Vasaloppet ski race a huge hit among Swedes

The 2015 Vasaloppet ski race sold out in just 90 seconds, with more than 15,000 participants putting their names down to enter the 90-kilometre event.

When the online application system opened on Sunday at 9am, so many people tried to sign up for the historic ski event that the website crashed. An hour later the site was up and running again, and it took just 90 seconds for the maximum 15,800 places to be filled. Last year’s event sold out in just 10 minutes.

Vasaloppet CEO Anders Selling noted that despite the relatively warm winter, the interest in the competition has soared further. He described it as “fantastic” that such a high number of Swedes were active and were prepared to set long-term training goals. He added that it’s a shame not everyone who wants to enter is able to do so, but pointed out that 15,800 racers is the maximum number they can handle.

The long-distance cross-country ski event is extremely popular among Swedes of all ages. It was inspired by a journey undertaken by mythical king Gustav Vasa, who fought off the invading Danes in 1521. Even members of the royal family have taken part in the race over the years, with King Carl XVI entering in 1971 and Prince Carl Philip and Princess Madeleine in 2004 and 2008 respectively.