The history of Vasaloppet, the world’s oldest & biggest ski race

The history of Vasaloppet, the world’s oldest & biggest ski race

The first race was held in 1922 over the classic 90 km distance from Sälen to Mora in Sweden, commemorating a 1520 historic event

In 1520, the young nobleman Gustav Ericsson Vasa was escaping from the troops of Christian II, king of Denmark, Sweden and Norway (the Kalmar Union). Much of the Swedish nobility was in opposition to the king, and had nicknamed him Christian the Tyrant. In a move to silence the opposition, Christian invited the Swedish aristocracy to a reconciliation party in Stockholm, only to have them, including Gustav’s parents, massacred in what came to be known as the Stockholm Bloodbath.

Gustav was escaping through Dalarna, fearing for his life if he were discovered by the king’s troops, when he spoke to the assembled men of Mora and tried to convince them to start a rebellion against King Christian, the men refused to join the rebellion, and Gustav started toward Norway to seek refuge. However, he was later caught at Sälen by two Mora brothers on skis – the men in Mora had changed their minds after hearing that the Danish rulers had decided to raise taxes, and they now wanted Gustav to lead the rebellion.

After two and a haf years of war, Gustav Vasa was crowned king of Sweden on 6 June 1523 , having defeated the Danish king Christian and dissolved the Kalmar Union. Sweden has been fully independent ever since.

Today Vasaloppet winter week has eight different ski races over ten days and there are also Trail running and cycling summer events. Vasaloppet attracts a total of over 90,000 participants every year.

Outdoor sport, history and great landscapes, a must in our calendary for 2015 and a great chance to take our Safesport ID identity bracelet  with us for a new adventure!

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