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Facts, statistics, trivia and news for the 92nd Vasaloppet

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Facts, statistics, trivia and news for the 92nd Vasaloppet

It has been 495 years since Gustav Vasa's adventures in Dalarna, and the 92nd Vasaloppet since the beginning in 1922 will start in Sälen on Sunday March 6, 2016, at 08:00. As usual Vasaloppet has collected and compiled interesting historic facts and trivia as well as current news for the race on Sunday.

- This is the 92nd Vasaloppet, and the 20th with a ladies' competition class. The first Vasaloppet was on Sunday March 19, 1922. (Three races have been cancelled, those in 1932, 1934 and 1990.) Since 1948 the race has always been run on the first Sunday of March, except for 2015 when it was moved due to the World Ski Championships in Falun.

- It has now, in 2016, been 50 years since Vasaloppet was first broadcasted live on Swedish television (starting in 1966). It is not the 50th live broadcast; instead this will be the 39th time that Vasaloppet (in parts or in its entirety) is live transmitted, and it is the 34th time that the Vasaloppet start is broadcasted live on television. 1973 was the first year with a live broadcast in colour!

- Vasaloppet 2015 was fully booked in 83 seconds when registration opened in March 2015. This means 15,800 registered participants. The record number is 16,462 from 2010, but the entry ceiling is now limited to 15,800. 2016 is the third year in a row when over 66,500 participants have registered for the various races in Vasaloppet's Winter Week.

- Registration for the ski races in Vasaloppet's Winter Week 2017 opens on March 20 at 09:00 on vasaloppet.se.

- For the third year in a row, over 2000 ladies have registered for Vasaloppet, which means almost 14 percent female participants out on the course this Sunday. (In the whole of Vasaloppet's Winter Week 2016, with all nine races included, 61 percent are gents and 39 percent are ladies.)

- Vasaloppet 2016 has participants from 46 different nations, counting Sweden. About 3,800 of the registered participants come from other nations than Sweden, most from Norway (1,272). Then come Denmark (630), Finland (562), Germany (253), Czech Republic (207), Estonia (182), Switzerland (156), Austria (117), Italy (113), the Netherlands (69), Russia (66) and France (48). In total the Vasaloppet Winter Week 2016 has over 6,000 international participants from a record 55 nations.

- The ten biggest Swedish counties in Vasaloppet 2016, according to this week's statistics, are: Stockholm 2,354 participants, Västra Götaland 2,311, Dalarna 716, Skåne 671, Jönköping 648, Uppsala 575, Östergötland 561, Västerbotten 545, Gävleborg 462 and Halland 405.

- The average age in Vasaloppet 2016 is 42.2 years. The youngest participants will turn 19 this year and the oldest will turn 81.

- The latest Swedish winner was in 2012. The men who won these past three years were from Norway. The 2015 victors were Petter Eliassen (with a time of 4.01.48) and Justyna Kowalczyk from Poland (4.41.02).

- Only eight times in the men's class (since 1922) and two times in the ladies' class (which started in 1997) has the participant who came second in Vasaloppet won the race the next year. The latest silver medalists who came back and won Vasaloppet were Staffan Larsson who came second in 1998 and won in 1999, and Laila Kveli who was second in 2012 and won in 2013. (Anders Aukland and Britta Johansson Norgren were second in Vasaloppet 2015.

- In 2013 Jörgen Aukland became history's first Vasaloppet winner to pole his way through the whole race without using grip wax (since skate was prohibited). In 2014 Laila Kveli became the first lady to win without grip wax.

- In the men's class, six past Vasaloppet winners are participating in Vasaloppet 2016! Oskar Svärd, winner 2003, 2005, 2007 (born 1976-09-16), Anders Aukland, 2004 (born 1972-09-12), Jörgen Aukland, 2008, 2013 (born 1975-08-06), Jörgen Brink, 2010, 2011, 2012 (born 1974-03-10), John Kristian Dahl 2014 (born 1981-03-27) and Petter Eliassen, 2015 (born 1985-12-01). But none of the ladies' class winners from the past decade are participating.

- Favourites with the betting companies so far seem to be Petter Eliassen, Tord Asle Gjerdalen, Johan Olsson, John Kristian Dahl, Johan Kjölstad, Dario Cologna, Anders Aukland and Daniel Richardsson. Svenska Spel publishes odds as of Thursday March 3.

- Celebrities out on the course on Sunday:
Måns Zelmerlöw, Eurovision Song Contest winner 2015
Marko "Markoolio" Lehtosalo, artist
Michael Greis, German former biathlete with three Olympic golds and three World Championship golds
Hans Olsson, former national downhill skier; ”I have never skied with grip wax”
Aron Andersson, wheelchair athlete, TV host for Lilla Sportspegeln, using sit-ski
Calle Johansson, ice hockey world champion and NHL legend
Andreas Dackell, Olympic hockey gold medallist
Paolo Barilla, Italian former race car driver with 10 F1 races, and pasta king
Melker Andersson, chef;”there needs to be more gastronomy in the race, it's a bit meagre now”
Marcus Grönholm, Finnish rally world champion in 2000 and 2002
PM Nilsson, political editor for Dagens Industri
Television presenter Rickard Olsson, broadcasting TV live from the course as he skis
Anna-Lena Fritzson, Junior World Champion gold medalist in cross-country skiing 1985. Participated in the Olympics in 1988 and 1994 as well as the World Championships in 1989 and 1993
Kristina Hugosson, Olympic cross-country skier in 1984

- Ernst Alm, who in 1922 won the very first Vasaloppet, is the youngest male victor. He was 22 years and 18 days when he won (born 1900-03-01). The oldest Vasaloppet victor is Jörgen Brink who was 37 years, 11 months and 23 days when he won in 2012.

- Some real supermen can be found in the elite group this year: Stanislav Rezác, Czech Republic, participates in Vasaloppet for the 18th time. (He's been in the top ten twelve times, the top three six times, but no win. He has been in the top 6 these past six years, and came 3rd in 2015!) Oskar Svärd participates for the 16th time. (Fourteen times in the top ten, with three wins! 25th place in 2015.) Jörgen Aukland participates for the 16th time. (Twelve times in the top ten, five in the top three and two wins. 11th in 2015.) Jerry Ahrlin participates for the 15th time. (Eight times in the top ten, four in the top three. 8th and first Swede in 2015.) Audun Laugaland participates for the 15th time. (In the top ten in three of the last four races. 16th in 2015.)

- The highest number of years between a victor's first and last win is 10 years ("Mora-Nisse" Karlsson 1943–1953).

- Most Vasaloppet victories: Nils ”Mora-Nisse” Karlsson (9 wins), Janne Stefansson (7 wins), Arthur Häggblad and Jan Ottosson (4 wins), Oskar Svärd, Daniel Tynell and Jörgen Brink (3 wins).

- Sofia Lind has most victories (four) in the ladies' class (1997, 1999, 2004 and 2005). Sofia Lind was also the best lady in 1996, the year before Vasaloppet's official ladies class was introduced.

- Youngest and oldest Vasaloppet winners amongst the ladies, since the official ladies class was introduced in 1997, are Sofia Lind (born 1975-09-04) and Svetlana Nagejkina (born 1965-02-02). Sofia Lind was 21 when she won in 1997 and Svetlana Nagejkina was 37 when she won in 2002.

- This year's Kranskulla is Hanna Eriksson (Kranskulla #92) and the Kransmas is Johan Wellert (Kransmas #28), both from Sälen.

- Since 1922 a total of 534,639 Vasaloppet skiers have completed the 90-kilometre Vasaloppet; put together they have covered a distance equivalent to 1,202 round the world trips or 62 journeys to the moon and back!

- Every Vasaloppet skier loses an average of three kilos during a race, which means that almost 20,000 Vasaloppet skiers are "missing" after the 91 races.

- The smallest margin between the male and female victors was in 2007 when Elin Ek was only 4 minutes and 49 seconds after the male winner Oskar Svärd. She was then the 92nd skier to finish. Best placement in total for a lady was Justyna Kowalczyk from 2015, who was 71st to cross the finish line. Britta Johansson Norgren was 89th in 2015.

- 56 men have won the 91 races. Once there was a shared victory, in 1988, when Örjan and Anders Blomqvist skied together over the finish line with the Kranskulla Karin Värnlund in their arms.

- The first prize this year is raised for both the male and female winner to 92,000 SEK. (The first prize is now raised by 1000 SEK each year.) The winners also get a trophy, a garland and a kiss!

- New for this year is that the ladies have as many spurt prizes as the men. For both men and women these are now: 10,000 SEK for the spurt prize in Evertsberg (The Hill Prize) and 5,000 SEK at the six other checkpoints; Smågan, Mångsbodarna, Risberg, Oxberg, Hökberg and Eldris. Vasaloppet's total prize sum for 2016 is over 550,000 SEK.

- The warm weather these past two years made it a struggle to get up the first slope after the start in Berga by. Sloppy ski tracks meant that many had to herringbone/scissor for long stretches, and there has been very slow movement in steep sections. That's why the first right curve, where the trails split after crossing the road, will now be removed. Instead we will have a single trail with all the skiers together. The reason for this is that the "right lane" is steeper which leads to more pressure if a queue forms, and when skiers make their way back into the regular trail there is a lot of crowding which results in broken ski poles. This measure will not have any bearing on mobility but it will still give positive effects – there will simply be more standing still on the flat sections instead of on the steep incline.

- The elite ladies will, this year, have two to three tracks to themselves on the final stretch so that no men can get in the way of their final spurt.

- The current record time for men is 3.38.41 (Jörgen Brink, 2012) and for ladies 4.08.24 (Vibeke Skofterud, 2012). Vasaloppet's new main sponsor Volvo awards a new Volvo V60 Cross Country D3 Business Edition (valued at 320,000 SEK) to those who break the gents' or ladies' record.

- In 2015, 1,564 men and 143 ladies were awarded with Vasaloppet's achievement medal, which is awarded to those who finish within the winning time plus 50 percent. For the gents the medal time was 6 hours, 2 minutes and 42 seconds and for the ladies it was 7 hours, 1 minute and 33 seconds.

- Swedish Television (SVT) transmits their winter sports programme Vinterstudion from Mora over the weekend. Vasaloppet is broadcast live on SVT1, SVT World and on SVT Play 07:30–13:00 and Vinterstudion also 14.15–15.30 together with two parallel transmissions on the web 07.00–20.00. ("Rickard Olsson-cam" with Mattias Svahn's waxing hut and also all participants' finishes.) For the second time Yvette Hermundstad will welcome the viewers to the start in Berga by. Jonas Karlsson and Mathias Fredriksson are commentators for the race. Elite reporter: Maria Wallberg. Athletic reporter: Sannah Salameh. Meteorologist: Joel Mellin. Reporters: Kalle Moraeus and Gunilla Wikström. Skiing reporter: Rickard Olsson. Elite skiing reporter: Henrik Eriksson (Vasaloppet victor 2001).

- In addition to SVT, Vasaloppet 2016 is also live broadcasted on TV2 Norway, TVP Sport Poland, and Česká televize, Czech Republic. Recaps and highlights will be shown on: TV2 Denmark, MTV3 Finland, Sport1 Netherlands, SRG Switzerland, Eurosport Europe (53 countries); FOX Sports Malta, Greece, Israel, Cyprus, Italy; beIN Sports USA & Canada; SINA Sports China.

- Visma Ski Classics Live Center will broadcast Vasaloppet live online on March 6 with English commentary. Can be seen worldwide at a cost of 7.99 euro.

- Vasaloppet 2016 will be live broadcasted both in Vasaloppsradion (vasaloppsradion.se) and, of course, on Radiosporten in Sveriges Radio P4.

- Last year an average 1,826,000 viewers watched SVT's five-hour-long Vasaloppet broadcast. In total 3,445,000 viewers tuned in to see some part of the live broadcast – more than a third of Sweden's population! 751,000 viewers got up as early as 07:30 to watch the initial half hour before the start.

- Vasaloppet's website vasaloppet.se had 20 million page views and 1.2 million unique visitors during Vasaloppet's Winter Week 2015. Vasaloppet's own TV-show Vasalopps-TV had a total of 100,000 viewers.

- Vasaloppet has different number series for the different start groups. The men's elite group have start numbers 1–300; the ladies' elite have start numbers starting with 500. Start group one has start numbers 1000–1499 etc. Ladies have yellow number bibs and start numbers 17000–18999, and Vasaloppet veterans (those who have skied over 30 races) have orange number bibs and start numbers 30000–30349.

- The top skiers in the cross-country cup Visma Ski Classics also have coloured vests in Vasaloppet: top man (Petter Eliassen) and top lady (Britta Johansson Norgren) in the overall cup Visma Ski Classics Champion wear yellow vests. Leader of the sprint cup Visma Ski Classics Sprint (Andreas Nygaard) wears a green vest. Leader in the youth cup (lady/man under 25) Visma Ski Classics Youth (Stian Hoelgaard and Emilia Lindstedt) wear pink vests.

- Visma Ski Classics have spurt prizes in Mångsbodarna and in Evertsberg.

- The very top of Visma Ski Classics Champion (yellow leader vest) right now are, men: Petter Eliassen, NOR, 1065 points. 2 Tord Asle Gjerdalen, NOR, 955 points. 3 Johan Kjölstad, NOR, 690 points. 4 Morten Eide Pedersen, NOR, 611 points. 5 Daniel Richardsson, SWE, 577 points. (The winner of each race gets 200 points, second place gets 170, third 140, fourth 120 and fifth 100. Thereafter 95, 90, 85, 80, 75 and so on down to 1 point for 50th place.)

- Ladies: 1) Britta Johansson Norgren, SWE, 1140 points. 2) Katerina Smutná, AUT, 950 points. 3) Seraina Boner, SUI, 900 points. 4) Sara Lindborg, SWE, 695 points. 5) Astrid Öyre Slind, NOR, 580 points.

- All six races so far in Visma Ski Classics 2016 have had to be moved or shortened due to lack of snow in Europe. After Vasaloppet on March 6 two races remain: Birkebeinerrennet on March 19 and Årefjällsloppet on April 2.

- Vasaloppet veterans are those who have skied the race thirty times. After Vasaloppet 2015 a total of 927 Vasaloppet veterans have skied 30 or more Vasaloppet and/or Öppet Spår. 22 of these veterans have skied 50 races or more. Bengt Eriksson, Sälens IF, has skied the most races; 60 in a row 1953–2013 (6 of which were Öppet Spår). Börje Karlsson, Landsbro, has skied 57 races and Gunnar Sold, Rättvik, 55 races.

- In 2011 Torsten Löfgren from Falun became the first to ski 50 "real" Vasaloppet in a row (i.e. only Vasaloppet, no Öppet Spår). He has now skied 54 "real" Vasaloppet. Börje Karlsson from Landsbro has skied the most "real" Vasaloppet. He did his 57th Vasaloppet in 2015 and is now registered for his 58th in 2016.

- This summer the Vasaloppet Summer Week will be held for the eight time, with Cykelvasan (mountain bike), Ultravasan (running) and Vasastafetten (running relay race for ten person teams) attracting a total of 18,000 registered participants so far.

- 2014 was the first year you could complete the ”Vasaloppet Triple” in its entirety; that is ski Vasaloppet/Öppet Spår, bike Cykelvasan 90/Cykelvasan Öppet Spår and run Ultravasan 90. 14 people managed that feat. In 2015 this exclusive group was 18 people, including one woman. How many will there be this year?

- Each participant in Vasaloppet's Winter Week drinks about 0.8 litres of Ekströms blueberry soup. Together, in 2015, they drank 39,800 litres of Ekströms blueberry soup, 37,700 litres of sport drinks, 11,300 litres of vegetable bouillon and 2,500 litres of coffee at the seven food checkpoints. Also consumed were 100,000 Vasaloppet buns, and after the finish some 800 litres of fruit juice. For all this, 700,000 paper cups are needed, all of which are recycled to become new paper products.

- Vasaloppet's operations annually generate about 15 million SEK for the regional sports club movement in Dalarna! There are also fees to the Swedish Ski Association and Swedish Cycling Federation that amount to ab4out 3 million SEK (money which is then distributed to district associations all over Sweden).

Much more facts, history, lists and charts about Vasaloppet can be found in Vasaloppet's Facts Guide 2016 (in Swedish):

Events in the Vasaloppet Arena

Vasaloppet Winter Week 2016

Fri 26 Feb: Kortvasan. 30 km. Start Oxberg.

Sat 27 Feb: Tjejvasan. 30 km. Start Oxberg.

Sun 28 Feb: Ungdomsvasan. 3, 5, 7 or 9 km. Start Mora Ski Stadium.

Sun 28 Feb: Öppet Spår Sunday. 90 km. Start Sälen. (10,000 entries. FULL 26/9/2015)

Mon 29 Feb: Öppet Spår Monday. 90 km. Start Sälen.

Tue 1 Mar: Halvvasan. 45 km. Start Oxberg.

Fri 4 Mar: Stafettvasan. 9–24 km. Five-person teams. Start Sälen. (10,000 entries. FULL 25/11/2015)

Sat 5 Mar: Öppet Spår 9 km. 9 km. Start Eldris.

Sun 6 Mar: Vasaloppet. 90 km. Start Sälen. (15,800 entries. FULL 22/3/2015.)

Vasaloppet Summer Week 2016

Fri 12 Aug: Cykelvasan 30. 32 km. Start Oxberg.

Fri 12 Aug: Ungdomscykelvasan. 32 km. Start Oxberg.

Fri 12 Aug: Cykelvasan 45. 45 km. Start Oxberg.

Fri 12 Aug: Cykelvasan Öppet Spår. 94 km. Start Sälen.

Sat 13 Aug: Cykelvasan 90. 94 km. Start Sälen. (13,000 entries. FULL 18/12/2015)

Sat 20 Aug: Ultravasan 45. 45 km. Start Oxberg.

Sat 20 Aug: Ultravasan 90. 90 km. Start Sälen.

Sat 20 Aug: Vasastafetten. 4.5–15 km. Running relay race for ten-person teams. Start Sälen.

High resolution photos from Vasaloppet

Text and photos may be freely published.

For more information

Ola Granfeldt, PR Manager
Phone: +46 (0)250-392 77
Mobile: +46 (0)733-550 620
Email: ola.granfeldt@vasaloppet.se

More on Vasaloppet?

Press room: mynewsdesk.com/se/pressroom/vasaloppet
Facebook: facebook.com/vasaloppetofficial
Instagram: @vasaloppet
Twitter: @vasaloppet


Vasaloppet is the world's biggest organizer of recreational races, all year round and a part of En Svensk Klassiker. Vasaloppet's Winter Week with its cross-country skiing and the Summer Week with mountain bike cycling and running attract a total of almost 100,000 registered participants every year. Since the beginning in 1922 over one million participants have passed under the classic finish portal in Mora. Vasaloppet is a non-profit making organization owned by IFK Mora and Sälens IF. An engine for public health and organizational activities, in the footsteps of our forefathers for the victories of tomorrow!


Camilla Sandy

Presskontakt Kommunikatör och pressansvarig +4670-384 95 00

Vasaloppet är världens största arrangör av motionslopp, året runt.

Vasaloppet startade 1922, men är mycket äldre än så. Det första Vasaloppet genomfördes redan 1521 av Gustav Eriksson. Under sin flykt undan den danske kungen blev han upphunnen i Sälen och återvände till Mora för att leda upproret mot ockupationsmakten. Gustav Eriksson enade så småningom riket och blev Sveriges första kung, mer känd under namnet Gustav Vasa. Sälen är med andra ord inte enbart startplats för ett av världens största motionslopp, utan också startpunkten för hela vårt lands historia. Det första loppet lockade 119 skidåkare till start. I dag kommer uppåt 100 000 deltagare från över 60 länder till vår bygd för att åka skidor, springa eller cykla mellan Sälen och Mora. Vasaloppet må ha växt, men syftet är det samma: Att med utgångspunkt från den klassiska sträckan genomföra idrottsarrangemang som skapar resurser och möjligheter för ägarföreningarna samt alla funktionärsföreningar. Med ideella krafter för vi en svensk tradition vidare.

Vasaloppet är en ideell verksamhet som ägs av IFK Mora och Sälens IF. En motor för folkhälsa och föreningsliv.