Helene Olafsen started snowboarding after receiving a board for Christmas when she was seven years old. As a present for her 24th birthday, which comes five days after the snowboard cross competition in Sochi, she’d like an Olympic gold medal.
The Norwegian standout has won medals, including one gold, at all three of her world championships appearances but crashed out of the Vancouver Olympic final, finishing fourth. She missed the entire 2011-12 season with a knee injury but has been one of the best riders on the circuit this season and could challenge for gold in Sochi.
- 2014 X Games, Aspen - bronze
- 2013-14 World Cup, Lake Louise - 3rd
- 2013-14 World Cup, Montafon - 3rd
- 2013-14 World Cup, Vallnord #1 - 5th
- 2013-14 World Cup, Vallnord #2 - 7th
- 2013 World Championships - 3rd
- 2010 World Cup standings - 2nd
- 2010 Vancouver Olympics - 4th
- 2010 X Games, Aspen - silver
- 2009 World Cup standings - 6th
- 2009 World Championships - 1st
- 2009 X Games, Aspen - silver
- 2008 World Cup standings - 5th
- 2007 World Cup standings - 4th
- 2007 World Championships - 3rd
Things to know:
- She will turn 24 years old five days after the women’s snowboard cross competition.
- At age 14, she started attending a special sports high school in Oslo. While there wasn’t a snowboard class, it was still what she calls a positive experience. In her class of sports misfits were nordic athletes, fencers, cross-country skiers and some track and field athletes. She was at the school in 2006 when the Torino Games were being held, and she gathered with her classmates to watch the events on television. "I thought the course looked terrifying, but I was already thinking I should be there in four years," she says.
- She played handball growing up.