Katie Kerr, President, Fundraising, food, awards, Swedish Mile
Chip Gerdin, Vice President, Spokesperson, Miniloppet
Tracey Johnson, Secretary, Kranskulla, Headquarters, Celebration Tent
Jon Larson, Treasurer, Past president, Snow Farmer, technology, trails, Nordic Center, Swedish Mile
Danna Woods, 2023 Kranskulla, Hospitality
Matt Felger, Snow Farmer, Celebration tent infrastructure and construction
Wade Lennox, Road Crossings, Miniloppet, skier registration, Sponsorships
Debbie Morrison, Past president, marketing, A Taste of Vasaloppet, merchandise
Luke Olen, Snow Farmer, trails, equipment maintenance, grooming
Don Olson, Past president, Chief Snow Farmer, trails, start/finish line, equipment maintenance
Jack Schwinghamer, Past president, safety, trails, Nordic Center
Sharon Rypkema Olson, Executive Director
In 1973, a small group of Mora volunteers and 96 skiers gathered in a farm field in northern Kanabec County for the first Vasaloppet cross county ski race.
Renown for its hometown hospitality and volunteer spirit, the Vasaloppet, which has a self-imposed limit of 3,000 skiers, now offers eight races: the Vasa, the Classic, the Dala, the Bell Ringer, the Team, Fat Tire, Skijoring, and the Miniloppet.
The four Vasaloppet races (Sweden, USA, Japan and China) have formed an International Vasaloppet Skiing Exchange designed to promote not only the four races, but to foster a better understanding of different cultures and every three years an International Vasaloppet Skiing Conference and cultural exchange is held in one of the countries.
Today, the race starts and finishes in downtown Mora thanks to the cooperation of city street crews who perform the oddest of Minnesota winter tasks of dumping snow back onto the town’s main street. But it’s the atmosphere of the race that skiers say keeps them coming back as the Mora community somehow converts its volunteer spirit and hospitality into a tangible presence. In all, this race takes the effort of nearly 700 volunteers on race day and who work year-round on the thousands of details that require attention.
Vasaloppet, Inc. is a 501c3 organization that operates the race through a 14 member, all volunteer board of directors, with one part-time employee.
Vasaloppet Sweden There is no other cross country ski race like the Swedish Vasaloppet held the first Sunday in March. Its 90 kilometers (56 miles) length is an ultimate challenge for skiers.
The City of Asahikawa, located on the Island of Hokkaido, is the home to this race, which is held in mid-March.
Vasaloppet China, is in the city of Changchun in northeastern China and is held in early January.
Salute to our Volunteers
Visit the sculpture labyrinth commemorating Vasaloppet volunteers
In 2022 Vasaloppet USA celebrated its 50th Anniversary as a cross country ski race. The heart of the Vasaloppet success is the community’s volunteer spirit. To commemorate the 50 years milestone, hundreds of volunteers faces and hand prints were cast into metal and used in a larger sculpture which is displayed adjacent to the Vasaloppet Nordic Center.
Listing of volunteers honored at sculpture labyrinth
Below are links to videos about Vasaloppet history.
#7 How do you say Snow in Japanese
This activity is made possible by the voters of Minnesota through a grant from the East Central Regional Arts Council thanks to legislative appropriations from the Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund.