"We all have our animal hats. We got our snow pants. We're set." - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

"We all have our animal hats. We got our snow pants. We're set."

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EAGLE RIVER (WAOW) -- The World Snowmobile Championships wrapped up on Sunday in Eagle River. Some fans kept old traditions going strong and others created new ones through out the winter weekend.

For the 49th year in a row, thousands of people from all over the world gathered around a giant ring of ice -- all eagerly awaiting the World Snowmobile Championship race.

"This is my 33rd year," said David Antonissen, from Niagara. "33 years in a row. 1980 was my first year out here."

"I've been coming to the races for about 12 years," said Kathleen Sluzenski, who lives in Eagle River.

"I've came every year since 1984 and I came quite a bit back in the 70's," said Dan Wood, who is from Eaton Rapids, MI.

It was a family tradition for many and an opportunity to meet new friends too.

"There's people from all over the world," said Sluzenski. "The guy who just won was from Sweden and it's exciting to see people from all over the world."

"I love everything about it," said Antonissen. "The racing, the smelling of the two-strokes. We come out with the family. We rent a little cabin and stay in. Just see all the friends out here we've made over the years."

"There's a bunch of us that come up every year," said Wood. "Sometimes there's eight like this year and sometimes there's as many as twenty people."

Below freezing temperatures didn't deter fans, even as the sun slipped behind the clouds toward the end of Sunday afternoon's race.

"We've probably got three or four layers on," said Mike Kolbus, who is from upper Michigan. "We're all fans. We enjoy this kind of sport. Just put a couple more layers on and be tough and watch what happens."

"We all have our animal hats," said Sluzenski. "We got our snow pants. We're set."

Not everyone at the track was a seasoned snowmobile veteran.

"For Eagle River, yeah," said Kevin Hoger, who is from Coon Rapids, MN. "This is my first time."

Seven-year-old Hoger raced his first laps at Eagle River this weekend -- a valiant effort that left a lasting impression.

"I crashed two times," said Hoger. "Once on a big hill bank that I hurt my finger on."

Hoger said he plans to be back next year, as do many of the others.

"I've got another five or ten years left in me yet," said Wood. "It takes a special person. You've got to like cold weather. You've got to like snow."

Tomahawk's Nicholas Van Strydonk took home the championship trophy in Sunday's final race.

For more information about the race results, you can click on this link.

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