The Minnesota Nordic Ski Association (MNSA) is pleased to announce that Ahvo Taipale is our annual Lifetime Achievement Award winner for 2015. The award is given to people who have worked tirelessly for decades building Nordic skiing in Minnesota. We all owe Ahvo a hearty thank you for all that he has done for our sport.
Ahvo was born in Finland and moved to St. Paul, Minnesota in the 1970s. He coached the University of Minnesota women’s Nordic ski team to two national titles. In 1978, Ahvo started Finn Sisu ski shop, which catered to cross country skiers.
Ahvo is a member of the Finnish Ski Coaching Association and has accumulated may age class wins at the Mora Vasaloppet and Korteloppet. He started Team Birkie training group, with Steve Gaskill, for master, senior, and junior skiers in 1991. Ahvo has been involved in promoting Nordic skiing, not only from a coaching standpoint, but from an infrastructure standpoint. He was instrumental in the development of the Nordic ski trails and lighting at Battle Creek Park in St Paul.