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Snowboarders are getting ready for another snow season, but one Olympian is adding to her routine.
While DJ Colt .45 cranked some tunes to snowboarding videos and a light show on Monday night, Olympic snowboarder Gretchen Bleiler made her way to the stage of the Glenn Miller Ballroom with luggage in hand.
When not shredding the slopes, Bleiler visits campuses across the country to inform and encourage students to help stop climate change. The Environmental Center was responsible for bringing her to CU.
Students said they liked Bleiler’s talk because it was relatable.
“I really liked the way it was presented,” said Jamie Haller, an 18-year-old freshman international affairs major. “It related to snowboarding, which is important in Colorado.”
In Bleiler’s presentation, she described her first-hand experience with climate change and how it has put a damper on her snowboarding career.
“Snowpack has been below the historical average in Colorado for eight of the 10 past years,” Bleiler said.
In addition to educating students about global warming, Bleiler got students excited by handing out green giveaways from her line with Oakley and stainless steel, easy-to-clean Alex water bottles from her new eco-friendly company, Nice Reusables, which she started with her husband.
Along with Bleiler’s presentation being important to Colorado, students like Derek Bertha, an 18-year-old freshman open-option major, said a combination of elements made Bleiler’s visit special.
“I think the presentation worked well,” Bertha said. “People like free stuff. They like famous people, and they like being educated.”
Students were encouraged to take the “21 Days of Reusables Challenge,” which includes not using plastic water bottles, plastic bags or Styrofoam containers for 21 days.
Students said it was a good way for students to critically think about their impact.
“I liked the 21 day challenge,” said Lauren DeGeorge, an 18-year-old freshman open-option major. “I think people will actually participate. Even though I knew a lot of the information, it’s good to hear it again and for people to be reminded about their choices when it comes to using plastic bags and water bottles.”
Those who are up to the challenge have the chance to win a variety of eco-friendly products. They can document one day of their challenge and post it on Bleiler’s Facebook fan page tagging her and “Alex Bottle.”
The person with the most “likes” will win a grand prize that includes a K2 Eco snowboard of their choice, an Oakley Gretchen Bleiler Collection Eco Jacket, Oakley Sunglass, Oakley Goggles and the Alex Bottle Collection.
In closing, Bleiler gave advice to students who want to make an impact.
“Every single one of us has a unique opportunity to create awareness and inspire change,” Bleiler said. “You don’t need to have a silver medal to inspire others and get your ideas out there.”
Contact CU Independent Staff Writer Danni Goodmann at Danielle.firstname.lastname@example.org.