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Discover Our Passion: Learn About Vasaloppet USA's Mission & History

Vasaloppet USA's Mission to Cultivate a Healthier Tomorrow

The Vasaloppet USA mission is to promote a healthy and active outdoor lifestyle including economic and social benefits through cross-country skiing and related activities for youth, families, and serious competitors.

Board Members

Chip Gerdin — President, Spokesperson, Miniloppet

Jim ConwayVice President, Marketing, research and analysis

Wade LennoxTreasurer, Road Crossings, Miniloppet, skier registration, Sponsorships

Tracey JohnsonSecretary, Kranskulla, Headquarters, Celebration Tent

Julie Mulford2025 Kranskulla, Hospitality

Jon Larson — Past president, Snow Farmer, technology, trails, Nordic Center, Swedish Mile

Matt Felger — Snow Farmer, Celebration tent infrastructure and construction

Katie Kerr — Past President, Fundraising, food, awards, Swedish Mile

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

Staff

Sharon Rypkema Olson — Executive Director

Vasaloppet Through Time: Celebrating Decades of Hometown Hospitality & Volunteer Spirit

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-country ski race. Renowned for its hometown hospitality and volunteer spirit, Vasaloppet has grown exponentially and now offers eight races, including the Vasa, Classic, Dala, Bell Ringer, Team, Fat Tire, Skijoring, and Miniloppet, with a self-imposed limit of 3,000 skiers.

There are four Vasaloppet races in the world: Sweden, USA, Japan and China. Together, the organizations 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.

Exploring Vasaloppet's Rich History in Videos

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.

Vasaloppet Japan
The City of Asahikawa, located on the Island of Hokkaido, is the home to this race, which is held in mid-March.

Vasaloppet China
Vasaloppet China, is in the city of Changchun in northeastern China and is held in early January.

Today, Vasaloppet USA's races start and finish in downtown Mora, with the cooperation of city street crews who perform the remarkable task of dumping snow back onto the town's main street. However, it's the race's unique atmosphere and Mora community's ability to transform volunteer spirit and hospitality into a tangible presence that keeps skiers coming back year after year. Nearly 500 volunteers work tirelessly on race day and year-round to ensure thousands of details are attended to.

Vasaloppet, Inc. is a 501c3 organization that operates the race with a 12-member, volunteer board and one part-time employee.

Previous Vasaloppet USA Moments

Salute To Our Volunteers

In 2022 Vasaloppet USA celebrated its 50th Anniversary as a cross-country ski race. The heart of the Vasaloppet success lies in the community’s volunteer spirit. To commemorate the 50-year milestone, hundreds of volunteers' faces and hand prints were cast in metal and used in a large sculpture which is displayed adjacent to the Vasaloppet Nordic Center.

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