Meet the Board introduces the Board of Directors of the Nordic Ski Club of Fairbanks to NSCF members and the general public. This Q and A article features Olivia Karns, who joined the board earlier this season. Olivia is serving as a member-at-large. She is the daughter of former NSCF President Kent Karns.
Where did you grow up?
I was born and raised right here in Fairbanks.
When and why did you move to Fairbanks? What do you like about living in Fairbanks?
After high school I moved to Minnesota for college. I spent the better part of the next ten years in the lower 48. My husband, originally from South Dakota, finished his professional training this past summer, and we were so excited to have the opportunity to move back to Fairbanks. I love this warm and resourceful community. We are lucky to have so many different and intersection trail systems in town and great access to mountains and all kinds of other outdoor adventures. At this point in my life, I have lived quite a few different places, but Fairbanks has always been home.
How long have you been a cross-country skier? What do you remember about first learning to ski?
I think my parents put skies on me shortly after I could walk. I came through the Junior Nordics Program (back then it was brand new!) Weller Ski Club, and the Lathrop High School Ski Team. My senior year of high school, I participated in the inaugural year of FXC– I think there were six full time athletes on the Comp Team that year. After high school I skied for Gustavus Adolphus College.
When I was a kid, what I loved most about skiing was playing games and chatting with my friends. It wasn’t until I was a teenager that I really began to appreciate practicing technique.
What do you like about cross- country skiing?
There are so many things I love about cross-country skiing. I love how quiet it is when you are skiing alone, and how you can just appreciate the beautiful trees, snow and the gift of movement. I love that, even though I have been skiing for a long time, I can always continue improving my technique. One of the things I have always loved (especially this year) is seeing other people at the trails–friends, acquaintances, and strangers– having fun with friends and family outdoors!
Why did you choose to serve on the NSCF Board of Directors?
NSCF did so much for me as a youth growing up in various programs–from volunteers, to coaches to board members. I was also proud to be a skier from Fairbanks, where the people were great, the trails unrivaled, and the races put on at a high level. I am really proud of the strong tradition and reputation the club has, and I hope to keep it going!
What do you do in your non-NSCF life?
Outside of NSCF, I am a lawyer, which I really enjoy. I also like running, hiking, and going on adventures with my dog and my husband!