee on the pier. And in the wintertime, of course, you have try out the soon to be completed World Cup trails at Lassalyckan!"