Even though the sporting event is barely over a decade in existence, has the Santa Winter Games “improved” the image of the global Santa Claus Industry?
By: Ringo Bones
First started in 2003, the Santa Winter Games has more or less served to improve the “athletic” aspects of being the designated Santa Claus during the Holiday Season. As it has been seen as a “friendly athletic competition” between Santa Claus impersonators from all over the world, the Santa Winter Games has more or less served to improve the apparent “athleticism” of a Yuletide character originally envisioned by Thomas Nast to boost the morale of then U.S. President Abraham Lincoln’s Union troops during the American Civil War. But does the world need another “Santa Claus Convention”?
Maybe it should have been called the World Santa Claus Olympics given that chimney climbing event has been seen by the event’s loyal spectators as the be-all-end-all of the Santa Winter Games. On the bright side, the past winners of the event had been an eclectic mix of every Santa Claus from all over the world. Recent winners include the 2010 Santa Winter Games champion Santa Camilo Romero Correa from Colombia. Not to mention 2011 winner, Sana Stefan Veronde from Holland and 2013 winner Santa Banana from Hong Kong who works as a professional magician during the rest of the year.
The 2014 Santa Winter Games was held last November 22 in the mining town of Gällivare in the Swedish section of Lapland. The 2014 Santa Winter Games winner was a Japanese Santa Claus named Santa Yamashita, second place was Santa Sunny from Hong Kong and the third place winner was Santa Glenn Swift from Australia, while the people’s choice winner was Santa Jim from The People’s Republic of China. The Santa Winter Games has more-or-less added athletic meritocracy to the category on evaluating who is the world’s best Santa Claus impersonator.