The ambitious athlete is competing at the international level not only in cross-country skiing, but also in mountain biking, and is a part of the Norwegian junior national team for both sports.
“I really love cross-country skiing, and I really love cycling, and I am just as serious about both of them. So far, I have been able to combine the two, and I feel like they compliment each other nicely. The training I do for cycling transfers well to skiing, and vice versa,” Helene says.
Ahead of schedule
Helene is only a second-year junior, but she routinely beat skiers who are among the top 10 at the World Cup level.
Her first season at the junior level, Helene won nearly everything in her age category. This year she took home two individual silver medals and a gold medal from the relay at the 2019 FIS Nordic Junior World Championships. Matched with World Cup level skiers, Helene routinely places among the top 10, and the 17-year-old is considered one of the biggest talents in women’s skiing.
At the same time, Helene is dominating the national and Scandinavian mountain bike races, and on the podium international races, the youth version of the mountain bike world cup. The first weekend of May, she rode faster than the 2016 Olympic gold medalist Jenny Rissveds in mountain biking during the Rye Bike Festival in Oslo, Norway.
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This summer, Helene hopes to represent Norway at the UCI Junior World Championships in mountain biking, which takes place in Mont-Sainte-Anne, Canada, at the end of August. A month prior to that, Helene is also training hard for the international Blink Summer Ski festival in Sandnes, which routinely features a start list as deep and tough as a World Cup race.
While performing at the international level in both cross-country skiing and cycling means a packed race schedule year-round, Helene doesn’t see a reason to quit one in favor of the other. She just has to be smarter about planning.
“I always look ahead and focus on the next important events. The UCI races last week were big and the UCI Junior World Series race (the youth equivalent to the World Cup) in Nove Mesto, Czech Republic, in the end of May June is important, but after that, I will switch to more roller skiing and running in the time leading up to the Blink Summer Ski festival in the end of July,” Helene explains.
However, racing is not the only arena where Helene aims to perform. She also takes her studies seriously.
“School is the most important, and always has the priority. If I have a lot of exams and papers, I will just postpone my workouts so I have enough time to study. I try to plan ahead and be on top of my work, but sometimes I skip a race in order to have more time to prepare for a test. There will always be more races, but you don’t easily get to redo a bad exam,” Helene says.
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