Cross-country skiing legend Gunde Svan: “Forestry work is a nice counter­balance to TV work”

Cross-country skiing legend Gunde Svan visited the Suolahti factory to see his new N154 Direct being built. Valtra Managing Director Jari Rautjärvi handed over the keys to Gunde.
Gunde Svan, four-time Olympic gold medallist and seven-time world champion in cross-country skiing, now focuses on TV and forestry work.

Gunde, you are remembered as the best cross-country skier of the 1980s, but what do you do these days?

“I have hosted a number of TV shows. I am now working on a show called ‘I huvud av Gunde Svan’ in which I interview former sporting greats. The other half of the time I manage the forest on my home farm at Vansbro in Dalarna, Sweden. Forestry operations are a nice counter­balance to TV work. It’s always peaceful in the forest, whereas in the TV studio there is always a lot of hustle and bustle. I still ski, but only to stay in shape and not to compete.”

What kind of farm do you have?

“This is my home farm, which I have combined with other farms. We have no fields at all, only around 1000 hectares of forest. I only work in my own forest and am often joined by my son Ferry. Today, Ferry competes in timbersports. 

What kind of tractor do you use for your forestry operations?

“I use a Valtra N154 Direct that I got two months ago and that has 125 hours on the clock already. The tractor has the TwinTrac reverse-drive system, a forestry cab, Premium work lights, belly protection and forestry tyres. It pulls a 15-tonne Moheda forestry trailer with frame steering and a Moheda loader. The tractor also has a front loader for snow ploughing and other tasks. My pre­vious forestry tractors have been a Valtra 665, a 6400 and an X120. I was particularly fond of the articulated X120.” 

You visited the Suolahti factory with your son to see your new tractor being built. How was the trip?

“Absolutely fantastic. I’m very inter­ested in technology and industry. It was great to see how efficiently all the work is organised, how the robots work and how clean the factory is. I was really impressed.” •

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