Editor’s Notes

Welcome to the Winter Olympics!

winter olympics

Image: Mattea Bertling
This year’s Winter Olympics to be held in Beijing from Feb. 4 to Feb. 20 should prove to be more than just a little different than usual, with the threat of COVID-19 looming, a lack of international spectators, and a gray cloud of political discontent hanging over them—but excitement still prevails for the Norwegian team.

Dear readers and friends,

I always say that every issue of The Norwegian American is special—and I always mean it—but with this issue, it seems to be especially true.

Winter is here—boy, is it, from the looks of the weather reports around the country—and with it comes winter sports. This is, of course, a time of the year when Norwegian athletes shine, and this year with the 2022 Winter Olympics, all eyes are on them.

That is why we are bringing you an issue of The Norwegian American with a focus on the Olympics in Beijing. Fortunately, we have the talent on our team to make this happen in both an entertaining and insightful way, with Business and Sports Editor Michael Kleiner and Jo Christian Weldingh, sports correspondent on the ground in Norway. Both are highly qualified subject matter experts and excellent writers, and for this edition, they have really gone the extra mile for you.

Michael and Jo will bring the 2022 Winter Olympics alive, so you will be ready to watch them from the comfort of your home and share in all the excitement. I also have to give a shout-out to our design editor, Mattea Bertling, whose extraordinary talent helps us present everything so beautifully. 

We can all use a bright spot right now, as the coronavirus has taken another surge. We won’t lose heart though. We will take inspiration from the athletes, who with steadfast determination and razor-sharp focus, have trained for years to see their dreams come true in Beijing.

Yes, for many of us, work has brought us not only self-satisfaction but redemption during the pandemic. Along these lines, I am particularly pleased to share the opinion piece by Malin Links from Valestrandsfossen in western Norway. A new job has not only brought economic opportunity for her but also a new sense of self-worth and satisfaction. It’s an inspiring story, as we struggle to grapple with the challenges of the new world of COVID-19. 

It is perhaps all too easy to sit at home feeling scared or defeated, when we need to think about what we can do to make things better for everyone. It’s the Norwegian spirit of dugnad—volunteering and standing up for the common good—and together, we will weather the storm of the coronavirus. I grew up in the generation that was inspired by President John F. Kennedy’s works, “Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country,” and I still believe in these words.

A strong work ethic makes for a strong country—and for a good newspaper! Again, I have to say how grateful I am for all the support we have at The Norwegian American. We have many outstanding contributors, many who work with minimal compensation or on a volunteer basis. At this point, I would like to give a special thank you to Sylvia Reynolds Eckes and Bill Halverson, who for two years enriched our lives with our “Grieg Notes” column. Both Sylvia and Bill are leading experts on the music of Edvard Grieg, and together, they curated a serious of articles written by some of world’s foremost Grieg scholars. While the regular column is ending in 2022, we will continue to work together to bring you the same high-quality content about what is happening the world of Norwegian music. 

It is these kinds of contributions that have helped our newspaper grow, and I am happy to report that is exactly what is happening. Each month we gain new subscribers, as our overall numbers increase.

“The most important thing is not to win but to participate,” is the quote this issue. I certainly believe in this esprit de corps—and I experience it daily—but in the case of the newspaper, we actually are “in it to win it.” We believe in what we do, and we want it to endure. Finally, thank you for all your help and support in getting us over the finish line!

Lori Ann Reinhall
The Norwegian American

This article originally appeared in the Jan. 21, 2022, issue of The Norwegian American.

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Lori Ann Reinhall

Lori Ann Reinhall, editor-in-chief of The Norwegian American, is a multilingual journalist and cultural ambassador based in Seattle. She is the president of the Seattle-Bergen Sister City Association, and she serves on the boards of several Nordic organizations.