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    olympics

    Athlete profile: Ingeborg Helen Marken

    Posted: Tue February 3, 1998 at 5:00 PM ET

    Athlete information
    NameIngeborg Helen Marken
    CountryNorway
    PronouncedING-uh-bohrg MAHR-ken
    Age23
    Birthdate01/23/75
    BirthplaceEggedal, Norway
    ResidenceHunefoss, Norway
    Height/Weight5'6", 154
    EventsDownhill, Super G, Giant Slalom, Combined

    Athlete notes

    Two years ago at the World Cup Final in Lillehammer, Marken was part of one of the biggest days in Norwegian alpine ski history...Marken won her first World Cup Events just hours before men's teammate Lasse Kjus clinched the 1996 World Cup overall title..."That was nice," says Marken of her win in the Super G on a slope just three hours away from her hometown of Eggedal. "It's a good feeling. My whole family was there and we had a big party when we went home"...while Kjus and the other "Attacking Vikings" of the men's squad have moved towards the top of alpine skiing, Marken and the women may be poised to do the same...plagued last year by the aftereffects of back surgery, Marken did begin to regroup late in the season, finishing ninth at the Olympic downhill test Events in Hakuba and fourth in a March Super G race in Vail...she earned the first downhill podium of her career this December, finishing third in a sprint downhill at Val d'Isère...still, the Super G remains her best Events..."I like Super G better but I like them both," says Marken. "I've been skiing Super G longer than downhill, maybe that's why"...primarily a speed skier, she is also a technically sound, having finished second in the World Cup combined standings in 1996 and second at a 1995 World Cup combined Events in St. Anton...still, she acknowledges that her technical training is mainly to help her with her technical skiing on the steep parts of downhill and Super G courses..."I'm struggling a little bit right now in GS," she says. "I really just use it to get better at Super G because I like flat courses better than steep slopes. I'll try to do the combined but I haven't had too much time to train for it (the slalom)"...when discussing her goals for the season, Marken wishes to deemphasize the Olympics and concentrate more on skiing consistently..."First I am not looking for the Olympics," she says. "I am trying to make every race better than the one before. I want to be in the first group in the downhill and Super G and to get into the top 10 as often as possible in these events"...though still only 23, and with three finishes on the podium in hand, Marken believes she needs to become even more aggressive to crack the top more consistently..."My fighting spirit is not so good," she candidly points out. "I'm trying to get more guts to come down and trust myself"...Marken first strapped on the skis when she was four years old...she and her twin sister Anne Kristi (AH-nah KREE-stee) started as cross-country skiers in nordic-wild Norway...Ingeborg Helen did both until she was 14 before deciding to compete only in alpine...she joined the national team four years later...Ingeborg Helen and Anne Kristi also have an older sister, Lillian...their father, Ivar, works in a power company and their mother, Ingrid, works as a social worker with the elderly...Ingeborg Helen currently lives with her boyfriend in Hunefoss...her first skiing hero was last year's men's Super G champion Åtle Skårdal but her role model is former Norwegian president Gro Harlem Bruntland (GREW HAR-lem BROONT-lahnd), who is female...Marken's hobbies include reading, going to the movies, and playing the tuba...Ingeborg is her first name, Helen her middle name, but she says, "You can call me Helen. I think it's easier"...Marken speaks English very well...



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