Helen Thayer competed in the Commonwealth games as a discus thrower in 1962 after marriage. She also represented Guatemala as a thrower in the Caribbean games.
The Thayers moved to Washington State in 1965. She was the fourth-best thrower in the country at that time, PB was 204 ft. Her athletic endeavors did not stop with Track and Field. She also became a National Champion in luge in 1975. The Thayers also made an intentional decision not to have children because of husband’s risky occupation (helicopter pilot who sprayed crops for a living) and the couple’s lifestyle.
To get ready to fulfill her attempt to ski the magnetic North Pole prompted her to ten mile-a-day runs, an hour-long gym workout, and pulling concrete-laden sleds up a grassy hill for an hour. In 1988 she went to Resolute Bay in Northern Canada to live with the Inuit and learn how to live in the polar regions. Skills included skiing on pack ice and pitching a tent in a storm as well as how to avoid/discourage polar bear meetings. She credits the Inuit as helping her better survive and helped her gain understanding of survival in this area.
- 7 ft fiberglass sled
- 160 lbs. food, gear, and fuel
- Included in the gear were a flare gun and rifle to discourage polar bears
- Dog Charlie
Written by Elizabeth Gross
PC: Helen Thayer