Facts, statistics and trivia for the 91st Vasaloppet
On Sunday March 8, 2015, at 08:00 CET, is the start in Sälen of the 91st Vasaloppet since the beginning in 1922. We have, as in previous years, gathered a wealth of facts and trivia for Sunday's Vasaloppet. For example: How many have registered, where do they come from, which former winners are participating, who are the favourites, which celebrities are participating, why do the number bibs have different colours, who has won the most times, and how much blueberry soup cooked?
– This is the 91st Vasaloppet. The first one was on Sunday March 19, 1922. (Three races have been cancelled, those in 1932, 1934 and 1990.) Vasaloppet is now 90 kilometres long. Since 1948 the race has always been run on the first Sunday of March but, due to the World Ski Championships in Falun, Vasaloppet will be run on the second Sunday of March this year.
– Vasaloppet 2015 was fully booked in one and a half minutes when registration opened in March 2014. This means 15,800 registered participants. The record number is 16,462 from 2010, but the entry ceiling is now limited to 15,800.
– For the second year in a row, over 2000 ladies have registered for Vasaloppet, which means almost 15 percent female participants out on the course on Sunday. (In the whole of Vasaloppet’s Winter Week 2015, with all eight races included, 60 percent are gents and 40 percent are ladies.)
– Vasaloppet 2015 has participants from 40 different nations, including Sweden. (Which is as many nations as managed to qualify for the World Ski Championships in Falun.) About 3,700 of the registered participants come from other nations than Sweden, most from Norway (1,170). Then come Denmark (689), Finland (520), Czech Republic (311), Germany (245), Switzerland (140), Italy (128), Estonia (124), Iceland (65), Russia (55). (In total the Vasaloppet Winter Week 2015 has over 7,000 international participants.)
– The ten biggest Swedish counties in Vasaloppet 2015 are: Stockholm 2,391 participants, Västra Götaland 2,049, Dalarna 687, Skåne 654, Jönköping 562, Östergötland 558, Uppsala 552, Västerbotten 525, Norrbotten 403, and Gävleborg 373 participants.
– The average age in Vasaloppet 2015 is 41.3 years. The youngest participants will turn 19 this year and the oldest will turn 89.
– The latest Swedish winner was in 2012. The gents who won these past two years, and the ladies these past three years, have all been from Norway. In 2014 the winners were John Kristian Dahl (with a time of 4.14.33) and Laila Kveli (4.31.57). Laila also won in 2013 and is one of the favourites this year too.
– In 2013 Jörgen Aukland became history’s first Vasaloppet winner to pole his way through the whole race without using grip wax. In 2014 Laila Kveli became the first lady to win without grip wax.
– Five of the past years’ Vasaloppet winners are participating in Vasaloppet 2015! 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).
– 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 (born 1974-03-10) who was almost 38 when he won in 2012. Of the above named winners Aukland, Aukland, Brink and Svärd will older if one of them wins in 2015.
– The highest number of years between a victor’s first and last win is 10 years (”Mora-Nisse” Karlsson 1943–1953).
– Three-time Vasaloppet winner Oskar Svärd is going to try to improve his unofficial En Svensk Klassiker record of 13.56.17. He intends to add his result from Vasaloppet 2015 to his previous three races (Vätternrundan 2014, Vansbrosimningen 2014 and Lidingöloppet 2014) and register a better official time. (The four races must be completed consecutively, but not necessarily in the same calendar year.) Oskar’s time from Vasaloppet last year was 4.14.52. Besides this, Oskar has also been among Vasaloppet’s top ten gents an entire 14 times!
– Favourite among the betting companies seem to be Johan Olsson, Öystein Pettersen, and Anders Aukland. Swedish betting company Svenska Spel publishes odds as of Thursday March 5.
– Celebrities out on the course on Sunday:
H.R.H Crown Prince Frederik of Denmark, who participates for the fourth year in a row.
Helena Ekholm, three-time biathlon world champion.
Melker Andersson, silver medalist from the world chef championships.
Paolo Barilla, Italian race car driver and pasta king.
Bernt Johansson, Olympic cycling gold medalist.
Malin Ewerlöf, European Championship silver and 24 Swedish Championship gold medals in running.
Emma Igelström, 4 World Championship golds and 12 European Championship golds in swimming.
Richard Herrey, winner of the Eurovision Song Contest.
Television presenter Rickard Olsson, broadcasting TV live from the course as he skis.
– Some registered World Championship skiers: Johan Olsson, Daniel Richardsson, Anders Södergren, Alexander Legkov, Maxim Vylegzhanin, Sami Jauhojärvi. Ladies: Seraina Boner, Katerina Smutná, Masako Ishida, Justyna Kowalczyk.
– Canadian Brian McKeever, with ten gold medals from the Paralympics, will participate in the race.
– Five skiers throughout history have won both an individual World Championship gold and won Vasaloppet: John Lindgren, Sven Utterström, Sixten Jernberg, Assar Rönnlund and Sven-Åke Lundbäck. But no one so far has won the World Championship and Vasaloppet in the same year.
– 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, respectively, 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 37 when she won in 2002.
– This year’s Kranskulla is Viktoria Stärner (the 91st Kranskulla) and the Kransmas is Victor Gustafsson (the 27th Kransmas), both from Mora.
– Since 1922 a total of 522,014 Vasaloppet skiers have completed the 90 kilometre Vasaloppet; put together they have covered a distance equivalent to 1,172 round the world trips or 61 journeys to the moon and back!
– The smallest margin between the ladies’ and men’s winners was in 2007 when Elin Ek was only 4 minutes and 49 seconds after the men’s winner Oskar Svärd. She was then the 92nd skier to finish.
– The five latest ladies class winners have been 144th (Laila Kveli 2014), 137th (Laila Kveli 2013), 165th (Vibeke Skofterud 2012), 149th (Jenny Hansson 2011) and 150th (Susanne Nyström 2010) to cross the Vasaloppet finish line.
– There are 55 men who have won the 90 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 gents and ladies winners to 91,000 SEK. The winners also get a trophy, a garland and a kiss! The spurt prize winners in Evertsberg (The Hill Prize) each receive 10,000 SEK. Vasaloppet’s total prize sum for 2015 is over half a million SEK.
– The current record time for men is 3.38.41 (Jörgen Brink, 2012) and for ladies 4.08.24 (Vibeke Skofterud, 2012). A new Volkswagen car awaits those who break the men’s or ladies’ record.
– Vasaloppet’s first live TV broadcast was in 1966. This year is the 38th time there is a live broadcast (in whole or in part) from Vasaloppet.
– 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 07:30–12:55 together with two parallel transmissions on the web. (”Rickard Olsson-cam” direct from the course, Mattias Svahn’s waxing hut, and all the participants’ finishes!)
– Live broadcast of Vasaloppet can also be seen for free over the whole world with English commentary from 07.45 CET at Swix Ski Classics Live Center www.swixskiclassics.com
– The following television companies will do live broadcasts of Vasaloppet 2015: SVT Sweden, TV2 Norway, TV2 DK Denmark, MTV3 Finland, Czech TV Czech Republic, Telemonteneve Livigno Italy, ESPN USA & Caribbean, NTV+ Russia, LaolaTV Austria, Switzerland and Germany.
– A one hour summary is broadcast later on Eurosport Europe (54 countries), Eurosport Asia (16 countries), NTV Mongolia, Universal Sports USA, LCTV (airline), Fox Italy, Alcamedia (Nuvolari Sport) Italy, Telemonteneve Livigno Italy, NTV+ Russia.
– Vasaloppet 2015 is broadcast live on both Vasaloppet’s Radio www.vasaloppsradion.se and, of course, on Swedish Radio’s Program 4, Radiosporten. As it then was, Radiotjänst, the radio service, with Sven Jerring as reporter, broadcast from Vasaloppet for the very first time in 1925!
– Last year SVT’s five hour Vasaloppet broadcast was watched by an average of 2,200,000 viewers. The highest noted figure was 2,701,000 viewers – almost 30 percent of Sweden’s population – and it was SVT’s most watched sports program in 2014.
– Support along the course means a lot. It is possible to send a personal greeting at www.vasaloppshalsningen.se – completely free for anyone who wants to cheer along participants in Vasaloppet. Greetings are shown on big screens next to the track.
– Vasaloppet’s website vasaloppet.se had, during Vasaloppet’s Sunday 2014, all of 662,000 unique visitors (with a total of 9,560,481 page views). A record!
– Vasaloppet has different number series for the different start groups. The first 100 have numbers corresponding to their placement in last year’s race, and they also have their names printed on their number bibs. The elite group have start numbers 1–300, start group one has start numbers 1000–1499 etc. Ladies have yellow number bibs and start numbers over 17000, and Vasaloppet veterans (those who have skied over 30 races) have orange number bibs and start numbers 30000–30349.
– Top 3 in Swix Ski Classics Champion right now, gents: 1. Anders Aukland, Norway, 720 points. 2. Petter Eliassen, Norway, 670 points. 3. Öystein Pettersen, Norway, 635 points. Best Swede: 8. Bill Impola, 306 points. (Anders Aukland missed Vasaloppet 2014 due to illness, but is now in the lead for the cross-country championship.)
– Top 3 in Swix Ski Classics Champion right now, ladies: 1. Katerina Smutná, Austria, 930 points. 2. Seraina Boner, Switzerland, 735 points. Britta Johansson Norgren, Sweden, 640 points.
– All races run as part of Swix Ski Classics this January and February (Jizerská Padetsátka, La Diagonela, Marcialonga and König Ludwig Lauf) had to be shortened due to lack of snow.
– The top Swix Ski Classics participants also have coloured vests in Vasaloppet: The man and lady leading the overall cup, Swix Ski Classics Champion, wear yellow vests. The leader of the sprint cup Swix Ski Classics Sprint (Öystein Pettersen) wears a green vest. The leader of the youth cup (man/lady under 25 years of age) Swix Ski Classics Youth (Bill Impola and Tone Sundvor) wear pink vests.
– Swix Ski Classics has spurt prizes in Mångsbodarna and in Evertsberg.
– Up to this year, 887 Vasaloppet veterans (six of whom are ladies) have skied 30 or more Vasalopp/Öppet Spår. 34 participants, who have previously skied 29 races each, have this year registered to ski their 30th race, and three veterans have registered to ski their 50th race!
– At Vasaloppet’s start field in Sälen there are 52 tracks in breadth. The start field’s collective track lengths are as long as the whole race itself. In total, in the Vasalopps Arena between Sälen and Mora, there are during the Winter Week 2,550 kilometres of ski tracks.
– Each participant in Vasaloppet’s Winter Week drinks almost a litre of Ekströms blueberry soup. Together, in 2014, they drank 44,000 litres of Ekströms blueberry soup, 39,000 litres of sport drinks, 11,000 litres of vegetable bouillon and 4,000 litres of coffee at the seven food checkpoints. Also consumed were 100,000 Vasalopps buns, and after the finish some 6,000 litres of fruit juice. And for all this, 770,000 paper mugs are used, all of which are sorted at source for renewed paper packaging!
– Registration for Vasaloppet on March 6, 2016, and the other seven races in Vasaloppet’s Winter Week 2016, opens at vasaloppet.se on March 22, 2015 at 09:00. Participants who have completed three races (Vasaloppet or Öppet Spår) over the past six years (2010–2015) have priority and can register between March 16 and 19. This summer there is Vasaloppet’s Summer Week with CykelVasan (cycling), UltraVasan (running), and VasaStafetten (relay running race for 10 person teams) with, so far, over 18,000 registered participants.
– 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 about 3 million SEK every year (money which is then distributed to district associations all over Sweden).