Grete Eliassen is an American-Norwegian freestyle skier and a two-time X Games gold winner. The name Grete is pronounced like Feta. She is set to compete “slopestyle” in the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi.
Grete Eliassen was born in Minnesota to an American mother and a Norwegian father. When she was two, she began skiing. When she was five, she moved to Norway for a year. When she returned, she was active in a variety of sports, including hockey, soccer, baseball and skiing. At thirteen, she moved to Lillehammer, Norway and decided to pursue a skiing career. She turned pro at 17.
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Her role model in the sport, she said, was her mother. “She taught me how to ski. My mom would always go off jumps and just do the biggest spread-eagle ever, so I would just try to go bigger than her.”
It was in Norway that Grete Eliassen was named the Norwegian SL National Champion. She was then selected to join the Norwegian Ski Team. She quit ski racing, however, because “it wasn’t fun for me anymore. I love powder, I love getting air.”
In 2010, starred in a ski film called “Say My Name.” It was during filming that she broke the Hip Jump World Record. She sped at almost 60 mph downhill and soared more than 31 feet in the air. As of this posting, no woman has broken it.
As for the Olympics, Grete Eliassen said, “It is like my Super Bowl every four years. I can turn it on and I don’t care what it is – cross-country skiing, alpine racing or gymnastics – I just love seeing women’s sports.” As for her career, she said, “I’ve seen it grow from such a little thing…I was the only girl in my terrain park, now I see girls in there every day, which is amazing.”
Grete Eliassen resides in Salt Lake City and in 2013 graduated from the University of Utah with a business marketing degree. When not skiing, she likes waterskiing and wakeboarding.