Athlete of the Week: Addison Offerdahl


Jasmine McIntosh

Addison Offerdahl, a member of both the swim and equestrian team, loves being able to reach high speeds on her horses and enjoys being offered the opportunity to learn from the range in level of skill that her peers have on the swim team.

Lucy Loeb, Staff Reporter

Freshman Addison Offerdahl values learning by both teaching and observing, skills she practices frequently through her participation on the equestrian and swimming teams. 

She was persuaded to come to La Salle due to the rigorous academics and the community at the school. 

Since she was three years old, Offerdahl has been spending time with and riding horses, as she said her passion is a “lifelong thing that I’ve always loved doing.” 

Offerdahl is part of the Oregon High School Equestrian Team, or OHSET, whose season takes place during the winter months. Offerdahl is the only current La Salle student on this team and she competes in other horse competitions all year round.

On her equestrian team, Offerdahl’s favorite events are barrel racing, pole bending, breakaway roping (when the rider chases after calves on their horse and ropes them), and dobbing. She notes that her horse, Valentino, loves barrel racing, pole bending, and breakaway roping in particular because of the speeds he can reach. Offerdahl shares that her horse’s favorite events are often events that she feels she has room for improvement. 

“Breakaway, especially, is one of my favorite events because I just started it a couple years ago and I’m still learning, but my horse really loves chasing the cows, so it’s really fun to do,” she said. 

Learning to have a balance between her athletics and her home life can prove to be challenging for Offerdahl. “I would definitely say it’s difficult sometimes, since I live on a farm with seven horses, it can be difficult to manage homework and find time to be with my friends and everything,” she said. In spite of the challenges of learning to manage schoolwork and extracurriculars simultaneously, Offerdahl aims to improve her ability to balance the two.

Offerdahl also notes that the environment of both sports teams she participates in is encouraging, as they foster growth.

“I think it’s really supportive, especially the swim team, because I like how we all practice together and everybody gets feedback from each other,” she said. 

Offerdahl has been swimming since she was in first grade at Christ the King and continued with her sports when she transferred to the Franciscan Montessori Earth School later on in elementary school. 

Since she took a break from swimming during the COVID-19 pandemic, Offerdahl is still getting back into the swing of things and relearning a lot of her old skills. Her goal-setting habits are something she attributes her progress to because she feels that her personal goals keep her motivated. 

The difference in skill levels on the swim team is something that motivates Offerdahl, as she loves learning from those who have more experience than her as well as being offered the opportunity to help those who have less experience than she does. 

“Some of [the people on the team] are really good swimmers and some of them are still learning to swim,” Offerdahl said. “So it’s fun to be around all of them that have different experiences so I can teach myself and learn from their experiences.”

Offerdahl also loves trying new things, like swim events she has never done before which motivates her to work harder and gain more experience. 

An example of this was during a swim meet on Thursday, Jan. 5 where she was expecting to swim the 50-yard free but ended up competing in the 500-yard free. Although she was surprised, she pushed through and saw the experience with a positive mindset and as a learning experience. 

Offerdahl speaks highly of her swim team coaches. “They always encourage us to push ourselves but still be comfortable with what we’re doing,” she said. 

She feels that playing sports both before and during her time at La Salle have helped her to learn how to better herself. Offerdahl notes that achieving goals she sets for herself motivates her to work harder, but on the flip side, not achieving those goals gives her a reason to push harder.

An immense motivating factor for Offerdahl is getting the opportunity to observe other athletes, on both the equestrian and swim teams, that she sees as impressive. Through learning from her peers, she feels that she can improve and it also gives her something to look forward to achieving herself. She hopes that one day, she could take the place of the people she looks up to and be a role model to others. 

“I always have told myself that I don’t ever want to quit anything,” Offerdahl said. “I just want to keep trying, and if I fail, I might not be the best, but I’ll keep trying anyway.”