Freshman Friday – Helene Ingvaldsen

The Kansas State track and field continues to recruit athletes from all around the world. The newest freshman to join the squad is Helene Ingvaldsen, who is coming from Bergen, Norway. Her first visit to the United States was in 2014, when she competed in the hammer throw at the IAAF World Junior Championship in Eugene, Oregon. Helene is one of the athletes that have competed on the international stage as a member of Norwegian National Team. She has participated in major meets such as the 2013 IAAF World Youth Championship, European Junior Championship, Baltic and Nordic meets. Helene will also continue her family’s tradition of studying overseas. Her father was a student at the University of Indiana.
 
Here is more about the Norwegian hammer thrower…
 How did you hear about K-State and why did you decide to come?
I saw the throwing coach, Greg Watson, at the World Youth Championship that was in Ukraine. Although that was a long time ago, I got really interested in what he said and that is why I decided to come to K-State. I think Coach Greg is a great coach and he can make me better. 
 
How was the adaptation from Norway to the USA?
It hasn’t been too difficult. It is different that I am alone, without my family, and I have to pay for everything. I haven’t struggled yet because there are so many friendly people here that helped me.
 
What is the biggest difference between Norway and Kansas?
The thing that is the most different is the weather. Norway is much colder and the air is so much fresher. I am not used to so much heat like it is here right now, so I am waiting for some colder weather. Other than that it is studying in English. I’ve never done that before. It is not much different but it is kind of new and it takes some time to adjust.
 
When did you start learning English?
I started in primary school, in the 3rd grade, and I had it till my freshman year of high school. After that I had to decide if I wanted to continue but I didn’t. I had a little break from studying in English until now. 
 
What are you majoring in?
Marketing. I am actually following my dad’s footsteps. He studied marketing at the University of Indiana. Getting a bachelor degree from a college in the United States will give me more opportunities and it is a good basic background. I can always study more if I want when I go back to Norway. 
 
When did you start throwing?
I was a track athlete basically since I was born because I started with track and field when I was 5 years old. I began throwing the hammer was when I was 10 years old, but at the same time I was doing the pole vault and I also wanted to be a high jumper. The hammer throw was the most fun so I kept throwing hammer.
 
What was the favorite place that you competed at?
It was the World Juniors in Eugene, Oregon. That was the most fun trip that I ever been to. There was so much happening and it was so big. Oregon’s track and field stadium was amazing to compete at. It would be very cool if I ever get a chance to compete at the NCAA Championship in Eugene. That would be like a goal for me because I want to go back there.
 
 What are your future goals?
I don’t know how far I can throw this year, but I would like to throw over 61 meters next year and go the European U23 Championship in Poland.