Kurt Olsen whips up a mean salsa.

What is your name? 

Kurt Seeley Olsen.

What is your favourite colour?

That’s easy! Blue! No … wait! AAAUUGGHHHH! {Flies off the Bridge of Death into the Gorge of Eternal Peril.}

What is your favourite word?


Who is your favourite musician?

Sergei Rachmaninoff (1873-1943) was a brilliant composer and pianist from Russia. In my opinion, he wrote some of the most stunningly beautiful music ever written. In college, I learned his Piano Concerto No. 2, 3rd movement, an extremely difficult piece. After spending many hundreds of hours rehearsing and then performing this movement, it became and remains my all-time favourite piece of music, one I will never tire of hearing.

What is your most marked characteristic?


What talent would you like to have?

Magnifying the talents I’ve already been given.

What do you consider your greatest achievement?

Raising five incredible children, along with my wonderful wife, Nanci. (Well, I didn’t raise her; we raised our children together. You get my meaning.)

Who are your heroes in history?

I am in awe of those incredibly brave men and women who gave their all in defending the world from tyranny and preserving freedom. The Allied forces who organised and carried out the D-day invasion of Normandy in WWII are so inspiring to me. Against terrifying odds, they forged ahead through murderous gunfire and seemingly insurmountable defences. The losses were staggering, but they won the day.

This was one of the most crucial turning points in WWII, and the end of the war now became a real possibility. Their sacrifice, and the sacrifice of all those who gave their lives throughout two world wars, is something that we can simply never repay. But it is crucial, in my mind, that we honour them by never forgetting what they gave.

Who are your heroes in real life?

My mother. She brought nine of us into the world, somehow kept up with all of our activities, ran a well-ordered household, made homemade bread every Monday, maintained a huge garden and yard, took me to my weekly piano lessons for years, ran six days a week, and made sure we all knew we were loved. She gave all she had for those she loved, and cancer took her away from us much too soon at the age of 64.

What is your idea of happiness?

From the Book of Mormon, Mosiah chapter 2, verse 41: And moreover, I would desire that ye should consider on the blessed and happy state of those that keep the commandments of God. For behold, they are blessed in all things, both temporal and spiritual; and if they hold out faithful to the end they are received into heaven, that thereby they may dwell with God in a state of never-ending happiness. O remember, remember that these things are true; for the Lord God hath spoken it.

Where would you most like to live?

Exactly where I live right now: Kaysville, Utah. But I would like to travel to hundreds of places across the planet.

What profession would you like to attempt?

College professor.

What is your greatest extravagance?

Eating the signature dishes at Crustacean Restaurant in San Francisco: whole roasted Dungeness crab and garlic noodles. Easily the most incredible meal I’ve ever eaten, and I’ve had it at least 15 times. I feel like a glutton when I’m done: envision Denethor Mukbang gorging himself in front of Pippin in The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King. But it’s so amazing—I can’t help it!

What is your most treasured possession?

Since it’s improper to count people as possessions (right?), the clear winner is my Yamaha G5 grand piano. Or maybe my 2021 Mazda6 sedan. No, let’s stick with the Yamaha—it’s a much more durable asset.

Why did you start running?

I had just started into running when I suffered a serious knee injury playing basketball: completely torn ACL and MCL, and loss of 40% of the meniscus cartilage in my left knee. After the ACL replacement surgery, my doctor told me that biking would be a better choice than running for me (ha!). I refused to let this setback deter me from my goal to become a runner, so I worked hard on my physical therapy exercises, regained my range of motion and strength, and started running. It was two years before the pain in my knee went away, but I was already hooked. The following summer, I ran five marathons, and the rest is history.

What does running mean to you now?

While I enjoy the personal accomplishments, such as setting a new PR, the two most important aspects for me are: 1) the fitness that results from regular running and training, and 2) finding beauty in the world as I run. This is why I take and post so many pictures captured while running; I believe that if you look for beauty, you will find it.

What do you like about Stazza’s Stable?

The sense of community and belonging is wonderful. Everyone is so supportive, regardless of a runner’s skill level. I am inspired by the incredible performances that I see posted, and appreciative of the generosity of so many talented athletes. And of course, I appreciate Coach Stazza’s expertise, guidance, and great sense of humour, although I am still sometimes unsure of when he is joking! Just in case anyone is wondering, Alf Menzies is NOT Coach Stazza’s father!

What is your motto?

Be kind and charitable. Everyone has difficult things to deal with in life, most of which we will never know about. Give people a break, and look for the good.