The Vasaloppet started in 1922, but really it is much older than that. The first Vasalopp was carried out as early as 1521 by Gustav Eriksson. During his flight from the Danish king he stopped in Sälen and returned to Mora to lead the uprising against the occupation forces. Gustav Eriksson eventually united the realm and became Sweden’s first king, better known under the name Gustav Vasa. In other words, Sälen is not only the starting point for the world’s largest and oldest cross-country ski race; it is also the starting point for the history of Sweden.