Checking in With Grete Eliassen
Freeskier: Hey Grete, word on the street is you’re quite the summer traveler. Where are you now?
Grete Eliassen: I have been traveling a lot this summer, even with summer school. Right now I am sitting at my house in SLC, UT.
FS: How is the summer school? That’s the new trend in freeskiing these days…
GE: Well, I go to the University of Utah and we have trimesters so it makes it easy to take classes in the Fall/Summer and take off the spring semester. Summer school is hard because it is during the summer, but the classes are a little more laid back and you can get a lot more done in a small amount of time.
FS: It sounds like the trimesters also make it easy to travel in the summer. What’s on the horizon?
GE: I just finished up water ramping today at the O.T.C. (Olympic Training Center) in Park City. I saw “Lobster-Face” [Byron Wells], Blake Nyman, Kristi Leskinen, Taylor Felton, JP Solberg, AJ Burton, and some others today. On Tuesday I am headed to Iraq to go do some “Marilyn Monroe” stuff with the troops. I went to Afghanistan last year, so I am really excited about Iraq. Then I will be in SoCal, Minnesota, Mt. Hood, Argentina and then back to Utah by the end of August.
FS: Iraq? That’s pretty crazy. Are you scared of IEDs at all? And will you be singing like Marilyn on this adventure?
GE: Of course I am little scared, but I will try not to stray too far from the troops. Hopefully, I get to sing at some point while I am over there otherwise, I will just be “Bob Hope-ing” it up.
FS: You’ll be racking up those air miles this summer. How did your season go? Looks like your dipped off the radar a bit after your silver-medal performance at the X Games.
GE: Dipped off the radar? What do you mean?
FS: Whereas a lot of ladies went on competing all year, you headed into the backcountry.
GE: Yes! That is exactly what I did. After X Games I drove home to Utah with my skateboard/snowboard friend Lyn-z Adams Hawkins and she helped shuttle me up lines on my sleds. The week after X Games was so amazing in Utah we had so much fun. We filmed for my upcoming movie “Say My Name.” After that I headed to D.C. and lobbied Congress, did a lot more skiing in the back country after that, went to Wintergreen, VA and skied with the Southern Kidz at Freestyle, went to Jackson with snowboarders Jamie Anderson and Kimmi Fasani, Homecoming in PA “Spring Break!!,” more Utah, Oakley Fashion Week in NYC where I danced with Shawty Putt and Lil Jon. Queens Cup, Snowboarder’s Women’s Superpark at June Mtn. with my girls Marie-France Roy and skater Lauren Perkins, more skiing in the backcountry on sleds, and then some more skiing in the backcountry all the way till mid-May.
FS: Still busy, busy I notice. How is your movie project coming?
GE: My movie “Say My Name” is coming along really well. It is a two-year project and we are going into our second year of filming this season. Basically, the idea is getting all my friends together and making an amazing ski/snowboard movie out of it. So stay tuned!
FS: We will be waiting with bated breath for that premiere. With such a busy schedule, do you get any ‘Grete’ time?
GE: Oh, yes! That is my philosophy in life and my close friends know that if “G Time” does not happen I am not a happy camper. I went and visited my friend/snowboarder Marie-France Roy on Vancouver Island before school started in May and learned how to surf with her. In June, I went to Gretchen Bleiler & Chris Hotell’s wedding in Costa Rica. I like to call it “The Biggest Event in Snowboarding 2009” because so many people were at the wedding. We surfed, jungle safari-ed, ate termites, rope swinged, waterfall climbed, danced, swam, and everything you can think of doing in a tropical place like that. I have been to the family cabin in Minnesota on the lake as well a few times already this summer. That is where all the waterskiing, wakeboarding, surfing, wakeskating and sailing goes down.
FS: Even ‘Grete’ time sounds busy. What’s going on next winter? More filming? Plan to defend your silver at X again?
GE: Next year will be even more filming. But I am really excited, my crew has it pretty dialed now so we are good. I can not wait for X Games Slopestyle next year. Hopefully, this time we have a little better weather and I will not have to rake the jumps every other run.
FS: Any predictions on who will be giving you a run for your money at Slopestyle next year?
GE: Oh, there are some chickas getting good at park right now… Kaya Turski, Keri Herman, Meg Olenick, Kim Lamarre, Virginia Favre, Kristi Leskinen, Sarah Burke, Mille Windfeldt, Ashley Battersby, and lots of more ladies. It is cool to see.
FS: The women’s segment is definitely growing rapidly. Where would you like to take a film crew next year? Somewhere you haven’t been…
GE: I really want to get back into the Interior B.C. I had a glimpse of it last season when I went on an Oakley trip to Retallack and I was blown away.
FS: That is quite the popular spot. Who would you take on your trip, seeing as it’s your movie.
GE: I want to take snowboarders Marie-France Roy and Gretchen Bleiler sometime after the Olympics of course! If Ingrid Backstrom or Stina Jacobson could come, that would be ideal.
FS: Is there anything else going on with Grete these days? That is if you even have the time in your busy schedule.
GE: I am always updating my blog greteeliassen.com and tweeting like a mad-woman constantly at twitter.com/greteeliassen that is my new addiction. Of course! I am always finding the new jams. This is my playlist right now: “Night & Day” by Lloyd, “Birthday Sex” by Jerimiah ft. Stat Quo, “Best I Ever Had” by Drake ft. Nicki Minaj, “We Be Steady Mobbin” by Lil’ Wayne ft. Gucci Mane, “Thik and Fye” by Hot Stylz ft. Twista, “Boyfriend #2” by Pleasure P ft. Flo Rida, “Written On Her” by Birdman, “What Happened To The Groupies” by B-Legit ft. Too Short, and “Becky” by Plies.
FS: I was going to ask, any more rap performances in the near future, like when you and Trina were on stage.
GE: Lol… I can only hope : ) The Oakley girls are getting kind of wild these days. It seems as though if you have not recorded a rap yet you are lagging big time.
FS: I’m lagging big time, then. Random question, I know you don’t gamble, but should I put down $10 on red or black?
FS: Whoa, caps lock. I think we have pretty much covered all that is Grete Eliassen. Is there anything we’re forgetting?
GE: I checked out Woodward-at-Copper a couple weeks ago with Red Bull. That place is out of control! I have never done so many activities in my life in one day. I was sleeping at 8 p.m. every night and up at 7 a.m. ready to go. If you get a chance to go either this summer or next, you should do it!
FS: Duly noted. Any shout outs?
GE: I want to say Happy Birthday to my sister Kirsten who is now officially 18!! Thanks to my sponsors: Oakley, Red Bull, Head, Tyrolia, Tecnica, Dakine, Kicker, Nike 6.0, Swix, and of course the best ski resorts in the world Snowbird/Alta/Park City.