Name: Anne Molin Kongsgaard
Country of citizenship: Norway
Sponsors: Burton, Oakley, Nixon, Sobe
Stance: Regular. Twenty-one degrees front, negative-six back, and 52.5 centimeters wide.
Hometown: Kongsberg, Oslo
Home mountain: Kongsberg
Years riding: 8
U.S. arrival: ’94
Describe a winter’s day at your home mountain.
I always tell people it’s like riding the East Coast, at least where I’m from. For me, it’s always fun to just come home and ride with my old friends.
What was your first setup?
How did you get noticed?
I was sick of school and took a few weeks off to cruise around the States with a couple of friends of mine. We were riding Bear one day when I met some guys from EVOL. I remember going down to San Diego, and they hooked me up with all the goods. When I came back home, I did a few Nationals and got on the Norwegian team.
Who’s the crew you rode with back then?
When I started riding, we had this big crew that was always there, no matter what the conditions were like. I remember them always helping me out, pushing me to do stuff. There were barely any girls riding back then, Stine Kjeldaas was probably the only one at my mountain. Now it changed. When I come home these days, I hardly know anyone.
How important are athletics in Norway?
There’s a saying-“Norwegians are born with skis on their feet”-which isn’t far from the truth. I think, compared to other countries and cultures, sports and athletics are a big part of our daily life.
Who were your heroes as a kid?
He-Man and Sheera.
Which past Scanners have influenced you?
I don’t think any of them have influenced my style, but riding with Arild (Brun Kjeldaas), Roger (Hjelmstadstuen), Thomas (Harstad), Kjersti (Buass), Daniel (Franck)-they have definitely taught me a lot.
What American riders do you like watching?
There are so many-Keir (Dillon), BJ (Leines), Peter Line, Kevin Jones.
Who helped you out when you first left home?
I went to California with two of my friends, Arild was one of them. I guess we all took care of each other.
Did the language barrier scare you?
Sometimes it was hard to express my feelings about something-and sometimes it still is. I grew up watching American cartoons on TV, listening to music even though I had no idea what they were talking about. In Norway, we don’t dub TV or movies, they use subtitles-I think that helped a lot. But, it took me a while to figure out the V and W.
What’s been the hardest thing to adjust to in America?
There’re a few things, like not bringing my ID to dinner or the grocery store, but I’m getting better at it.
What do you see as the main differences between U.S. and Scandinavia/Finland?
The U.S. is a mix of different cultures and religions. There are only 4.5-million people living in Norway, and we have kings and queens-but we don’t have Hollywood.
What really bothers you about the States?
Customs. I’m always scared of not making it through and having to fly all the way back home. Which means twenty hours on a plane for no reason-and I’m also scared of flying.
When traveling, do you seek out others from your area to hang with?
Most of the time I find myself the only Scanner in the group. But lately, it looks like more and more are spending time over in the States. Of course, it’s nice to speak Norwegian once in a while, but it’s not like I go out there and look for Norwegians to hang with.
Do you still live in Scandinavia?
I spend most of my time in the States, but it’s always good to come home and spend time with friends and family.
Who are your picks for up-and-coming Scanners?
Bjoern Mortensen, Daniel Mikkelsen, and Mikkel Bang.