From Academic Kids

Vasaloppet is named after Gustav Vasa's aborted escape in 1520.
Vasaloppet is named after Gustav Vasa's aborted escape in 1520.

Vasaloppet is a long distance cross-country ski race (ski marathon) held in Dalecarlia, Sweden, annually on the first Sunday of March. It is the oldest, the longest, and the biggest cross-country ski race in the world. In the 80th race held on March 7, 2004 some 15,500 skiers competed in the main event, which is held over a distance of 90 kilometres between the village of Sälen and town of Mora. A total of more than 40,000 participated in one of the seven different races held during the first week of March. The race was started in 1922 being inspired by the run that the future King Gustav Vasa had made in 1520.



In 1520 the young nobleman Gustav Ericsson Vasa was escaping from the troops of Christian II, king of Sweden and the countries of the Kalmar Union. A large part of the Swedish nobility was in opposition to the king, even having 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 Dalecarlia, fearing for his life and discovery by the kings troops, when he spoke to the assembled men of Mora, trying to convince them to raise a levy and start a rebellion against king Christian. The men were not convinced and by ski, Gustav Vasa started to make his way towards Norway, to find refuge there, when he was caught up at Sälen, by two ski runners . The men in Mora had changed their minds and wanted Gustav to lead the rebellion. On June 6, 1523 Gustav Vasa was crowned king of Sweden, having beaten the Danish king Christian and dissolved the Kalmar Union.

Vasaloppet map and terrain profile

Sister Race

A sister race to the Swedish Vasaloppet is held annually on the 3rd Sunday of February in Mora, MN, USA. The American Vasaloppet features a 35K and 58K skate, a 42K classical race, and many other events in and around the town of Mora. The first place male and female racers in the American Vasaloppet win a trip to compete in the Swedish Vasaloppet.


Winners for the past 15 years.

See also

External links

fr:Vasaloppet no:Vasaloppet nn:Vasaloppet sv:Vasaloppet


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