Some sporting moments live forever.
The race between Thomas Wassberg and Juha Mieto at Lake Placid in 1980 is such a sporting moment. Gold and silver in the 15km were separated by just one hundredth of a second. It’s the closest finish in Olympic cross country skiing history. The timing rules were even changed because of this race. The Nordic gaming company Paf has brought their rivalry back to life in a campaign for a new game.
Wassberg and Mieto ‘compete’ again in funny ads
The advertising campaign for this new game from Paf celebrates the lifelong friendship that was born out of a legendary rivalry. Thirty eight years later the two skiers compete against each other again in a series of funny commercials shot in Lapland by the Swedish production company Storyfire. They include a steaming hot sauna challenge and a tree hang.
Watch the Wassberg and Mieto commercials here. They are in Swedish but funny in any language!
Short interview with Wassberg and Mieto
In a short interview we asked the skiers about their friendship, the legend of the split medals and why they decided to revive their rivalry for Paf.
We also asked them who would win if they raced again today.
“It depends. In skiing I have a chance to win. But if we are chopping logs, it will be Juha!” says Thomas Wassberg. “If I ski 10 km and Wassberg skis 20 km we would finish at about the same time,” reponds Juha Mieto with a little chuckle.
Watch our full interview with the two legends here. It’s in Swedish and Finnish with Swedish subtitles.
Two legends. One Game
The Wassberg VS Mieto slot game is exclusive to Paf and was made by the in-house Paf Games Studio in close cooperation with the two skiers. The reels are embedded in snow and feature animated Wassberg and Mieto characters and symbols. In the bonus game their rivalry is renewed and the player gets to pick a winner.
The two skiers were happy to work with Paf. “At first I wondered if it was a good idea but then I realised that the all profit from Paf goes to benefit society,” says Thomas Wassberg. “From my time in parliament Paf is a very well-known company for me, so I did not hesitate for a second!” adds Juha Mieto.
Paf Chief Gaming Officer Kim Johansson explains why the new slot is so special: “We produce our own exclusive games right here in Nordic region with a distinctive Nordic flavour. The story behind this game resonated so much with us. Wassberg VS Mieto is an exciting slot that reflects the love everybody has for these athletes and that era of sportsmanship. Wassberg and Mieto really like the finished game and I’m sure our players will too.”
You can test the game here: https://www.paf.com/slots/demo/paf/?game=mietowassberg
Thomas Wassberg Factfile
From: Lennartsfors, Värmland, Sweden
Olympic record: 4 Medals (all Golds), 1980-88
After sport: Coach, reporter, Mästarnas Mästare, Let’s Dance
Juha Mieto Factfile
From: Kurikka, Southern Ostrobothnia, Finland
Olympic record: 5 Medals (1 Gold, 2 Silver, 2 Bronze), 1976-84
After sport: A popular local politician