Bjarte (from Mawson)
Bjarte (pronounced bee-YARTH) is a craftsman in the ice sculpting trade. He lives and works as the head cook in Mawson (pronounced MAW-suhn), a research station along the Antarctic rim.
He is one of three children. His father and mother, Ivor and Gerdy, were both professors at the University of Oslo. His brother Sigurd is a member of the Norwegian Olympic bobsled team. His sister Fredrika is a nurse.
He learned how to sculpt ice at Norway’s Culinary Academy. It is a second career for him. He began as an assistant coach for the Norwegian national hockey team.
Bjarte grew up as a hard-nosed hockey player, known for his grit and mental toughness. He retired from playing in his late teens due to a severe knee injury. He stayed close to the game for several years as a coach and mentor to Norway’s Olympic veterans and hopefuls.
It was identified early that Bjarte was a talented artist. He won a drawing contest at the age of just seven years old. His hockey players always joked that his chalkboards were works of art. He loved to cook for the team.
When he isn’t sculpting, Bjarte cooks for two to five dozen researchers at Australia’s original Antarctic outpost.
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