Mariann Saether (36)
Born and raised in Norway, Mariann Saether is one of the most decorated whitewater kayakers, holding a number of titles ranging from big volume freestyle competitions to canoe slalom. She is an avid outdoor enthusiast, and enjoys nature even more than books – which says a lot concerning her 9-year university degree in history, Spanish, English and Norwegian. She is dedicated to standing up against hydro-power schemes in Norway and abroad, helping the Norwegian Paddling Federation limiting the amount of dams being put on rivers in her home country. She lives in Voss, Norway, and Futaleufu, Chile.
River conservation is about more than securing our rivers for future kayaking. To protect the waterways of the planet is only one piece of the puzzle – but an important one. With more than 50 000 large dams in the world it is self-explanatory that we have a big job to do.
The Balkan Rivers Tour is doing a great job in this regard – trying to keep safe the last of Europe´s untouched watersheds, making sure the message is being heard: Rivers are life.