As soon as I arrived at college in Wyoming in 1987, I started hearing lots of stories about the all the great things that had happened there in the years just before I arrived. Isn't it always like that, though? You should have seen the huge fish we caught yesterday! That party you missed was totally insane! We won all the ski races last year! You know, that kind of stuff.
It may have been because I found a pair of left-behind ski poles in the ski room that had the name "Grethe Lise" written on them that were a better model than mine so I made them my own, but it seemed all the stories I was hearing were centered around Grethe Lise Hågensen. And they were great stories! But Grethe Lise had gone back to Norway so I assumed I'd never meet the person whose ski poles I was using.
Many years later, when I started helping out with the UAA Ski Team, Grethe Lise had become the coach at Montana State so I started seeing her frequently. In 2005, I spent some time around Christmas in Bozeman and met Grethe Lise's daughter, Bjørk, though she would never remember it because she was only seven or eight years old then.
Last week, Andrew told me that Bjørk has agreed to become a Seawolf this fall! After finishing high school in Bozeman, she spent last winter training and racing in Tromsø, Norway, and finished her season with a couple of gold medals at the Barents Winter Games in Murmansk, Russia.
I'm looking forward to getting to know Bjørk Hågensen, and we welcome her to Alaska as the final installment in this year's UAA Ski Team women's roster!
|Bjork is the one in the middle.|