2018-08-30 09:27

Vasaloppet broadcast nominated for Swedish television award Kristallen

Sveriges Television's five-and-a-half-hour live broadcast from Vasaloppet 2018 has been nominated for the Swedish TV award Kristallen in the Sport Production of the Year category. Vasaloppet and SVT have a shared history dating back all the way to 1960.

If football is Sweden’s favourite summer sport (with a quarter-final at the World Cup 2018!) then skiing (cross-country and alpine) is the the most popular winter outdoors sport by far.

Vasaloppet is the world’s biggest long-distance cross-country ski race – 90 km from Sälen to Mora – and it was first held in 1922 in memory of king-to-be Gustav Vasa’s war of independence against the Danish occupying forces in 1521. The first race in 1922 had 119 participants and Vasaloppet was an immediate success.

When the 94th Vasaloppet ran on March 4th, 2018 there were 15,049 skiers assembled on the large starting field in Sälen. A total of 35% of the Swedish population (10 million people) watched some part of the five-and-a-half-hour live broadcast on Sveriges Television. It’s a Swedish tradition to get up early on the first Sunday of March to watch Vasaloppet on TV. Everyone knows someone who has or will participate in Vasaloppet!

“The charm of Vasaloppet is that both elite and recreational athletes come together, in the same tracks,” says Åsa Edlund Jönsson, Head of Sports at SVT.

When the Swedish TV award Kristallen (The Crystal) is awarded on August 31st, 2018, SVT’s broadcast from Vasaloppet is one of the five nominees for Sport Production of the Year. Vasaloppet is the biggest Nordic recurring TV production: To make the long 2018 broadcast a total of 44 cameras were used on the track as well as in helicopters, snowmobiles and aeroplanes! A total of 110 people worked on the broadcast.

“Vasaloppet is a Swedish classic, but when it comes to TV production, the broadcast is one of the most modern in the world, with SVT’s staff directing the production team along the track from the control room in Stockholm,” says Åsa Edlund Jönsson.

In addition to SVT, Vasaloppet 2018 was also broadcast live by: NRK (Norway), YLE (Finland), TV2 Sport (Denmark), Czech TV (Czech Republic), TVP (Poland), L’Équipe (France) FOX (Turkey, Israel, Greece, Malta, Cyprus), Freesports UK (Great Britain), TV Arena Sports (Serbia, Montenegro, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Macedonia and Slovenia), beIN sports (Middle East and North Africa). A 52-minute summary of the race was also broadcast on Eurosport Europe (53 European countries).

Vasaloppet is, since 2011, part of Visma Ski Classics, an international TV initiative showing the most classic long-distance races in the world.

Vasaloppet also has three international cross-country skiing sibling races: Vasaloppet China in Changchun, Vasaloppet USA in Minnesota and Vasaloppet Japan in Asahikawa.

The 95th Vasaloppet 2019
Start places in the 95th Vasaloppet on March 3rd, 2019 were fully booked in roughly one and a half hours when registration opened, two weeks after the last race. But there are nine other races to participate in during Vasaloppet’s Winter Week 2019. For example Öppet Spår (same course as Vasaloppet), Halvvasan (half the distance), Nattvasan 90 km (a 90 km couples race run by night in the light of the moon and headlamps) and Tjejvasan (30 km and the world’s biggest ski race only for women). In 2018 skiers from 70 different nations participated in Vasaloppet’s Winter Week.

Vasaloppet is about so much more than just skiing. August 2018 saw the tenth annual Vasaloppet Summer Week, with ten mountain bike and running races. 13,000 people registered for Cykelvasan 90 and over 1,000 people registered to run the 90 km Ultravasan! Approximately 100,000 participants registered for Vasaloppet’s different ski, mountain bike and running races in 2018!

FACTS/Vasaloppet on TV
In 1925 Swedish radio made its very first sports broadcast – from Vasaloppet. TV-broadcasts started in Sweden in 1956 and March 6, 1960 saw the first Vasaloppet broadcast, a 20-minute summary. Olympic ski star Sixten Jernberg won the race that year.

1966 brought the first live TV broadcast from Vasaloppet, and 1973 the first in colour. The same year was an international TV premiere with Danish TV broadcasting from the race. In 1982 the entire Vasaloppet from start to finish was broadcast live for the first time.

When SVT, for some years, chose not to show the race some Swedish TV reviewers called it a “scandal” and found it hard to understand why this Swedish classic was not shown on TV. But since 1992 the entire 90-km Vasaloppet has always been broadcast live on Sveriges Television. 2019 will be the 42nd time that SVT broadcasts live from Vasaloppet.

See Visma Ski Classics’ ”Vasaloppet promotion 2019”:

Upcoming events in the Vasaloppet Arena

Vasaloppet Winter Week 2019
Fri 22 Feb: Kortvasan. 30 km. Start Oxberg.
Sat 23 Feb: Tjejvasan. 30 km. Start Oxberg.
Sun 24 Feb: Ungdomsvasan. 9/19 km Start Eldris/Hökberg.
Sun 24 Feb: Öppet Spår Sunday. 90 km. Start Sälen.
Mon 25 Feb: Öppet Spår Monday. 90 km. Start Sälen.
Tue 26 Feb: Halvvasan. 45 km. Start Oxberg.
Fri 1 Mar: Stafettvasan. 9–24 km. Five-person teams. Start Sälen.
Fri 1 Mar: Nattvasan. 90 km. Two-person teams. Start Sälen.
Sat 2 Mar: Blåbärsloppet. 9 km. Start Eldris.
Sun 3 Mar: Vasaloppet. 90 km. Start Sälen. (FULL 180318)

Vasaloppet’s Summer Week 2019
Fri 11 Aug: Cykelvasan Öppet Spår. 94 km. Start Sälen
Fri 11 Aug: Cykelvasasprinten. 1 km. Lindvallen, Sälen (Open qualifier on Thursday)
Sat 10 Aug: Cykelvasan 90. 94 km. Start Sälen
Sun 11 Aug: Cykelvasan 30. 32 km. Start Oxberg
Sun 11 Aug: Ungdomscykelvasan. 32 km. Start Oxberg
Sun 11 Aug: Cykelvasan 45. 45 km. Start Oxberg
Sat 17 Aug: Ultravasan 45. 45 km. Start Oxberg
Sat 17 Aug: Ultravasan 90. 90 km. Start Sälen
Sat 17 Aug: Vasastafetten. 4,5–15 km. Running relay for ten-person teams. Start Sälen
Sat 17 Aug: Vasakvartetten. 19,1–24,2 km. Running relay for four-person teams. Start Sälen

Vasaloppet is the world’s biggest cross-country ski race. Vasaloppet’s Winter Week with its cross-country skiing and Summer Week with mountain biking and running attract a total of almost 100,000 registered participants every year. Since the beginning in 1922 over 1.5 million participants have passed the finish line portal in Mora. Vasaloppet is a non-profit making organization owned by IFK Mora and Sälens IF. An engine for public health and sports club activities, in forefathers’ tracks for future victories!

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