Friday, February 5, 2010

Ski for Light: The Eikevik Connection

As I mentioned yesterday, I had the opportunity to interview Leif Eikevik, grandson of former Supreme President and Ski for Light Founder Bjarne Eikevik.

Even though the Ski for Light has been a major part of his family, and vice versa, this year was Leif’s first time as attending and being a guide for a visually impaired skier. When we spoke, we discussed a number of different topics, from his family connection to his experience as a guide.

Leif told me that he had heard about Ski for Light for years from his grandparents when he’d stay overnight at their house. His father, who guided skiers until the mid-80’s, also was a huge proponent of the race. He would tell Leif about the ski event and its importance because it helps others gain some amazing experiences.

I asked Leif if this familial connection played a part in his participating this year. His response was overwhelmingly affirmative, in that he wanted to carry on the Eikevik legacy and the long-standing family tradition. In addition, Leif told me that he wanted to participate as a Ski for Light guide this year because he felt it would help him understand his father and grandfather better. Even though they are gone, Leif believed that having a shared or common experience with them was a rare opportunity that many people don’t get.

As for the guiding experience itself, Leif indicated that he had learned a lot, and admitted he had even more to learn, from long-time guides and skiers. His experience so far has included “lots of communication with my skiing partner, learning to say enough without saying too much and working in constant tandem.” Above all, he’s having a great time in Utah with the other participants.

Big thanks to Leif for taking time to chat with me.

Now, tomorrow or Saturday there will be more posts from the 2010 Ski for Light, maybe some photos and video, too, so keep checking back for more!

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