Grete Crowned Ullr Girl
Whistler Blackcomb’s search for the Ullr Girl ended at the TELUS World Ski & Snowboard’s Playstation Big Air on Saturday April 21 when skier Grete Eliassen was awarded the champions title. Crowned with a Viking helmet befitting a mountain goddess and awarded with a check for $25,000, Grete Eliassen has capped off an incredible contest season. The Minnesota native dominated over a field of 14 skiers and snowboarders in the resort’s girls-only contest based upon online votes, a park event, a big mountain event, and an arts and culture presentation.
“I’ve never won this much money before and I know how blessed I am to have been given this opportunity,” says Eliassen. “I’ve decided that I want to give back and will be donating the entire prize purse to charity.”
Last weekend the girls displayed their park skills in the TWSSF Stompede arena, while on Monday Ullr’s Unleashed Event at the Glacier Shop the girls expressed themselves a diverse array of talents to a packed house. Standout performances included snowboarder Bev Vuilleumier rapping as the Notorious B.E.V., a beautiful Chinese song Grete and an old school dance performance with photo slideshow by snowboarder Dominique Vallee.
“The Ullr was a woman’s contest that was amazing because it gave skiers and snowboarders the chance to hang out and have fun together. I made so many new friends throughout the week,” says Grete. “The best thing was the Ullr Unleashed art show, it really broke everyone out of their shells as they displayed many different talents.”
To cap the Ullr events, Wednesday saw the girls putting their big mountain skills to the test on Blackcomb Mountain’s Chainsaw Ridge, home to the infamous Couloir Extreme and False Face, one of the steepest skiable faces at any North American Resort.
Whistler Blackcomb posted 442 online profiles from girls all over North America seeking the Ullr Girl title, www.ifullrwasagirl.com, the site generated on average of 660 user sessions per day with 20 page views per session.
During the on-mountain events, skiers and snowboarders were judged by different judging panels and ranked separately. All four-event categories carried equal weight and the finalists were awarded points for their ranking in each event. The grand prize winner in the open category and in the amateur category were the two athletes who accumulated the most points after all four categories were totaled.
“At only 20 years old, this is a huge amount of money to donate to a cause,” says Liesl Holtz, Grete’s Oakley Sports Marketing Manager. “She plans on splitting her winnings among the Women’s Sports Foundation, the organization that promotes women in sports and is responsible for lobbying for, and securing, equal winnings for men and women in the 2007 X Games; the Stand Strong Again organization, a group that was developed in 2005 to fund research of spinal cord injuries after Lars Veen, a close friend of Grete’s, was paralyzed during a ski training accident; and an undisclosed hunger relief organization. Oakley is tremendously proud of Grete in her accomplishment this past week and her choice in donating the entire prize money purse to such worthy organizations.”