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March 07, 2010

Vasaloppet

Gustav Vasa, King Gustav I (1523-1560)

1520, when Sweden was still united with Danmark, Gustav Eriksson Vasa came to the region of Dalarna to seek for support from the people who were known to be more rebellish than in other areas of the country. He was speaking to the crowds in front of the church of the city of Mora, trying to get them to stand up and fight against the Danish king, Christian II. But they did not want to get involved. He was forced to flee before the Danish soldiers, that were already after him, would catch up with him. On his skis, he headed for Norway. At Sälen, some 90 kilometers away, 2 Mora brothers came after him. They reported that the people had changed their minds and that they wanted to fight at his side. The 3 of them rushed back on their skis to Mora. 1521 the war against the Danish was started and won 2,5 years later. Sweden was a free country and on the 6th of June 1523, Gustav became king of Sweden.

1922, Anders Pers, a son of Mora, formulated the idea around a ski race with the historical background of Gustav Vasa's escape. The idea was picked up and the first race started 19th of March, 1922, with 119 participants. It took 7 hours, 32 minutes and 49 seconds for the winner to manage the distance of 90 kilometers.


Today, there were 15702 people starting at Sälen in the morning. Anyone can be part of this biggest cross country ski race of the world. Your own physical condition, strength and will decides... The winner, Jörgen Brink, made it in 4 hrs 2 minutes and 59 sec. Susanna Nyström was the fastest lady of today, with the result 4:33:07. Congratulations!

U-n-b-e-l-i-e-v-a-b-l-e!
For information go to the website.


And what does this have to do with wine?

Yes: our friend Mats was in the race today and made it all the way! 90 kms on skis. A whole long day... We are so happy for him and proud to be his friends. That we celebrated with a blottle of Château de Malleret, which I will be reporting in my next post. Skål and cheers to Mats and all the other great sportsmen and women!

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