MYOKO, Japan (WJMN) – Signe Buerger seems like an average 18-year-old girl. When she’s not attending classes at Gogebic Community College, she enjoys getting coffee with her friends. But Buerger really isn’t that average after all…because she is a World Snowshoe Champion.
Buerger traveled to Japan in February to compete in the 2020 World Snowshoe Champions in the Junior Women’s Division. She represented Team USA with the U.S. Snowshoe Association (USSSA). This follows after she won the national title in Wisconsin.
Although no other country competed in Buerger’s division, she said she still won the title and worked to achieve it.
“Honestly [it’s] the coolest thing by far. I love telling the story. I’m so happy. And to know that I put in the work and the dedication and I trained. I’m a world champion and no one can take that title away from me,” said Buerger.
Buerger received her first pair of snowshoes at 10 years old and has been competitively training ever since. Her father snowshoed when he was in high school, and got Buerger and her brothers to snowshoe at a young age. He is also Buerger’s coach and biggest supporter.
“It’s really encouraging to have him be my coach and cheer for him too. He’s always been super supportive. He’s given me a lot of tips and advice. There have been some hard times. I would cry but we would get through it,” said Buerger.
So what’s next for Buerger after becoming a world champion?
“Hopefully in 2030, in my prime, snowshoeing will be in the Olympics. That’s their goal. And that’s my goal. I’ll be 29, in my prime. That’s what my dad says. So, hopefully, I’ll be ready to compete in that. That would be the biggest thing for me honestly,” said Buerger.