• Wis Outdoor Explorer

American Birkebeiner

One of the things that I love about Wisconsin is that we are traditional. Our traditions represent who we are today and where we came from. One of those traditions is our love of winter events. From snowmobiling to ice fishing, we know how to make the most out of winter. We know how to have fun in winter and one of those fun traditions is the American Birkebeiner. Since 1973, this cross-country skiing race has had thousands of people, both elite and causal skiers, enjoy the thrill of crossing the finish line of the Birkie. A little history lesson for you, and I pulled this from the Birkebeiner website so if you’re interested in learning more, there will be a link to their website. The Birkebeiner honors and re-creates a historic Norwegian event when in 1206, two warrior soldiers, called “Birkebeiners” because of the birch-bark leggings they wore, skied infant Prince Haakon to safety during the Norwegian civil war. Prince Haakon subsequently became King of Norway, and the Birkebeiner soldiers became a Norwegian symbol of courage, perseverance and character in the face of adversity. On this week’s podcast I’m talking to Ben Popp, Executive Director of the American Birkebeiner Ski Fountain. We talked about the 46th American Birkebeiner which kicks off February 20th and all the events that will take place leading up the big event. We also talked about the Birkebeiner trail and how you can get out and enjoy it even if you’re not a cross country skier.

I want to thank Ben for coming on the show and talking all things Birkebeiner. I’ll post links in the show notes to their website and Facebook page. The American Birkebeiner is something that’s unique to Wisconsin. It’s something that every Wisconsinite should experience at least once. I know it’s on my Bucket list and I hope you put it on yours as one of Wisconsin’s Outdoor Explorers.

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