The two star divers on the LSU team happen to be sisters, born in the beautiful country of Norway. Anne and Helle Tuxen have each other’s backs both on the springboard and in life. The sisters help to motivate and cheer each other on even though they are competing against each other in the same competitions.
The Tuxen family is from Stavanger, Norway. LSU Head Coach Doug Shaffer discovered the family through relationships with coaches from the area. He brought the sisters to Baton Rouge for recruiting visits, where football games pulled the two young Norwegan girls in. With a push by her mother, Anne enrolled at LSU.
“The team and the coaches really seemed like a good fit for me,” she said. “That’s why I chose LSU.”
Helle chose to come to school because of her sister Anne. The coaches were similar to her coaches back home as well. The Tuxen girls come from a diving family. Their dad was their main coach growing up.
“It was very easy because they brought us in, and we were just naturally good at it,” Helle said. “We failed and landed and did a faceplant on the water kinda thing and we loved it.”
Their mom and dad are the reason they are in this sport. They started waking up at 6 a.m. when they were 10 years old. It was nice for the sisters to be together because they would always help each other out to get up in the morning and to stay motivated even at a young age.
“Since we were his daughters, it was okay to just throw us out there,” Anne Tuxen said. “He was extra strict with us which was good in a way because that made us good.”
It was different for both of them at first when they came to the U.S. The education is structured differently and one of the main benefits is being able to simultaneously compete in a sport and attend school. It was difficult at first for the Tuxens to have good time management since managing school and a D1 sport is very difficult.
“The first year was definitely hard, and then this is my third year, and this is definitely my best year yet even though COVID happened,” Anne said. “I definitely had a better freshman year then [Helle] had.”
When Anne and Helle were younger, it was more competitive than it is now between the two of them. It is different now that they are in college because they are now competing for the whole team and less individually. They want to do well individually as well, but it is mostly all for the team.
The Tuxen sisters are always there for each other no matter what. They help each other with their weaknesses. Helle is fearless and tries to help her sister with becoming more fearless with her dives. Anne helps to calm Helle down when practice sometimes doesn’t go perfectly. The two balance each other well and wouldn’t be at LSU without each other.
“We are just two competitors, and we just want the best for each other, so we are always encouraging each other,” Anne Tuxen. “We try to push each other in the right way.”