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UKIC / International Student Scholar Services / International Student Athlete Henrik Larsen Begins UK Journey

International Student Athlete Henrik Larsen Begins UK Journey

Monday, October 2, 2017 | By Laura Brower

From the serene forests and mountains of Norway to the rolling hills and picturesque horse farms of Kentucky, Henrik Larsen is settling nicely into his home away from home. As a new member on the University of Kentucky Rifle Team, Larsen has his eye on the target, determined to add to the team’s success and reach his long-term goals on the range and in the classroom. He’s thrilled to begin this new journey as he already feels a part of the UK Family, who cannot wait to watch his bright future unfold.

Larsen learned his way around a rifle at the young age of five while hunting with his father. At age 10, Larsen’s friends introduced him to competitive rifle, where his newfound passion began. He continued his career into high school and reached numerous accomplishments such as five European Championship medals including one gold, two silver and two bronze.

As high school came to a close, Larsen wanted to join the military until his coach convinced him otherwise. He explained the slim opportunity to shoot while serving and advised Larsen to consider school in the U.S. — specifically University of Kentucky. Larsen then contacted the head coach, Harry Mullins, and they eventually held their first meeting over Skype. “I talked a lot with the coach. We shared the same philosophy about shooting. We got close real fast,” he said. Larsen officially visited UK during November 2016. Almost immediately UK felt like home. He described the team members as very welcoming and decided there was no need to apply anywhere else.

Coming from a countryside town of about five thousand people, he described Lexington as “totally different” and enjoys experiencing a new culture first-hand. “Everything is huge here. From the different types of buildings and everything else — I’m amazed by it,” Larsen said. Day by day, Larsen adjusts to the Big Blue Nation as he bonds with his teammates, explores the unending depths of Walmart and prepares for the upcoming season.

Larsen is ready to begin his new chapter in life as a UK student athlete. Hoping to contribute to the team’s success, he finds excitement in integrating his European work ethic with the training culture of his American teammates. Larsen said he aspires to attend the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo as well. In terms of studies, this freshman has set his sights on Architecture. Influenced by his father’s career as a carpenter, Larsen feels inspired by the process of invention and creation.

When asked about the most important learning experience from his rifle career, Larsen replied with one word: structure. “When you’re a shooter, you need structure in your life not only at the shooting range but also in daily life,” he stated. Larsen feels strongly about strictly following a plan to acquire success in this sport, for such dedication improves his focus both in shooting and schoolwork.

The trigger is pulled and Larsen is taking on his freshman year. Through hard work and commitment, Larsen plans to overcome every obstacle and reach his goals in full storm. And during his downtime, expect Larsen to hunt with his teammates as he explores the wonderful wildlife of his new Kentucky home.