A pair of artists inspired by Norwegian culture, a record-setting track and field athlete and a parkour enthusiast share their stories in this episode.
This collection of stories from people sharing their “Wisconsin Life” includes the story of Else Bigton and Phillip Odden, who fell in love while studying traditional wood carving in Norway. The two married and made their home in northwestern Wisconsin, where they have produced nationally-acclaimed woodwork and raised Norwegian Fjord horses.
Then, Wisconsin Life heads to Green Bay for a front row seat to a cheer competition. The athletes practice year-round, and compete across the Midwest and the country. The goal… to pack in more jumps, stunts, pyramids, and tumbling in under three minutes than the other teams. During this day, three Wisconsin teams meet in the “spirit” of friendship. The Green Bay Elite, Storm Elite of Stevens Point, and Fury Athletics of Madison spend the day showing their stuff to the most appreciative audience of all: each other. And cheer coaches explain their love of the sport and of coaching.
Next is Michael Lihrman’s story. The University of Wisconsin-Madison student went from ordinary athlete at Rice Lake High School to a world-class weight and hammer thrower. In his first year at the UW, Lihrman set an NCAA Division 1 record in the weight throw and won the Big 10 and NCAA Track and Field Championship. The next year he repeated the feat extending his record by 15 feet and now has Olympic dreams.
Also on tap, Wisconsin Life travels to Eau Claire, where Peggy Blomenberg and her fellow “Threshold Singers” believe in the power of the human voice. Like other Threshold Singers around the country, they sing to bring comfort those at ‘thresholds’ in life, particularly those whose lives are nearing an end.
Finally, Asa Krueger shares his story. Krueger discovered the freestyle, outdoor, gymnastic pursuit called parkour and fell in love with the sport. He was one of a group of UW-Platteville students that leaped over numerous roadblocks to form a student organization and eventually host the world’s first collegiate parkour competition.