The Lapp people of northern Scandinavia have been herding reindeer for a very long time. And just as the native people of Alaska have incorporated modern tools to fish, hunt, and work more efficiently, so have the people of Lappland. Reindeer are central to Sami culture and lifestyle, and they must be herded from place to place as the seasons change. During the spring migration, this work is typically done with snowmachines. But the treeless arctic landscape makes for great spring crust skiing, and we all know how fast and far we can go on a pair of skate skis on a good crust.
Aslak Ole Eira is from Karasjok in Finnmark. He's the UAA Ski Team's newest recruit. He's a fast ski racer. He's also a proficient skate-ski reindeer herder. I'll let you read this article for yourself, but basically Aslak says that he prefers to herd reindeer on skis instead of on a snowmachine whenever conditions allow. Not for the training, but for the experience. It gives him time to think and relax.
This won't be Aslak's first time to Alaska. He has been here before. He competed in Fairbanks a couple years ago when the Arctic Winter Games came to town. He won three golds and a silver - not too shabby!
Welcome to our team, Aslak Ole Eira!
(By the way, Aslak is also a Norwegian reality TV star, and is known as "Norway's second-toughest man".)