2011 skiers registered for the 2011 Mora, MN. Vasaloppet Ski Races

The Vasaloppet ski event in Mora, MN began in 1972 and has been held the second weekend in February ever since. Skiers come from all over North America and several countries around the world to participate in this volunteer run event. In 2011, there were 2011 registrations for its race opportunities on Sunday, February 13. Four countries have a Vasaloppet event: the original in Mora, Sweden, the Minnesota event, plus events in Japan and China.

The event is grounded on the story of King Gustav Vasa, who was fleeing the Danes in the 1500s in Sweden. He was unable to rally forces to fight the Danish contingent, so after his final attempt in Mora, in Dalarna, Sweden, he determined that his only recourse was to ski to Norway to “wait it out.” After he departed, the community gathered and changed its mind about supporting him. They sent two of their fastest skiers to catch up with him and bring him back. The distance they skied was thereafter named “The Vasa run” or Vasaloppet. In Sweden the race is 90 K. In Mora, MN. There are several races and two different styles of skiing. People can participate in the 13 K, 35K, 42K Classic, 58k and the 58K relay. King Gustav Vasa did prevail and unified Sweden under his crown.

The weekend in Mora, MN includes an art show, a Friendship Ski, a barn dance, a spaghetti supper, a pancake breakfast, several church worship opportunities, and finally an awards presentation and a culminating banquet. In 2012 the community will celebrated its 40th anniversary. Plans are already underway. For more information visit Vasaloppet USA

For information on the other Vasaloppet races, see International Vasaloppet Skiing Exchange.

By Valorie Arrowsmith