The 93rd Vasaloppet since the beginning in 1922 will start in Berga by in Sälen on Sunday March 5, 2017, at 08:00. This year marks the centennial of the birth of Nils ”Mora-Nisse” Karlsson, who won Vasaloppet more than anyone else, and Vasaloppet is asking everyone to ski the race with a red cap to honour this skiing hero. As usual Vasaloppet has collected and compiled many interesting historic facts, statistics and trivia, as well as current news for the race on Sunday.
- This is the 93rd Vasaloppet, and the 21st with a women's competition class. The first Vasaloppet was on Sunday March 19, 1922. (Three races have been cancelled: 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.
- The first live TV broadcast of Vasaloppet took place in 1966. This will be the 40th time that Vasaloppet (in parts or in its entirety) is live transmitted, and it is the 35th time that the Vasaloppet start is broadcasted live on television. 1973 was the first year with a live broadcast in colour. Since 1992 Vasaloppet has been shown live every year. Vasaloppet and SVT's current broadcasting agreement extends until 2020.
- Vasaloppet 2017 was fully booked in four minutes when registration opened in March 2016. This means 15,800 registered participants. The record number of starting participants is from 2010 when 15,709 people took on the challenge. (But 2016 saw the record number of registrants: 16,502.) 2017 is the fifth year in a row where over 66,000 participants have registered for the various races in Vasaloppet's Winter Week.
- Registration for the ski races in Vasaloppet's Winter Week 2018 opens on Sunday March 19, 2017, at 09:00 on vasaloppet.se.
- For the fourth year in a row, over 2,000 women have registered for Vasaloppet, which means about 14 percent female participants out on the course this Sunday. In Öppet Spår this year 25 percent of the participants were women. In the whole Vasaloppet Winter Week 2017, with all ten races included, 63 percent are men and 37 percent are women.
- Vasaloppet 2017 has participants from 43 different nations, counting Sweden. About 3,400 of the registered participants come from other nations than Sweden, most from Norway (1,145). Then come Denmark (555), Finland (554), Czech Republic (197), Germany (190), Switzerland (142), Estonia (130), Italy (71), Austria (70), Russia (69), Iceland (63), the Netherlands (43), and France (40). In total the Vasaloppet Winter Week 2017 has over 7,200 international participants from a record number of nations. Counting Sweden, we have 59 nations according to the latest statistics.
- The ten biggest Swedish counties in Vasaloppet 2017, according to this week's statistics, are: Västra Götaland 2,492 participants, Stockholm 2,336, Dalarna 737, Skåne 722, Jönköping 662, Uppsala 588, Östergötland 578, Västerbotten 522, Värmland 407 and Halland 402.
- The average age in Vasaloppet 2017 is 42.0 years and the average participant has previously skied 3.8 races.
- Vasaloppet is asking all participants to wear a red cap in honour of Nils ”Mora-Nisse” Karlsson (1917–2012), who won Vasaloppet more than anyone else. This is because 2017 marks 100 years since "Mora-Nisse" was born and the red cap was one of his hallmarks.
- In Vasaloppet 2016 the winners were John Kristian Dahl, Norway, (with a time of 4.08.00) and Katerina Smutná, who competed for Austria last year but this year has returned to representing the Czech Republic (her winning time was 4.17.56). The latest Swedish male victor was in 2012 (Jörgen Brink) and the latest female victor was in 2011 (Jenny Hansson). The male winners these past four year have all been from Norway.
- In 2016 there were three Swedish men and five Swedish women in the top ten of Vasaloppet: Markus Ottosson was 6th, Jerry Ahrlin 7th and Oskar Kardin 10th. Britta Johansson Norgren was 2nd, Lina Korsgren was 3rd, Sara Lindborg was 6th, Emilia Lindstedt 7th and Kristina Roberto 10th.
- Britta Johansson Norgren, who won Tjejvasan this past Saturday, has been second in Vasaloppet three years in a row. Only eight times in the men's class (since 1922) and two times in the women's 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. (In 2016 Stian Hoelgaard was second in Vasaloppet's men class.)
- Celebrities out on the course on Sunday:
Robin Bryntesson, former elite cross-country skier, working for children with diabetes
Peter Jihde, television presenter TV4, skiing with Bryntesson for diabetes research
Andreas Dackell, Olympic medalist in ice hockey 1994
PM Nilsson, political editor for Dagens Industri
Brita Zackari, presenter for SVT/training profile (i.hate.working.out)
Stephan Wilson, presenter for SVT ("Stephans klassiker”)
Jesse Wallin, DJ/radio personality for Mix Megapol
Malin "Praktikant-Malin" Stenbäck, presenter for Mix Megapol
Paolo Barilla, Italian former race car driver with 10 F1 races, and pasta king
Melker Andersson, chef
Paul Svensson, chef
Aron Anderson, adventurer, inspirer and lecturer, using sit-ski
Anders Olsson, multiple winner in swimming at the Paralympics, using sit-ski
- Last year an average 1,826,000 viewers watched SVT's five-hour-long Vasaloppet broadcast. The finish was watched by 2,800,000 people. In total 37 percent of the population (3,509,0000) tuned in to see at least three minutes of the live broadcast that Sunday morning! 729,000 viewers got up as early as 07:30 to watch the initial half hour before the start.
- Vasaloppet's website vasaloppet.se had a record number of visitors during Vasaloppet's Winter Week 2016: 22 million page views and 1.5 million unique visitors. Vasaloppet's live stream at vasaloppet.sehad a total of 200,000 viewers during Vasaloppet's Winter Week 2016 and Vasaloppet's own programme Vasalopps-TV had 120,000 viewers on YouTube.
- Vasaloppet veterans are those who have skied the race thirty times. After Vasaloppet 2016, a total of 970 Vasaloppet veterans have skied 30 or more Vasaloppet and/or Öppet Spår. 25 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 the most "real" Vasaloppet races, 58, and this year he is skiing his 59th Vasaloppet.
- Mikael Kulanko, IFK Mora SK, is skiing all the Winter Week races (!) wearing a Superman costume.
- This summer the Vasaloppet Summer Week will be held for the ninth time: Cykelvasan (mountain bike), Ultravasan (running), Vasastafetten (running relay race for ten-person teams) and the new Vasakvartetten (running relay race for four-person teams) with over 17,000 registered participants so far.
- In 2016, 32 participants completed Vasaloppstrippeln; that is, participated in the full-length skiing, cycling and running races: Vasaloppet or Öppet Spår, Cykelvasan 90 or Cykelvasan Öppet Spår and Ultravasan 90. Vasaloppstrippeln is a challenge completed during a calendar year. The best combined time from 2016 was for Tomas Stöt from IFK Mora: 17 hours, 34 minutes and 27 seconds.
Inquisitive minds can find more facts, history, lists, charts and trivia about Vasaloppet in Vasaloppet's Facts Guide 2017 (in Swedish only): http://www.vasaloppet.se/faktaguide
Events in the Vasaloppet Arena
Vasaloppet Winter Week 2017
Fri 24 Feb: Kortvasan. 30 km. Start Oxberg.
Sat 25 Feb: Tjejvasan. 30 km. Start Oxberg.
Sun 26 Feb: Ungdomsvasan. 3, 5, 7 or 9 km. Start Mora Ski Stadium.
Sun 26 Feb: Öppet Spår Sunday. 90 km. Start Sälen. (FULL 170130)
Mon 27 Feb: Öppet Spår Monday. 90 km. Start Sälen.
Tue 28 Feb: Halvvasan. 45 km. Start Oxberg.
Fri 3 Mar: Stafettvasan. 9–24 km. Five-person teams. Start Sälen.
Fri 3 Mar: Nattvasan. 90 km. Two-person teams. Start Sälen. (FULL 160320)
Sat 4 Mar: Blåbärsloppet (formerly Öppet Spår 9 km). 9 km. Start Eldris.
Sun 5 Mar: Vasaloppet. 90 km. Start Sälen. (FULL 160320)