The history of Vasaloppet can be traced back to the early 16th century when Sweden was in forced union with Denmark. Gustav Vasa rallied his compatriots to take up arms against the Danish control and oppression and instigated Dalarna in Mora to overthrow the Danish King. He was however not successful and decided to flee on skis to Norway to seek support.
At that very time, word reached Dalarna that the Danes had massacred a large number of Swedes in Stockholm, prompting the people to change their minds and support Gustav’s rebellion. Thereupon, they sent the two best local skiers to run after him; this was the historic origin of Vasaloppet event.
In 1523, Gustav Vasa was elected as the Swedish King. In 1922, a journalist proposed establishing an annual ski race of 90 kilometers tracing the supposed route between Salen and Mora taken by Gustav Vasa, to commemorate his accomplishments. This is Vasaloppet.
Vasaloppet – the word has a kind of magical resonance. But it is magic charged with more than a hint of challenge, of a test of courage, of blood, sweat and, maybe, tears. So far 1000, 000 women and men have successfully completed this 90km track through the woods from Salen to Mora. The great challenge attracts all sorts of skiers, from the recreational skier aiming only to make Mora before the 8.00pm closing time, to the finest elite skier, there for victory and honor.
First timers are mixed with veterans that have more than 30 races under their belts, enthusiastic cock-a-hoop youths must see themselves surpassed by experienced pensioners, fresh-as-a-daisy women speed away from sweaty, sniveling men, blending into a glorious experience where each and every skier who glides in under the motto “In the footsteps of our forefathers for the victories of tomorrow” is a winner. The start is the first Sunday in March at 8.00am – every year.