Many, many years ago, there were some special people. They looked the same as ordinary people, but had a special ability - they could put planks on their feet to go rapidly across snow. Over time, these people were scattered far and wide - to England, Denmark, Norway, Germany, Russia, Japan, the USA and many countries across the world - even some without snow.
People were worried that this special power would be lost, so in 1984 they decreed that once per year these special people must come to Finland and ski all the way from Russia in the east to Sweden in the west.
Father Winter and Mother Earth put many obstacles in their way. Father Winter freezes their fingers and toes. Mother Earth sends warmth to make skiing more difficult, melting the rivers and lakes and snow.
But the devil helps the skiers - he makes a magic substance called klister, which the skiers put on the bottom of their skis so they can ski on the melting snow, and an army of helpers shovel snow onto the tracks and even make bridges so they skiers can continue.
Some skiers fall by the wayside , but eventually most will reach Tornio. They have a special ceremony where they sing songs and tell stories about their trip. Only then can the spring in the north begin.
The skiers than go back to their homes and pass the legend on. Many will come back again, so that the world can be kept in balance, and continue to live in peace and harmony.
Naturally the story could have been much longer, but a short bad story is always better than a long bad story! But the bit about klister raised a laugh - it really is stuff from the devil - for those who don't know it, it is a sort of glue you put on your skis instead of wax for warm (above 0C) temperatures, but it not only sticks to the snow, but you, your clothes, everything, and it takes several washes to get it out of your clothes.
Although I do this for fun, I also do it to raise money for charity - Sports Relief - which raises a large amount of money, much of which is spent on sustainable projects in Africa. So if you have enjoyed my story, please donate at http://my.sportrelief.com/sponsor/tonygore - no matter how small, a large number of small donations add up to a lot, and a big difference especially to the children of Africa, for whom I wrote story above.