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On this page you will find some editorial ideas regarding the city Östersund, the region Jämtland and Biathlon in Östersund in english.

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Birger Inspires Biathlon Play and Games                                                                 The Biathlon World Championship engages people of all ages in Östersund. Even the preschool children play biathlon, using a special playboard featuring the official mascot Birger.

In Östersund, everybody knows the “Storsjöodjur” Birger. The deep-rooted legend of the terrifying beast of the lake Storsjön is widely known. Birger is a child-friendly spin-off character to that fable, who is present on most events in the city where kids are involved. He has also the main character of seven children’s books. Birger’s relation to water is, of course, passionate and as he cherishes the important waters of Storsjön, he is also a great tutor for the kids. Birger is a created by Anders Nilsson and Sara Strömberg.

Winter Cycling Project Promotes Change ‘Vintertramparna’ is a project aiming at increasing bicycle traffic during winter in Östersund. The project’s focus is to promote altered behavior among people who normally would not use their bike during winter, but are willing to develop new healthy and sustainable habits. Participants are sponsored with equipment to cope with winter cycling and undertake to ride at least 60 per cent of their trips by bicycle, between December and April.

This year, ‘Vintertramparna’ is arranged for the tenth time by the ‘Grön Trafik’ unit of the City of Östersund. In total, some 1,000 people have participated through the years, and the project has led the participants to change their travel habits by increased cycling. They have also increased their usage of helmets and generally experience a better health.

The top team in football sings and dances ballet Östersund is not just winter sports. In a city with 63 000 inhabitants, 10 percent of the population regularly goes to watch football. Östersund FK:s commitment to culture has been highlighted throughout Europe and contributed to the success of the team in Europe League 2017/18.ÖFK is the football team where players will not only be able to handle technical features on the pitch, but are expected to sing on stage or dance ballet in Swan Lake.
World-class Small-scale Gastronomy How is it even conceivable for Östersund to be among the world-class gastronomic centers of the World? The city is located by the Scandinavian mountains, a good distance from what is generally considered Europe’s gastronomic center. However there are exciting resources here, which in combination with strong driving forces and great enthusiasts, make distance irrelevant. The region has successfully cherished and developed its’ gastronomic heritage so that it is now part of the exclusive network Unesco Creative Cities of Gastronomy.


  • Östersund is the only Swedish city among the 25 gastronomic hubs of the World, among them Parma in Italy, Chengdu in the Chinese province of Sichuan and Tucson in Arizona, USA.
  • The award is shared between the City of Östersund and the Region of Jämtland Härjedalen, which has got the largest number of small-scale food craftsmen in Sweden and is leading on locally produced organic food in the country.
  • ‘Eldrimner’, a national resource center for food crafts, has got its’ natural site in Östersund.
Green Highway – A Fossil-fuel-free Transport Corridor Green Highway – a fossil-fuel-free region that stretches over 460 kilometers from the Bothnian Sea to the Norwegian Sea through three regions and two countries.


The aim of the Green Highway24 project is to create a fossil-fuel-free region between the cities Trondheim, Östersund and Sundsvall. This would form a 460-kilometer-long green transport corridor, where people and goods are transported by road, by sea or by train without using any fossil fuels.

Green Highway is an important part of a unique cross-border cooperation between the cities of Sundsvall, Östersund and Trondheim. Here, we invest in electric vehicles, charging infrastructure and renewable fuels.

The Norwegian and Swedish governments have appointed Green Highway a prioritized area for electrified traffic. This is due to the many different initiatives, linked to fossil-fuel-free transport, along the physical road between Sundsvall and Trondheim. The project is nationally recognized, and it has resulted in an infrastructure of fast chargers for electric cars. In the future, chargeable electric cars, hybrid cars and perhaps even hydrogen cars will all traffic our county.

In the Green Highway area, there is ample supply of renewable energy sources, such as forest biomass and electricity from wind and water. The conditions for creating a sustainable transport system through central Scandinavia, thus developing Green Highway as a stretch free from fossil fuels, are therefore good.

“From Waste to Magic” What would it take for three committed teachers to give up their careers and convert to working full time with industrial waste materials? The answer is ‘Spilloteket’ – a creative democracy workshop and an educational forum for all ages.


  • Spilloteket labels itself a creative democracy workshop and an educational forum. It is housed on premises near the Jamtli museum in Östersund.
  • Spilloteket receives waste material from the industries of Jämtland, which is sorted and processed so that it can get new life in the workshop.
  • Spilloteket organizes repair workshops for the general public and specialized study groups as well as activities for school classes.
  • Spilloteket’s own words: “People possess creative superpowers which are set free as we introduce them to waste materials. Our aim is that children’s and young people’s voices should be heard in the public debate, they should also have real influence and get be active on the public scene”.
  • In June 2018, Spilloteket was awarded the UN Global Sustainability Prize, which is awarded initiatives that best communicate and raise awareness of the global goals of the organization.
The Expansive City The opportunity to lead a city life near the outdoors and the mountains is apparently attractive. Östersund is expanding with more people, more companies, and more housing each year. The city has never before had so many residents, and as employment rates rise and the number of guest nights increases, trade and industry also flourish. Expansion prevails, by the year 2025 some 4,000 new homes are planned.

Facts / statistics about Östersund’s growth.

  • Östersund recently passed the 63,000 inhabitants mark, which is a record.
  • There are more children born in Östersund than people dying.
  • The main reason why people chose to move to Östersund is the proximity to family and friends. Studies and opportunities for leisure activities are both almost as popular reasons. The fourth most common reason is the attraction of the place in itself. These figures are commissioned by the City of Östersund in order to map migration patterns.
  • The number of new companies has increased steadily since 2013.
  • The number of jobs increased by 2,400 between the years 2010 and 2016.
  • The number of guest nights is steadily increasing every year. Between 2013 and 2016, the number of guest nights grew by more than 74,000.
  • The tourism industry is important for Östersund and Jämtland. In Östersund, it generates some SEK 710 million and employs more than 1,000 man-years.
  • During the period 2014 – 2017, an average of 273 homes have been produced per year. Most of these were built in 2016, when 480 homes were added. This can be compared with the objective of building 330 homes per year.
Special Olympics and Parasport World Championships – Östersund to become an international parasport centre During recent years, Östersund has established itself as a host city for international winter parasports. Looking ahead, from 2019 to 2022 Östersund will host the IPC World Cup competitions in cross-country skiing and biathlon, and in 2023 five World Para Snow Sports Championships will be held in the region with the para ice-hockey, cross-country skiing and biathlon all being hosted in Östersund.

In 2021 Östersund, together with Åre, will host the Special Olympics World Winter Games, the world’s largest sporting event for people with intellectual disabilities. The games are expected to bring in thousands of athletes from 105 countries to compete in eight different winter sports.

Thanks to competitions that have already taken place (including para ice-hockey, cross-country skiing and biathlon), several nations have already become aware of the opportunities for training in Östersund, and investments in training tourism are already underway.

Contact: Karin Riddar, Parasport Sweden (located in Östersund) +46-70-207 01 27

Överhogdalsbonaderna Viking Tapestries – Europe´s oldest pictorial tapestries at Jamtli Museum
One of the most remarkable Viking-age objects found in Jämtland and Härjedalen is the Överhogdalsbonaderna – woven textiles containing motives and symbols from both the Norse mythology and the entry of Christianity. Through C14-dating it has been concluded that the tapestries were made some time between 1040 and 1170, which makes them the oldest tapestries in Europe found above ground.  The tapestries are now on show at Jamtli, Jämtland’s county museum.

During the Biathlon World Championships, there will be a guided tour of the Överhogdal’s tapestries on Friday 15 March at 11.00.

Contact: Christina Wistman, Assistant Museum Director, +46-70-249 19 93

Jamtli National Museum Jamtli National Museum opened in Östersund in summer 2018. It is a branch of the National Museum in Stockholm. The first exhibition from the collections of the National museum – “Six centuries of contemporary art” – offers internationally acclaimed artists such as Rembrandt, Alexander Roslin, Ulrica Fredrika Pasch, Rubens, Jenny Nyström and Carl Larsson. The exhibition runs until 5 May 2019 and will be replaced by a new exhibition from the collections of the National museum.

Contact: Christina Wistman, Assistant Museum Director, +46-70-249 19 93

Economusées in Östersund There are three Economusées in Östersund: Storsjöhyttan glass-blowing workshop, Frösö Handtryck and Drejeriet (pottery) Gallery & shop. You can visit the artisans in their studios and learn more about their handicraft. In their workshops, the artisans demonstrate how they blow glass, hand print a fabric pattern or form an object with clay. Economuseé is an international association of Artisans at Work where visitors can learn more about the craftsmanship.
Gregorie Market – dating back a thousand years
On 7 – 9 March, some 200 merchants will set up their market stalls and tents in the Winter Park for the annual Gregorie market, a market with a thousand years of history. In olden times, farmers would travel by horse between the large markets in Tröndelag, Norway and towards the south of Sweden to buy and sell goods. As there were no real road networks, winter was the natural season for travelling and trading as people were not bound by all the farm work of the summer. Lakes and mires iced over which made travelling easier. In today’s market you can find anything from local delicacies and handicrafts to more modern market goods.
The Rune stone Next to Frösö bridge you can find Sweden’s northernmost rune stone. The stone was carved in the 1050’s and tells the story of Östman, son of Gudfast, who christened Jämtland.
The Great Lake Monster – one of the most famous inhabitants of Jämtland The first known written recording concerning a monster in Lake Storsjön dates back to 1635. Today there are more than 200 documented witness accounts from more than 500 people that have seen the Great Lake Monster. All documentation has now been collated at Jamtli, the Jämtland county museum, which also exhibits trapping equipment that was used at the end of the 19th century when a company was created to capture the Great Lake Monster.
More information at: https://www.jamtli.com/fasta/storsjoodjuret/
Birger – The Great Lake Monster´s cub and the official mascot of the Biathlon World Championships Birger is a small lake monster that lives deep down in Lake Storsjön with his dad and his friend, Yellow Fish. Birger loves to eat cake, go on treasure hunts and tickle swimmers on their feet.
The first book about Birger was released in 2008, and since then, another six books, a puzzle book and a cuddly toy have been added to the series. The books have been very successful and received glowing reviews. Today Birger is active on Facebook and Instagram, and just in time for the Biathlon World Championships in 2019, two books will be released in English. Birger is also the official mascot of the Biathlon World Championships.

More information at: www.nestorville.se,
Facebook.com/storsjobirger Instagram: birger_storsjoodjuret

The first visitors in Jämtland Throughout different periods, Jämtland has been Danish, Norwegian and Swedish and the county has been exchanged between different kingdoms no less than 13 times. When peace was declared in Brömsebro in 1645, Jämtland finally became Swedish.  Pilgrims on their way to St Olav’s grave in Nidaros (Trondheim), Jämtland trading farmers transporting goods between Tröndelag and Mälardalen, travellers seeking the clean air of the county, and botanists coming to discover the Jämtland wilderness are all examples of early tourists.

Frösön was populated as early as the Iron Age and had a school, pharmacy and a regiment but it took until 1786 until King Gustav III Adolf proclaimed Östersund a city. In 1786 the pigs roamed freely, and the town square was full of tree stumps well into the 1800s. Despite tax relief and good conditions for starting up a business, the population growth was slow. With the inauguration of the rail road in 1879, new times fell upon the city. The population doubled and trade flourished. The city took on a more city-like character with large buildings appearing, such as the City Hall, the Artillery regiment and the Infantry regiment. Today, 63,000 people live in the municipality of Östersund.

The Swedish Kick-Sled A kick-sled is a means of transport with two runners at the back and a bumper at the front. On top of these sits a chair that is traditionally built from wood. The kick-sled is steered using handles on the back of the chair and runners stick out behind the chair. The driver stands on one of the runners and kicks the sled along with the other foot, hence the name. On slippery surfaces, such as ice or hard snow, it is easy to reach speeds of around 15-20 km/h. The kick-sled dates to the 1880s, but is still a popular means of transportation. Try out a kick-sled at Vinterparken in Östersund harbour.
The Swedish “Smörgåstårta” was invented in Östersund The world famous Swedish “Smörgåstårta” was invented here in Östersund in the 1950s at the Wedemarks Café and is still served there as well as around the world. Smörgåstårta is a sort of “sandwich cake” made up of several layers of white or light rye bread with creamy fillings in between. The toppings vary but often consists of shrimp, smoked salmon and various cold cuts. Smörgåstårtan is served cold and cut like a dessert cake.
Sav – a unique, sparkling beverage produced in Östersund Since time immemorial, birch sap has been used as an important nutritional supplement. The birch trees absorb the mineral-rich waters from the bottom of Lake Storsjön when the ground frost thaws in spring. The trees convert the liquid to sap that can be tapped from the tree and later drunk.

Based on an original recipe from 1785, Peter Mosten has converted the liquid into a unique sparkling drink that cannot be found anywhere else in the world. Sparkling Sav is made according to the “méthode traditionelle” of champagne and is stored on its lees for a year before being released on the market. Peter Mosten, who is an eco-engineer, happened upon the old recipe for birch champagne in an archive, and after years of hard work and exploding bottles he has established his product on the global market.

Contact: Peter Mosten, +46-70-321 81 92

Marcus Izzo – Östersund’s biking barista and the man behind the World Championship’s very own Bulls Eye coffee Marco Izzo is the American that ended up in Östersund. He runs an Artisan Coffee Roastery, shows up at events with his coffee bike and offers courses in coffee tasting, sometimes making the coffee over an open fire. Together with the biathlete Tobias Arwidsson, Marcus has now developed a special World Championship Coffee – Bulls Eye Coffee. The coffee blend was successfully launched last year for the World Cup, and they have now adjusted the roast and the blend a touch, to get a real World Championship blend. The World Championship coffee will be served at several spots around town, including Medal plaza.

Contact: Marcus Izzo, +46-76 140 00 66

Fia Gulliksson – Serial entrepreneur focused on Creative Gastronomy Fia is the food creator from Östersund who travels the world inspiring people in gastronomy, culture and creativity with a strong focus on sustainability. She is an Honorary Doctor PhD at Mid Sweden University, manages several brands, and started the initiative that eventually led to Östersund becoming a UNESCO Creative City of Gastronomy. Last autumn she opened Heim, a creative food hub in the centre of Östersund. She is concurrently working in London on a large project to promote Nordic food in restaurants and cafés.

Contact: Fia Gulliksson +46-70-635 01 44

Beer with a local history Östersund and the surrounding region has many microbreweries, each with its own local touch and history. Some breweries brew beer solely for specific restaurants, or beer that can only be tasted at a few places around the county, whilst others sell their products at Systembolaget.
For more information on the county’s breweries: Contact Manne Mosten +46-70 677 84 32
14 generations of cheese producers – Tivars Dairy Farm  People have lived at Tivars farm on Norderön island, in the middle of Lake Storsjön, ever since the 15th century. Urban Olausson is the fourteenth generation of his family to run the farm. With a view of the mountains and surrounded by Lake Storsjön, they make their own cheese using milk from the farm’s cows. Several of their cheeses have won medals in the Swedish Championships in Artisanal Food.  95% of the cheese made is sold from Tivars’ farm shop or served in their own restaurant. Most of the cheese is made from milk from the farm’s cows; only a small portion is made from the farm’s goat milk. All cheese types have been given names connected to the farm or the island, it could be a place, a person or a story.

Contact: Urban Olausson, + 46-70 385 51 52

Kristoffer Andersson – owner of several award-winning restaurants in Östersund Östersund is a UNESCO Creative City of Gastronomy. We have the most food artisans in the country, many award-winning restaurants and plenty of top-class raw materials.
Kristoffer Anderson is one of the forerunners of the gastronomic scene in Östersund. He owns and manages a number of highly successful, award-winning restaurants in Östersund. Jazzköket, Lagerbaren, Jazzköket Bistro and Lilla Saluhallen (food hall) and knows everything about the modern Jämtland kitchen.

Contact: Kristoffer Andersson, +46-63 10 15 75

Manne Mosten – Gastronomy Walks combined with culture Initiator and co-founder of the recently opened “Norra Station” that not only houses a café, coffee roastery, art gallery and co-working space, but also organises food walks, coffee courses and a range of other tastings. Manne has been guiding visitors around the county through different food experiences for ten years. He is passionate about our local gastronomy and culture along with the people who produce the raw materials and food, all of which he happily shares through story-telling. “I want to convey what Jämtland and its people are about – but through food”.

Contact: +46-70-677 84 32

The Swedish Semla In March we celebrate Fettisdagen (Shrove Tuesday), and we Swedes eat more than 40 million semlor a year during this season.

The Swedish semla, or Shrovetide bun, is a custom that dates back to the middle ages. Sweden was a catholic country before the reformation, and ahead of Lent people ate and drank heartily. It was important to build up stocks of energy before fasting. The custom of the Shrovetide bun came from Germany and spread to Sweden during the 17th century, but in the beginning only the richest people could afford such a bun made from white flour and sugar.
Our modern version, filled with cream and almond paste, did not become commonplace until the period between the two world wars. The semla is a bun made from wheat flour, milk, butter, sugar, yeast and cardamom. The bun is split into two halves. Marzipan is piped onto the bottom half of the bun and whipped cream goes around it. The lid or top part of the bun is placed on top of the cream with a sprinkling of icing sugar dusted on top.
The Swedish king, Adolf Fredrik, is said to have died from over consumption of these buns. Today the semla is not only eaten on Shrove Tuesday, it is sold from Christmas to Easter.

Swedish “fika” with local specialities In Sweden, taking a break to have a coffee and a cake is a very important part of our lifestyle. We call this ‘fika’. In Östersund there are a plenty of cafés to discover the Swedish Fika, be sure not to miss out on our local specialties:

Smörgåstårta at Wedemarks Café 
The world famous Swedish “Smörgåstårta” was invented here in Östersund in the 1950s at the Wedemarks Café and is still served there as well as around the world. Smörgåstårta is a sort of “sandwich cake” made up of several layers of white or light rye bread with creamy fillings in between. The toppings vary but often consists of shrimp, smoked salmon and various cold cuts. Smörgåstårtan is served cold and cut like a dessert cake.

Chillevipp – at Törners Café
Chillevipp was invented at Törners Café and is a thick meringue ball filled with cream covered with chocolate butter cream and cacao sprinklings on top.

Swedish buns
Just out of the oven sticky cinnamon- and cardamom buns from Café Jaktstugan goes well with a nice cup of coffee or tea.

Frösökyssar på Tages Café
On the island of Frösön you find Tages Konditori. Their local specialty is “Frösökyssar – kisses from Frösön”, Chocolate almond cakes with chocolate truffle filling.

Aurora Borealis  – Northern lights in and around Östersund The natural phenomenon of the Northern Lights has fascinated humans since time immemorial. Up here in Northern Sweden, the best chances of spotting the Northern Lights come during clear nights from September to March. If you want to keep your eye on the Northern Lights forecast, there are different apps available, search for “aurora forecast” in your app store. You can also go to spaceweatherlive.com for more detailed forecasts.

Some suggestions for viewing points in Östersund:
Bynäset on Frösön
Andersön, just outside Östersund
Brattåsen, just outside Östersund

Göran Strand, the astro-photographer Astro-photographer Göran Strand has become well-known for his photos and films of celestial phenomena. His films and photographs have been used in both Swedish and international film productions, several of his photos have been named as NASA’s Astronomy Picture of the Day, and the band Coldplay used one of his films in their music video “A sky full of stars”. His photos have been released as stamps by the Swedish postal service and he has released two books of his photos.

Contact: Göran Strand, +46-70-344 90 46

Moose in a winter setting at Moose Garden Moose garden is located in Orrviken, some 20 km outside of Östersund. You can come here to meet tame moose, learn more about the moose and how it lives, and maybe even stroke the king of the forest. The moose is the largest living member of the deer family. A moose can grow up over two metres in height, and weigh up to 700 kg, and its antlers can span over two meters in width.

Daily guided tours during the World Championships
Contact: MooseGarden +46-70-363 60 61

Musviken – 745 fish caught in one day ice fishing When the ice thickens on Lake Storsjön and its surrounding lakes, the peak season begins for many fishermen. There is a growing interest in winter fishing for perch, whitefish, Arctic char and grayling.
Just outside of Östersund is Lake Lockne, one of Sweden’s cleanest lakes with a large Arctic char population. In Musviken there is fantastic ice fishing for whitefish, with the best chances to catch fish being in January and February. Each season, 12 – 15 tonnes of whitefish are caught there, and the record is 745 fish caught in one day by one fisherman.
How Östersund became a “Surfer’s Paradise” – Simon Jaktlund Simon is the outdoor sports profile who moved to the Jämtland mountains, has won several World Championship medals in the world’s toughest snow-kiting competition, and who turned a previously unused area of Östersund into the summer’s most popular meeting point, Surfbukten. It is an oasis where people of all ages do wake-boarding, skating, yoga, have coffee and just chill out in the hammocks. Eight years later, Simon has become a highly sought-after speaker on subjects such as city development, collaboration and innovation. His latest initiatives Cycling-for-all-ages (taxi bicycles for the elderly) and “Pensioner ice-fishing” has received great attention.

Contact: Simon Jaktlund, +46-70-299 98 86

Sweden´s Best City for Shopping Last summer, Östersund was named “Sweden’s Best City for Shopping” and there is certainly plenty going on in the heart of Östersund. The beautiful old city courtyards are being opened up, with new meeting places being constructed, renovated and created, bringing together culture, cafés and co-working spaces. Two examples include the recently opened Norra Station that is also home to Galleri Lux, and Hamngatan 12. Östersund now has its sights on winning the title of “City Centre of the Year”, a prize that will be awarded in May 2019.

Contact: Calle Hedman, City Centre Developer, Destination Östersund +46-73 815 01 13

Jämtland Calling Östersund is growing and there is a skills shortage in several professions. Jämtland Calling arranges packaged lifestyle and recruitment journeys during which people considering a move to Östersund are matched with relevant employers from their industry while spending a few days experiencing the life, food and people here. The aim is to facilitate the decision to move and create the right conditions for newcomers to settle in quickly. The concept is being driven by Gomorron Östersund, an entrepreneurs’ hub and community that, in a very short time, has gathered a large number of local, national and global companies and telecommuters. Many of these people have made lifestyle choices to move here recently from different parts of the world, and the Gomorron team has used this collective experience to develop the concept aimed at attracting specific industry expertise to the region.
www.gomorronostersund.se     www.jamtlandcalling.se

Contact: Jenny Sandström +46-70-434 01 42

The City Festival – A twelve-day wintry festival during the World Championship During the Biathlon World Championships a large Belgian mirror tent (Spiegeltent) holding up to 1,500 people will be erected in Stortorget square. Both the tent and the city centre will be heaving with activities during the twelve-day City Festival. The municipality of Östersund is behind the festival, which is being organised by Storsjöyran AB.
“The City Festival is an opportunity for the municipality together with local businesses, clubs and associations to show off all the fabulous things that Östersund has to offer. Our aim is for the festival to create a sense of pride about living and being in Östersund,” says Karin Henriksson, Östersund Municipality’s Event Strategy Manager. And she continues,
“The City Festival should offer activities for everybody and should exemplify the vision of the 2019 Biathlon World Championships: ‘With all our hearts’. We want happiness, excitement and a party atmosphere to characterise the competitions, award ceremonies and the City Festival.” The budget for the City Festival is some SEK 1,5 million.

Karin Henriksson, Event Strategy Manager, Östersund’s Kommun +46-70 237 11 37,
Simon Tehyrell, Project Manager of the City Festival +46-72 337 32 19