The first Hongkonger to win Santa of the Year at the unofficial championship in Sweden revealed that he was a slow eater but a fast runner. Jimmy Chan Hon-keung, 44, who experienced snow for the first time last weekend during his week-long visit to Gallivare in northern Sweden, celebrated his victory yesterday at Park Central shopping mall in Tseung Kwan O. Chan was the clear winner of Santa's Christmas Eve, one of the six events in the Santa Claus Winter Games. In the event, nine Santas from around the world held their foreheads to a candy stick in the snow and spun around it 10 times. The dizzy Santas then had to run to a goal about 20 metres away. 'I was spinning as fast as I could, thinking that the other contestants were ahead of me,' Chan said. 'But when I reached the goal and looked back, they hadn't even started.' The world champion was, however, the slowest at porridge eating. 'It is easy to spill the porridge onto the beard,' said Chan, who laughed about how he was told to stop eating because all the other Santas had already finished. Asked how he coped with the cold - minus 22 degrees Celsius - during the competition, Chan said he was too excited to feel it, partly because it was the first time he had seen real reindeer. 'It was like a dream come true,' he said. He was initially scared because the reindeer seemed grumpy, but one he had to control during a sledge race proved quite tame. Chan won the Hong Kong round of the championship in 2007 and was to be the city's representative in Sweden last year, but the event was called off. He only speaks a little English but was thrilled to have spent time with the friendly locals. 'Body language made me feel that I understood what they were saying,' he said. Other than the results from the six contests, which included chimney climbing and kick-sledging, judges took into account the Santas' interaction with children and the elderly during visits. Chan said he impressed because of a variety of skills, such as magic tricks and acrobatics. He also juggled snowballs. He joked that he stood out because of his fancy-looking Santa costume, which had gold trim in the 'style of a king'. It was, in fact, a cheap, homemade costume he had been wearing for a while. Chan said the biggest of his Christmas wishes had already come true now that he had visited the Swedish town. Another of his wishes was to entertain children during the holiday season, which he has done over the past 17 years.