Tiger Woods’ Minnesota connection

The Olympics are over, and we’re all done rooting for our favorite Minnesota athletes (after all, Minnesota sent more sliders, skiers and curlers to Vancouver than any other state).

We fretted whether Lindsey Vonn was really a “Minnesotan” or just a “native Minnesotan” or, in fact, “Vail’s Lindsey Vonn.”

All of that is today’s unnecessarily long segue into today’s Elusive Minnesota Connection®.

Enter Bemidji’s Irene Folstrom, former DFL candidate for the state Senate and a prominent advocate for Native American causes.

Lately, she’s been advocating for Tiger Woods. The two dated while at Stanford University in the 1990s.

She penned an article for Golf.com, defending Woods as a “good person with a caring heart.”

The Tiger I knew was loyal, devoted and self-­controlled. I’m not naive, but I can say with certainty that he was faithful during the time we dated.

I don’t have any insight into how he led such a double life. I will say that Tiger had an ability to shut things out and compartmentalize his emotions. Even back then he felt enormous pressure to be Tiger Woods. Maybe this was his form of escape.

Folstrom told the Bemidji Pioneer that she hasn’t been pressured or paid to offer support for Woods.

“I did this all on my own,” she said, joking that if she’d been paid, she’d have a new truck and snowblower in her yard.

The AP profiled Folstrom in 2005 with the headline “Young attorney pushes to be American Indian voice at Capitol.”