Marthe Randine Sundby was born in Aurskog in Norway on April 18th 1975. In her late teens she was one of the best junior speed skaters in the country, winning national junior titles over 1,500 and 3,000m, and breaking national junior records at the former distance. She represented Norway at Junior World Speed Skating Championships in 1991, 1992, and 1993, finishing 11th overall at the last of those.
By the mid-90s, she had swapped her blades for barbells. This is my passion in life, she said at the time. I love to exercise, love to be in motion. And I am very fond of muscles. Fast forward to 2006, and Marthe Sundby was winning another national title. At the age of 31 she was Norwegian champion in Women's Bodybuilding.
But a year later Marthe was diagnosed with cancer. I had one foot in the grave, she says, but I fought back. She didn't appear on stage again until the National Championships in 2012. It was her first contest back after the battle. She won.