Getting to Know: Grete Eliassen

Gold medal winner Anna Segal (L) of Australia and silver medal winner Grete Eliassen (R) of Salt Lake City, Utah talk to the media during their press conference following the Women's Ski Slopestyle at Winter X Games 13 on Buttermilk Mountain on January 24, 2009 in Aspen, Colorado. (Photo by: Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)

Grete Eliassen is one of the best free skiers in the world. A six-time X Games medalist, she is tied with Sarah Burke and Ophelie David for the most among female skiers. The 25-year-old Salt Lake City resident, also a member of the WSF Athlete Advisory Panel member, will be joining us next week to lobby on Capitol Hill in honor of National Girls and Women in Sports Day. We caught up with Grete at our Annual Salute to Women in Sports in October to learn more about her life off the slopes.

1. If you could be an Olympian/World Champion/Professional athlete in any other sport than your own, what sport would that be? 

     Golf

2. Who is your hero? In ten words or less, tell us why. 

  Suzy Chafee -- former Olympic alpine ski racer.

3. You’ve just finished your biggest competition of the year. With what food or dessert do you reward yourself for all your hard work and training? 
    
    Cupcakes. 

4. Everyone has that one song on their iPod that they would be embarrassed to share. What is yours? 

    All of the country songs I have.

5. What advice would you give to your 14-year-old self? 
    
    Keep it up! It will all be worth it in the end.

6. There is a fire blazing inside your house. What one item do you grab to take with you? 

    My computer -- I am very bad at backing up.

7. What quote do you live by? 

   "Have fun every day!" -- Grete Eliassen

8. Scariest moment in your career? Most thrilling/rewarding/proudest moment in your career? 
    
    Most thrilling: setting the hip jump world record.    

9. You’re allowed to spend one day as your favorite television character of all-time. Who are you? 

    Clarissa from Clarissa Explains It All.

10. When did you realize you had extra-special athletic abilities? 

     At age three, when I went of my first ski jump.   

11. Were you ever the victim of bullying or peer pressure? How did you handle the difficult situation?

     Yes, but I just kept my focus on skiing.

12.What is the best thing about being an accomplished, elite athlete? The worst? 

    Best: All the people I get to meet.
    Worst: Always having to travel. 

13. Top three things on your bucket list? 

    1. Go to Space
    2. Be a ski mom
    3. Learn to surf well

14. Favorite thing about your sport. Favorite thing about being a female athlete? 

    About free ski: Playing in the snow

15. If you could solve a social issue, what issue/need/concern would it be? 

     Gender equality.
    
16. In 10 words or less, why are sports (physical activity) so important for girls to participate in? 

    Sports give you the freedom to do what you want.

17. Complete this sentence: “The Women’s Sports Foundation is important because:” 

    Because female athletes need a voice.

18. What’s your next goal in sports, in life? 

    To make the 2014 Olympic team and to always keep smiling!

Learn more about Grete in her full bio here.

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