Is Olivia Baker Inspired by a Real Adventure Racer? Where is She Now?

Olivia Baker is a highly motivated adventure racer in Simon Cellan Jones’ biographical film ‘Arthur the King.’ When Michael Light sets out to win the first championship in his life, he chooses Olivia because of her dedication and resilience. She not only displays bravery on the trails but also motivates her teammates to be courageous. Even though Light is based on the Swedish racer Mikael Lindnord, Olivia is a largely fictional character. However, it doesn’t mean that she doesn’t have any roots in reality. Lindnord really had a woman in his team when he pursued a championship in 2014, only to meet Arthur on the way!

Olivia Baker and the Incredible Karen Lundgren

Olivia Baker is a fictional counterpart of Karen Lundgren, who joined Mikael Lindnord, Staffan Björklund, and Simon Niemi to compete in the 2014 ARWS World Championship in Ecuador. The only American in the team formed by three Swedish racers, Karen was a leader without an official title. Lindnord described her as “one of the world’s toughest and most experienced adventure racers” in ‘Arthur – The Dog Who Crossed the Jungle to Find a Home,’ the source text of the film. She started making headlines when she accompanied Jordan Romero, the son of her companion and adventure racing partner Paul Romero, to the summit of Mount Everest at the age of 13.

Karen, Jordan, and their team achieved the feat in May 2010. Since then, she has been a familiar face in the adventure racing circuits worldwide. Even though Olivia assumes the position of Karen in Michael/Lindnord’s team in the adventure drama, they are drastically different. Karen joined Lindnord after establishing herself as one of the best adventure racers around. Olivia, on the other hand, is a novice who has yet to leave a mark on the world of adventure racing on her own. That’s also the reason why she joins Michael—she wants to prove to her father and the world that she is capable of achieving what her dad achieved during his prime.

In the film, Olivia’s father, Hugo, is a legendary figure when it comes to adventure racers. Michael even reveals that he grew up with a poster of Hugo on the wall. Karen’s father, however, has mostly stayed away from the spotlight without any legendary status in the realm of adventure racing. Olivia trying to win the championship to make her father, who is suffering from cancer, proud is also a fictional detail screenwriter Michael Brandt conceived to increase the stakes in her storyline and add substance to the character.

Karen Lundgren is a Coach Now

After the 2014 ARWS World Championship, Karen Lundgren participated in several adventure races, including Expedition Africa in 2015. In between these races, she climbed a lot of mountains and heights. She goes for hikes in several countries to explore uncovered terrains. She is a regular at CrossFit Games. She secured the fifth worldwide rank within her age category in 2022. Upon ensuring a lasting legacy in adventure racing, Karen is now imparting her wisdom and learnings to the next generation of adventurers as a coach. Since August 2017, she has been a part of the Mt. Hood Race Team & Academy in Oregon as the Director of Academics and the Alpine ski coach.

Karen has also been working as a ski coach and CrossFit trainer at Sugar Bowl Academy in Norden, California. “I just can’t take time away from school because we’re so busy all the time. But, what I really want to do is take the kids here who are intrigued with adventure racing [and] who want to try it. The kids here are so talented, it would be a great fit,” the adventure racer told Gear Institute about her experiences as a coach.

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