The American Birkebeiner has opened its annual contest to select the skiers who will portray the original Birkebeiner warriors, Torstein and Skervald, and the dutiful mother, Inga, in the 40th edition of the Nordic celebration.
The Birkie traces its roots to the valiant flight of the original Birkebeiners during the Norwegian civil war in 1206. Legend holds that the warriors carried Prince Haakon for 50 kilometers, from Lillehammer to Trondheim to save him from invaders. The prince’s mother, Inga, joined them on their heroic ski journey.
Each year, the American Bikebeiner features skiers recreating those roles…
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