JANNE Wells admits it was a bittersweet feeling to leave her home country of Norway but she is proud to represent Australia at the World Masters Athletics Championships.
The East Victoria Park resident (48) moved to Australia in 2001 and only 18 months ago became an Australian citizen, but in doing so had to revoke her Norwegian citizenship.
“It’s a little bit of a sore point because I still have family over there but life is easier here,” she said.
“Norway is a pretty cold place anyway and I’ve got friends here and I feel like I’m contributing to the community.”
Mrs Wells will compete in the 5km, 10km and 20km race walks at the championships.
“My daughter Kristine helped me get into it, she signed up to do Little Athletics and I thought I would work out while she trained,” she said.
“I was encouraged by another mum to give power walking a go and it’s rolled on from there. I’ve competed in a few events this year but this is the biggest competition I’ve signed up for.
“For the past five or six months I’ve been training five days per week with at least two walks of 10kms.”
Although she is representing her adopted country, Mrs Wells’ Norwegian heritage will not be forgotten with Kristine set to carry the flag for Norway at tonight’s opening ceremony at Elizabeth Quay.
“I’ve got a contact at the masters and I mentioned to them about the idea of her carrying the flag to honour our family’s heritage,” she said.