There is a hundred-year history behind Vasaloppet bib numbers. An example is on March 6, 1955, when Vasaloppet had advertising on the bibs for the first time. Limex was the company name and was also the ski brand that the winner, Sixten Jernberg, skied the 90km on.
Already during the first Vasaloppet, the skiers had bib numbers:
“This was then as now an identification of the racers. And it has, among other things, been about safety if there should be an accident on the track. The development has progressed greatly since then, both in appearance and technology. 1996 was the first time the elite skiers used a timing chip, and two years later, it applied to all participants in our races,” says Monica Eriksson, who worked at Vasaloppet from 1977 to 2015, including as marketing manager.
“An interesting curiosity is that you had to return the bibs in the beginning. In 1931, you had to deposit a crown, which you then got back when the vest was returned. This deposit remained until 1936 but was removed until 1939; exactly which year this was removed, I unfortunately do not know.”
From 1922 through 1954, the bib number was “single-sided” and was attached to the chest with safety pins.
This winter, it is time for the 100th edition of Vasaloppet. Now, the organizer has announced the possibility for everyone to participate in the race with a “personal bib” of the same model as the elite skiers.
The bib number contains the participant’s first and last name and the start number.
“We want it to be felt and noticed that the 2024 edition of Vasaloppet is special. So now we hope that the participants will appreciate the opportunity to ski in a personalized bib and be able to save it as a nice memory from the 100th Vasaloppet,” says Event Manager Magnus Locken at Vasaloppet’s website.
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