American Birkebeiner® Announces T-Shirt Design Contest Winner

FasterSkierSeptember 2, 2010
Nitin Iyer winner of the 2011 Birkie T-Shirt Design Contest.

HAYWARD, Wis. – The American Birkebeiner Ski Foundation (ABSF) has determined a winner of the Birkie T-Shirt Design Contest for the 2011 event. The winning t-shirt design will be the featured retail t-shirt for the event.

“We created the t-shirt design contest last year 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. “The contest was so popular that we decided to do it again for the 2011 Birkie.”

“More than a dozen 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.”

“It is our goal to inspire people to live active and healthy lives by participating in our events throughout the year.  More simply put, we hope that people choose to ‘Live the Birkie.’” said Zuelsdorff. “We believe that this year’s winning t-shirt design reflects the energy of the Birkie and will in turn inspire people to ‘Live the Birkie.’”

The winning design by Nitin Iyer reflects the history of the race, the challenge of the course and popularity of the event.

“My main source of inspiration for my design was the history of the Birkebeiner, primarily the rescue of  Prince Haakon Haakonsson. In my design the rescue is depicted in the background, symbolizing the history of the Birkebeiner. I also wanted the design to depict the challenge of the event. To address this, I incorporated the elevation map of the race as the background,” said Iyer. “I wanted to convey the sheer number of people who are drawn to the events challenge so I created a flow of skiers representing not only how the Birkebeiner has come a long way from its historic roots, but also how the race gets bigger and better and with every passing year.”

Iyer is a senior at Ocean Lakes High School in Virginia Beach, Virginia. He is  active in tennis, football, debate and theater. His newest passion is skiing including downhill and cross country.

“I entered the contest because I wanted to challenge my graphic design skills and also because I have a growing interest in skiing. Two years ago I took a school field trip to Jackson Hole, Wyoming. There my friends and I had our first experience with cross country skiing. It was the most fun we had the whole trip,” said Iyer. “When I found this competition online, I thought it was the perfect thing to do. I really do hope to attempt the race in 2012 after I get some more practice and have some free time.”

As the 2011 contest winner, Nitin will receive a complimentary race registration to the 2011 or 2012 American Birkebeiner and a VIP Parking Pass to the Race Start.  Salomon USA, distributor of high quality skis, boots, bindings and running shoes and New Moon Ski Shop, a great Hayward area ski and bike shop are sponsors of the competition. Nitin has chosen classic skis from Salomon USA and New Moon Ski Shop will provide and install bindings.

You can see Iyer’s winning design by logging on to The 2011 Birkie t-shirt will be available for purchase by October 1, 2010. Birkie merchandise is available at the Birkie Office in Hayward, Wisconsin, or online at

“The t-shirts will be available in two colors with both short and long sleeve options,” said Zuelsdorff. “Proceeds from the sales of the 2011 featured t-shirt will benefit young skier programs.”

More than 8,000 skiers are expected to register for the 38th 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, email or call 715/634-5025.

Birkie 2011 is sponsored by Becker Law Office, Marshfield Clinic, Johnson Bank, Swiss Miss, CenturyLink, Hayward Area Memorial Hospital, Peoples Bank, Sawyer County Record, and other businesses throughout the region and country.


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