Torgny saved Sweden in 1993
Torgny Mogren made sure that the FIS Nordic World Ski Championships of 1993 in Falun were concluded in the best possible way. In front of 50 000 jubilant spectators, he raced for the gold medal in the 50 kilometre race. Sweden´s only medal!
February 18-28, 1993 was the third time that Falun hosted a World Ski Championships in the Nordic disciplines. This was a championship that also became a revenge for Falun as a host.
In the 1980s, the municipality had been a candidate for the Winter Olympics in 1984, 1988 and 1992 - but lost every time. The lead up to the Olympics of 1992 was especially difficult since the Olympic campaign was characterised by great optimism and had widespread support by locals. The idea of submitting candidacy for the World Ski Championships was born again, and Falun was appointed to host in 1993.
In the days leading up to the competitions, white trails of artificial snow could be seen running through the otherwise all-green terrain at Lugnet. The new artificial snow facilities had ensured there was at least an acceptable bed of snow to be able to go through with the competitions.
But just an hour before the inauguration, the snow started to fall and the inauguration was held in the snowfall. Suddenly, Falun and the World Championships had their wonderful setting with snow in both terrain and trees.
In total, the competitions attracted 140 000 spectators. The championship had 900 participants from 38 nations.
On the last day of the competitions, 50 000 visitors made their way to Lugnet to see if Torgny Mogren would be able to save the Swedish honour. A winter sports event in Sweden had not attracted that many spectators since the World Championships in ski jumping in Källviken during the 1954 World Ski Championships in Falun.
Before the last day of the competitions, the hosting nation, Sweden, was without any medals. Norway totally dominated and Sweden had, among other things, flopped in the men´s relay, where the hopes for a medal had been high.
And what support Torgny Mogren received. The crowd along the course was among the most powerful seen. After a cautious start, Mogren increased his speed gradually and showed what a superb 50-kilometre skier he was.
The cheering knew no bounds when he entered the stadium and thousands of flags were waved in the hands of overjoyed Swedes.
The only Swedish medal was salvaged. No one was thinking about the failures from the other competition days anymore.
During the 1993 World Ski Championships, the pursuit race made its entrance.
Among the men, most of the duels were between Björn Dählie and the Kazakh Vladimir Smirnov.
In the end, Björn Dählie became the King of the World Championships with his three gold medals. The margin of victory against Smirnov in the pursuit race was one single thousandth!
Among the women, the Russian Jelena Välbe and the Italian Stefania Belmondo fought some close battles and won two gold medals each.
Leading up to the 1993 World Ski Championships, Falun had modernised the whole venue, including the ski jumps. Additional buildings were also put up on the venue.
The barracks in the regiment area were renovated and the area was transformed to a World Championship Village, where most of the participants were hosted.
The World Ski Championships of 1993 also became a championship where the competitions were given a new and festive setting with music, flags, claques and impressive speaker efforts that became the norm for future major ski events.
Leading up to the championships, the main entrances to Falun changed when Lugnetleden, from Lugnet to Korsnäs, was completed. The telecommunication system in Falun was modernised with AXE switches.
Ahead of the 1993 World Ski Championships, a competition was announced to produce a mascot for the competitions. The competition was advertised during the 1990-1991 season. The winner was the Berguven Bubo, the Eagle Owl Bubo. Bubo Bubo is the Latin name for eagle owl, and the eagle owl is the province animal of the region of Dalarna. Ever since, Bubo has been actively used as a symbol for the ski sport and the competitions at Lugnet.
Television: SVT annual chronicle 1993 about the World Ski Championships in Falun