Legendary ski rivalry reignited in new Wassberg VS Mieto slot game from Paf

The race between Thomas Wassberg and Juha Mieto at Lake Placid in 1980 is part of sport folklore.

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 Nordic gaming company Paf has brought their rivalry back to life in a new game.

Two legends. One Game

The Wassberg VS Mieto slot 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 all the 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 the 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.”

Test the game here: https://www.paf.com/slots/demo/paf/?game=mietowassberg

Wassberg and Mieto ‘compete’ again in funny ads

In the advertising campaign for this new game, 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 hanging competition.

Watch the Wassberg and Mieto commercials here. They are partly in Swedish but funny in any language!


A short video interview with Wassberg and Mieto

We asked the skiers about their friendship, the legend of the ‘cut-in-half medals’ and why they decided to revive their rivalry for Paf. We also asked them who would win if they raced again today.

Watch our full interview with the two legends here (in Finnish and Swedish with Swedish subtitles).


Thomas Wassberg Factfile

Age: 62

From: Lennartsfors, Värmland, Sweden

Olympic record: 4 Medals (all Golds), 1980-88

After sport: Coach, reporter, Mästarnas Mästare, Let’s Dance

Juha Mieto Factfile

Age: 69

From: Kurikka, Southern Ostrobothnia, Finland

Olympic record: 5 Medals (1 Gold, 2 Silver, 2 Bronze), 1976-84

After sport: A popular local politician



Ludvig Winberg
Corporate Communication Manager


Paf was founded on Åland in 1966 with the clear purpose of creating profit to support public good. This is still the company’s primary purpose. Today Paf.com is an international gaming operator with over 200 games including slots, casino, poker, betting, bingo and lotteries. Paf also operates a large physical gaming operation on land and sea with about 1,500 slot machines and 55 gaming tables on ships in the Baltic Sea and North Sea, and in Paf Casino on Åland. Paf offers safe and socially responsible money games that give players pleasure and entertainment.

In 2017 the Paf Group had a total revenue of 116,5 million euros producing a profit of 29,4 million euros. The group has nearly 400 employees, is headquartered in Mariehamn on Åland and serves players from countries including Finland, Sweden, Estonia, Latvia and Spain. Paf is licensed and controlled by the local Åland government. More information can be found at www.paf.com.

About Us

Paf is a Nordic gaming company founded on Åland in 1966 to generate profit for the benefit of society. We were one of the very first gaming companies to go online in 1999. Many of our games are exclusive to Paf and developed by our in-house Games Studio. We are an award-winning industry leader in responsible gaming. Our physical gaming operations include over 30 cruise ships criss-crossing the Baltic and North Seas. Paf has roughly 400 employees representing over 30 nationalities. Our offices are located on Åland, in Helsinki, Stockholm, Riga, Tallinn, Oslo, Norrköping and Madrid. Paf (Ålands Penningautomatförening) is licensed and controlled by the Government of Åland. In 2019, the Paf Group had a total turnover of 114.2 million euros and a profit of 25.6 million euros. More information at aboutpaf.com