Three Wausau Skiers’ Pledge to Honor Birkebeiner Legacy During the American Birkebeiner

Hayward, WI (February 2022) – The American Birkebeiner Ski Foundation has selected three cross-country skiers to depict the two Birkebeiner Warriors and Inga, the mother of baby Prince Haakon, an homage to the 48th American Birkebeiner Ski Marathon race’s roots.

On February 26, 2016, Wausau residents Beth and Jon Oestreich, and Mike Cavanaugh, will portray Inga and Birkebeiner warriors, Skervald and Torstein respectively. The trio will reenact the historic flight on wooden skis in full costume along the entire 55K classic cross-country course.

The threesome will be ambassadors on the trail, encouraging both skiers and volunteers along the course route. They will be at multiple events throughout the weekend, including the Barkie Birkie on Thursday, February 24 and the Junior Birkie on Friday, February 25.

During the Birkebeiner, the warriors will carry a baby doll along the course until Main Street where they will pick up a real infant, Prince Haakon, before skiing the last two blocks with Inga to the finish line. The portrayal is a true celebration of the roots, legacy, and traditions of the race.

Beth Oestreich said “I have always enjoyed everything about the Birkie lifestyle. This includes spending time in the beautiful woods which are the Birkie trails and the great community of people I have been fortunate to spend that time with. I’m proud to be able to represent the Birkie as Inga this year to spread the joy of the Birkie lifestyle to others.”  The 2022 Inga and Warriors have enjoyed many positive interactions and conversations with people who have discovered their role in this year’s 48th American Birkebeiner.

Each February more than 10,000 cross country skiers gather in Cable and Hayward, Wisconsin to take part in North America’s largest and greatest ski race. To date, more than 250,000 skiers have finished Birkie ski events. Nearly 45,000 spectators and skiers gather for the Nordic sports festivities and in celebration of the courage, perseverance, character, and determination of the Birkebeiner warriors, the “Birkies.”

About the American Birkebeiner® Ski Foundation and Birkie® Events Located near Hayward and Cable, Wisconsin, the American Birkebeiner Ski Foundation, a 501(c)(3) organization, is known for its signature American Birkebeiner Ski Marathon held each February. Today, the Birkie brand has grown to over 45 different events spread over 13 different weekends and to encompass a year-round lifestyle that provides healthy, active events for thousands of outdoor fitness enthusiasts of all levels.

Posted February 16, 2022 at 3:35 pm