2021-05-10 12:00

Do you have what it took in 1922? Vasaloppet recreates the first historic Vasaloppet

Wooden skis with toe straps, wool trousers, tarred skis and snow packed on forest roads and paths. Vasaloppet celebrates 100 years in 2022 and what better way to commemorate than to ski as they did in 1922? A ninety km historic Vasaloppet will be held on Saturday, February 12, 2022 – "Jubileumsvasan" – with the goal of replicating the first race as close as is possible. Registration for the challenge of the century opens on Wednesday, May 12, and a jury will select 139 skiers who get the chance to participate in Jubileumsvasan.

Vasaloppet celebrates its 100th anniversary in 2022 and Vasaloppet on Sunday, March 6 is fully booked with 15,800 registered participants. But as early as Saturday, February 12, 2022 there will be a ninety km historic Vasaloppet held – Jubileumsvasan.
”It feels fantastic to say that Vasaloppet has contributed to public health in Sweden for one hundred years and that we’re continuing this important work. It will be so fun to see how well matched we are against skiers of old when using similar equipment and route,” says Mats Rylander, project manager for Vasaloppet’s 100th anniversary.

It was on February 10, 1922 that chief editor of Vestmanlands Läns Tidning Anders Pers presented the idea of a national ski race. The article was reprinted in the national newspaper Dagens Nyheter and the first Vasaloppet, an immediate success, ran on March 19, 1922. 139 participants registered, 119 came to the start and 117 crossed the finish line.

Anyone can apply
With Jubileumsvasan, Vasaloppet wants to manifest its 100 years of history and show how everything once started, with the first winner Ernst Alm finishing at 7.32.49, and the first Kranskulla in history, Therese Eliasson.
”We will be striving to replicate the conditions and track profile from the original race as far as is practically possible. The start will be in Sälen at Olnispagården, on the left side of the Västerdalälven river, and there will be three checkpoints with servings of milk, broth, eggs and bread cakes, on your way to the finish in Mora,” says Mats Rylander.

The surface will be reminiscent of that time. As an example, some sections will have horse and sleigh tracks while others will consist of packed snow on forest roads or paths.

Everyone is welcome to apply to participate in Jubileumsvasan. Application opens on Wednesday, May 12 at vasaloppet.se and a knowledgeable jury led by Vasaloppet CEO Johan Eriksson will then choose the 139 participants who get a chance to stand on the starting line. Those chosen will be presented this summer and will, during the autumn, document and show their intended clothing and equipment for Vasaloppet.

Vasaloppet’s importance, then and now
On the same day as the first Vasaloppet in 1922, Anders Pers gave a speech to thousands in Mora, emphasizing the importance of skiing and sporting in an increasingly modern and comfortable society. He said: ”People gather into communities and live with increased comforts, which puts the community’s resilience and strength into danger. More and more we are strangers to the great expanses, the lands which still produce the forests and pastures that are the basis of our livelihood and prosperity. This danger could lead to a weakening and degeneration, and it’s evoked a cry for sports to act as a conscious effort to maintain and increase the community’s strength and resilience.”

Already at the first race, the Swedish Ski Association showed its full support for Vasaloppet. 99 years later, today, Karin Mattsson is the ski association’s chairman. She says:
”Vasaloppet is an institution in Swedish history, culture and skiing. Its importance for increasing interest in Swedish skiing can not be overestimated. In so many ski clubs around the country, people of all ages train throughout the year to be able to participate in the year’s big ski event. Our clubs offer fantastic activities to prepare and engage Vasaloppet skiers regardless of how ambitious their goals are. Vasaloppet is community, emotion, entertainment and it combines the joy of training with the joy of competition in a unique way. It’s often thanks to the clear goal of Vasaloppet and the ski club community that many are able to keep going with their training. A better contribution to public health can hardly be asked for. Thank you Vasaloppet for everything you do for Swedish skiing!”

Date: Saturday, February 12, 2022.
Start: At Olnispagården in Sälen on the left side of the Västerdalälven river at 07:04.
Checkpoints: Just like in 1922 there are only three checkpoints: Mångsbodarna, Evertsberg and Oxberg.
Finish: By the Gustav Vasa statue in Mora.
Age: You can participate the year you turn 19.
Classes: One class.
Application: Fill in your application form at vasaloppet.se between May 12 and June 7 and let us know why you have what it takes! 139 participants will get the chance. There is no participation fee for Jubileumsvasan but each participant must provide their own contemporary 1922 clothing and equipment, and any necessary arrangements for travel and sustenance.
Read more information at: vasaloppet.se/en/jubileumsvasan >

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