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2010 Birkie T-Shirt design contest winner

Mon, Sep  14, 2009 - By Cherie Morgan

Birkie t-shirtHAYWARD, Wis., September 9, 2009 – The American Birkebeiner Ski Foundation (ABSF) has determined a winner of the Birkie T-Shirt Design Contest for the 2010 event. The winning t-shirt design will be the featured retail t-shirt for the event.

“We created the t-shirt design contest for the 2010 event as a way to allow artists and those who love the Birkie a creative way to participate in the event,” said Ned Zuelsdorff, Executive Director of the American Birkebeiner Ski Foundation.

“More than 25 people submitted designs and the panel of judges had a very difficult time determining the winner,” said Zuelsdorff. “There were so many excellent submissions that it was really hard to pick just one.”

“The winning design reflects the ‘Live the Birkie’ lifestyle by focusing on the outdoors and on the skate and classic skiing techniques,” said Zuelsdorff. “Andy Wood, our winning designer, really captured the spirit of the trail and the event.”

Andy Wood of Lakeville, Minnesota plans to ski his first Birkie this year. He is registered for the 54K Birkie Classic.

How is someone skiing his first Birkie able to capture the essence of the event? For Wood, cross country skiing has been a part of his life since he was three years old. He grew up skiing in Durango, Colorado, and competed in several Junior National Competitions. After high school he decided to continue his skiing career by moving to Duluth, Minnesota, to ski with the elite team Gitchi Gummi Sports Association, coached by Nikolai Anikin.

“I fell in love with the Midwest and its long winters and never thought about moving back to the mountains,” said Wood.

After racing Wood decided to follow his love for art by pursuing a degree in graphic design. He currently works as a graphic designer for Quality Bicycle Products in Bloomington, Minnesota.

As for the T-Shirt contest, Wood thought it would be fun to give it a shot.

“Since signing up for the race, I have had mental images of racing on the Birkie trail and wanted to express that in my design,” said Wood. “I have a lot of experience racing the Seeley Hills Classic and skiing the Birkie Trail. Knowing that there are both a skate race and a classic race, I wanted to show the two disciplines emerging from the deep woods and coming together at the end. I just love the sound of the wind and the snow blowing through the trees and I tried to capture that, too. These elements come together in the center with one single message, "Live the Birkie."

As the 2010 contest winner, Andy will receive a complimentary race registration to the American Birkebeiner, a VIP Parking Pass to the Race Start area, a pair of skate or classic Fischer Skis with bindings provided and installed by the New Moon Ski Shop of Hayward.

You can see Wood’s winning design by logging on to www.birkie.com. The 2010 Birkie t-shirt will be available for purchase after October 15, 2009.

“The t-shirts will be available in several colors with both short and long sleeve options,” said Zuelsdorff. “Proceeds from the sales of the 2010 featured t-shirt will benefit young skier programs.”

To purchase a t-shirt or other Birkie merchandise you can visit www.birkie.com. Official American Birkebeiner apparel is also available at www.hiddenbaygraphics.com.

More than 7,000 skiers are expected to register for the 37th anniversary American Birkebeiner and Kortelopet. Another 2,500 are expected for shorter races and events. To learn more about North America’s largest and most prestigious cross country ski race, log on to http://www.birkie.com, email birkie@birkie.com or call 715/634-5025.

Subaru, Becker Law, Sawyer County Record and Superior Publishing, and other businesses throughout the region and country sponsor the Birkie.