Girl On: Grete EliassenJan 04 2007 / Los Angeles, CA
Grete Eliassen is living her dream; With back to back X-games gold medals in the women’s superpipe, 3 straight first place finishes in the U.S Open slopestyle competition, and rail jam accolades that include a first place finish in the 2005 Gravity Games, Grete has proven she can do it all. On the hill, Grete’s versatility, smooth style, and fearlessness have catapulted her to the top of the women’s freeskiing world in both competition and film performances. Off the hill, she’s a full-time student at the University of Utah, busy studying for finals as she gets ready for another winter of filming and competition. Grete’s older brother, Knut Eliassen, is a pro snowboarder, and I can only imagine following him around the mountain and off jumps laid the foundation for Grete’s relaxed style in the air.
Born in Minnesota and raised in Norway, Grete grew up ski racing under artificial lights during Norway’s dark winters. Since then skiing has taken her around the world. From Europe to Japan, North America to New Zealand, Grete’s passport has gotten a heavy workout in the last few years and she’s loving every minute of it. At twenty years of age, with her Scandanavian good looks, big name sponsors like Oakley, and pure skiing talent, Grete is fast becoming a superstar in the sport of skiing…I wonder if her English professor knows that?
Lat34: I know you lived in Norway...what are the winters like there? And how did you entertain yourself when it was dark all the time?
GE: Since some parts of Norway are either in the artic circle or very close, our winters are very dark. I remember walking to and from school in darkness and being inside all day when it was light out. However, Norway is lucky because almost every resort has night skiing. So you can still be outside and enjoy skiing, even though its dark. So its not that hard to be entertained. It's slightly depressing not being out in the sun for a while, but everyone gets by. And during the summer its sun all the time you can play golf at 2 am. My experience was nothing compared to my cousins who live up in Hammerfest. They live in complete darkness all winter long, now that's weird!
Lat34: If you had to chose which would it be, Scandanavian or American guys...or neither? Why or why not?
GE: Well my boyfriend is American.
Lat34: Any war wounds from skiing? What was the most humbling moment for you skiing wise?
GE: The war wounds that I always see are the scars on my hands from tuning my skis. Wear gloves! I think everyday I’m able to ski is humbling to me, not everyone gets to enjoy the mountains like I get to on a daily basis, I feel very fortunate.
Lat34: Your favorite part about traveling all over the world snowboarding, are there any downsides to all the travel?
GE: There are a lot of downsides, but there are way more upsides making up for it, so in the end you can't complain. I would have to say Economy Seating on over-seas flights are the worst, and the whole baggage weight limit, that just annoys me. I'll physically put my ski-bag on the airplane and take it off if they want me to.
Lat34: How about your favorite place to visit? Describe your dream vacation?
GE: I've already experienced so many dream vacations, but I always love going somewhere hot with good people. Japan was amazing, the culture over there just blew me away
Lat34: I heard you were going to college at the University of Utah, how's college life treating you? Do you have a major yet?
GE: I'm a full-time student of the University of Utah. College life is great, I'm so glad I'm not missing this. I know a lot of people who are missing this, but they are focused on other things right now, and they can always come back, but I just couldn't wait. I'm undecided on a major, but this fall I was studying Chinese, which is another dream of mine.
Lat34: What's your schedule looking like this winter? Any trips or comps you're really excited about?
GE: Well on Dec. 14th I'm done with school then it's strait to Aspen for some training and lifestyle photo shoots with Oakley, then Xmas in Arizona with my mom, then I train some more, then I compete & giv'er!, then I ski some more.
Lat34: And what's this I hear about your signature ski with a male model on it? Who the model and why did you chose him?
GE: Yes it's called the ARW aka. G.E. Beefcake. I look at my skis all day long and so do the other people sitting the chair with me, it's a great conversation starter and it just entertains people. As long as guys don't take it as male discrimination I feel good about it. I like to laugh about things, and that ski sure makes me laugh.
GE: Oakley, Armada, Red, Dakine, Tecnica, Snowbird/Alta/Park City, Skull Candy Headphones, Windells Ski Camp, Swix.