10 Minutes with Grete
In her 10-day summer vacation between summer school sessions, 21 year-old ski phenom Grete Eliassen came down to Southern California to join JJ Thomas, Tara Dakides and a few other rockstars in a Sports Chalet photo shoot. Before the X Games gold medalist headed back to Minnesota, she hit up an Angels game with Oakley and filled us in on what’s up in the world of Grete…
What have you been doing this summer?
Inside, studying! I finished the first summer school term last Friday and I start again on [August] 20th. I took business calculus.
No, I liked it! I got an A! I know, me, an A in math? My teacher was so good I really loved coming to class. I also took photography. I developed in the dark room—I had never done that before so that was cool. And then Jazz and Astronomy. I kind of think it’s useless information, but whatever, knowing all the constellations is cool. And I got to go to all the star parties!
Does having to study all summer when all your ski buddies are shredding in New Zealand and Chile bum you out?
I’m actually having a really great time this summer. My roommates in Salt Lake are fun to be around. Sometimes we study, sometimes we party. But mostly we study. It’s easy with no one around. It’ll be Friday night and we’ll be like, “Well, I guess we’ll just study!”
All my friends are in New Zealand—I just can’t fit it in. But being excited to ski helps me in the long run. By not getting worn out, I’m always wanting to try new things. Give me two days to train, I’ll be fine!
What do you want to do?
I’m majoring in Sports Law. I want to do business contracts and help people in the field.
But I have another two plus years…anything could happen.
Are you still liking Salt Lake?
It’s great. It has everything. Everyone is moving out—companies, ski industry people—everyone. Michelle Parker wants to move to my neighborhood.
Plus, [University of] Utah is perfect for me. The semester system is perfect for skiing. Right when skiing starts, the spring semester starts, which I don’t take.
You’re so close with your family—has it been hard to see them less and less with you getting so busy?
Yeah. I just saw them for the first time since Easter. I used to hang out with my family all the time—whenever I had a break from skiing, I’d go visit. Now I go to school. But my mom got a house in Minnesota next to my grandma’s house so it’s nice when I got back. It’s tough…when you get older.
I just think that’s how it goes.
You’re off to Minnesota tomorrow. What do you do when you’re up there?
I just put my suit on and never take it off. I play tennis and golf, but mostly we just hang out on the dock. We wakeskate and wakeboard. I like to surf behind the boat.
Have you tried surfing in the ocean?
I tried once in Oregon. I did not like it at all. I ended up putting myself in the surf bag to get warm after! No, I’m sure I’d love it if I tried it in warm, friendly water.
How was the photo shoot yesterday?
It was fun; a good time. Fun to hang out with JJ Thomas. We drove around and ended up at a studio and there were all these other snowboarders, like Tara… We put on a bunch of winter clothes in middle of August and pretended it was cold out and took some photos!
Plans for fall/early winter?
I might go hit the water ramp. If it’s like last year [with no snow in Utah early-season], I’ll go to CO. But I would love to stay at Snowbird and ski pow.
I want to go skiing so bad right now. After putting ski boots on yesterday, I’m ready!
Goals for the winter?
All I want to do is ski pow. I seriously skied one powder day in Utah last year. I was so upset. I just had to keep busy with contests. I’m really hoping it’s gonna be a good year. This year I think I will skip out on a lot of contests. I haven’t really decided yet—I’ll go to the ones I think are fun. But I just want to ski pow.
How was the baseball game?
It was great. It was Angels vs. Red Sox. As soon as I got there, I bought an Angels hat. You know, you gotta have a hat. There were so many Boston fans. It was so funny, we listened to the national anthem, sang Take Me Out to the Ballgame. I don’t think anyone we went with was paying attention but me.
Single or attached?
Right now I’m single. It’s great and I like it and it’s good for me. I have my lake boys.
My Grandma calls ‘em my lake boys—just the boys I hang out with up in Minnesota. We went to church the other day…my grandma made me get up at 8. As soon as I get there, my mom takes my hand and brings me over to another mom who says “Meet my son…” That’s my life up there—hanging at the lake, going to church and meeting boys…