Andreas Adde raises the bar for UAA alpine skiing

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Photo courtesy of UAA Athletic Department

Without question, the face of UAA Alpine Skiing belongs to sophomore Andreas Adde.

Adde, from Osteras, Norway, made quite an impact his freshman year, and is continuing to lift the bar for alpine skiers at UAA.

This ‘Wolf was the 2010 NCAA and RMISA (Rocky Mountain Intercollegiate Ski Association) champion in Slalom, as well as an All-American (SL & GS), and first team All-Conference.

Not a bad introduction to the program. His NCAA win last season made Adde the ninth Seawolf to win a title.

His slalom event in Steamboat Springs, Co last March was won with a time of 1:14.91. Adde is the second UAA skier to become a slalom champion.

A ninth place finish in the giant slalom, done in 1:14.91, was a good enough finish to give him All-American honors. Adde finished in first place three times last season, including one at the RMISA/West Regional Championships becoming the sixth Seawolf to obtain a victory since 2000, which contributed to the ‘Wolves best ever finish at RMISA, in second place.

These accomplishments just aren’t enough for him, however.

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“You always want something better than you had before,” Adde said.

This year, he is striving to become this year’s conference MVP and is looking for another national win.

“That would be awesome, but you never know what will happen,” Adde said. “I’m not saying I’m going to win it but I want to.”

Despite a slow start to training this year, Adde has already qualified for NCAA’s.

“It really is a weight lifted off my shoulders, I can just go out there and have fun,” Adde said.

“He can go 100 percent now every race now, which gives him a little freedom and allows him to go for the win every time,” said UAA Ski team Assistant Coach Sparky Anderson, whose main focus is the alpine skiers on the squad.

According to Adde, now it’s all about having a good time and relaxing as he cruises into the NCAA’s.

Photo courtesy of UAA Athletic Department

“I have being skiing nationally back home in Europe for a long time, and coming here to college racing is not easier, but the mental part is a lot less stressful,” Adde said.

This laid-back mindset is something Adde believes has contributed to his skiing improvements this season.

In November Adde broke his hand and didn’t start training again until the holiday break. However, he has had no problems or complications since and he has seen large improvements since last season.

“I started the season way better than last; I think our first race I was fifth and last year I was 24 or something,” Adde said. “I just feel so much more confident before the races.”

Before UAA, Adde was part of a private ski team called Edge, and was determined to make the national team.

“The national team didn’t work out, that’s why I came here,” Adde said. “I was going to school, my dad really wanted me to, and other schools didn’t offer me scholarships so I came here.”

Adde had been ranked 200 in the world in giant slalom and 275 in slalom.

Is it hard being a student athlete here in Alaska? The All-American knows all about the struggles of travel large distances but seems to accomplish it with ease. This year, the ski team will not compete at one meet here in Alaska, which means flying, something Adde is no stranger to, being a native of Norway.

“It’s not really hard being away from home, I like it here, “Adde said. “My mom is from America, so it feels kind of homey and Norway is a lot like Alaska, with the light, the climate, everything, but I do miss my friends and all that.”

Being a student-athlete hasn’t seemed to take a toll on this business administration major.

“I’m just a sophomore so my first year was pretty easy, but it’s starting to get harder,” Adde said. “Usually, it’s not a problem.”

Technically, Adde works on the same things as last year, and continues the season with more ease.

“The main thing for him now is tactics and challenging the line when possible.” Anderson said.

The UAA athlete doesn’t see himself the same way as the rest of UAA though.

“I don’t really have a season highlight yet this year, for me the coolest thing was getting to see Alex Parker (junior alpine skier) win giant slalom; that was awesome,” Adde said.

On the UAA ski team, Adde is a natural leader.

“He drives everyone to compete when we train, especially when we run full length with timing,” Anderson said.

Adde, however, is not the only ‘Wolf who deserves an honorable mention.

Recently, UAA Head Ski Coach Trond Flagstad and former nordic coach Bill Spencer, were honorably mentioned at the Feb. 2 Hall of Fame ceremony at West High School.

“Trond is an amazing guy,” Anderson said. “He has a lot on his plate and does a fantastic job balancing an enormous workload, a family, and being one of the best athletes in Alaska. He’s earned it.”

Also a native of Norway, Flagstad is in his seventh season as UAA’s head coach, and has produced 25 All-American athletes since joining the coaching staff in 2001.

In 2009 Flagstad’s team made history by finishing the NCAA championships in fourth place, a program best.