Hayward, Wisc. (January 25, 2024) – The American Birkebeiner Ski Foundation proudly announces the selection of Kirsten Sandman, Todd Sandman, and Craig Hokanson, to portray the iconic figures of Inga & the Warriors during the 50th-anniversary Birkie celebration, February 21–24, 2024. The trio hails from the Cumberland Area Timberland Hills ski area in Barron County, Wisc.

The legacy of the American Birkebeiner is deeply rooted in Norwegian History when in 1206 Norway, amid civil war, the historic trio rescued baby Prince Haakon, the future king of Norway, and skied him to safety. Each year, a group of three skiers is selected to reenact the historic flight of Inga, Prince Haakon’s mother, and the Birkebeiner warriors, Torstein and Skjervald, and to act as goodwill ambassadors throughout Birkie week. Sandman, Sandman, and Hokanson, will ski the Birkie classic racecourse in wooden skis and in full-period costumes, engaging with skiers and spectators along the way. True to history, Todd and Kirsten Sandman will ski on Norwegian made wooden skis.

The Timberland Hills trio is deeply connected to the Birkie mission of trail stewardship and promoting an active lifestyle for all. Todd Sandman, a former hockey player turned cross-country skier, has completed an impressive 19 Birkie races, while his wife, Kirsten, is an avid cross-country skier, road biker, and marathon runner. Craig Hokanson, a member of the Cumberland Area Ski Touring Association, has transitioned from a novice skier to a seasoned participant in multiple Birkie events.

In a special twist, Craig Hokanson’s 12-month-old grandson, Torin Hokanson, will portray baby Prince Haakon adding a familial touch to the historic representation. The Timberland Hills trio is poised to make the 50th-anniversary Birkie Week celebration a memorable and inspiring experience for participants and spectators alike. Visit www.Birkie.com for details on this historic Birkie week celebration.

Posted January 25, 2024 at 2:45 pm