From Minnesota state champion to World Champion in just a few years, Jessie Diggins made her Olympic debut in 2014 and will look to defend her World Championships gold medal in 2015. (Getty Images/Harry How)
Noah Hoffman and Sadie Bjornsen (seen here at 2013 U.S. Championships in Utah) both capped their respective seasons Friday with U.S. distance titles to wrap up the 2014 U.S. Cross Country Championships.
World Cup sprint champion Kikkan Randall skied into 13th Sunday in the 10k freestyle pursuit, closing the three-day Falun mini-tour and putting a stamp on another successful World Cup season.
Liz Stephen, seen here racing in last week’s 4x5k team relay, led Team USA Saturday when she skied to 24th in the 30k mass start freestyle race, the final women’s cross country event of the 2014 Sochi Olympic Winter Games.
Team USA left it all on the course Saturday but was not able to keep pace and finished ninth at the women’s 4x5k relay of the 2014 Sochi Olympic Winter Games.
Kikkan Randall suffered a heartbreaking loss Tuesday when she was knocked out of the individual freestyle sprint event Tuesday at the 2014 Sochi Olympic Winter Games, while rookie Sophie Caldwell (pictured) skied into sixth and the top spot for the USA.
First-time Olympian Jessie Diggins skied into an impressive eighth and secured the top spot for Team USA in the women’s skiathlon Saturday, the opening Olympic cross country event at the Laura Cross Country Ski Center.
World Cup sprint champion Kikkan Randall powered to fifth in the Toblach freestyle sprints, the final World Cup before the 2014 Olympic Winter Games in Sochi, Russia.
Jessie Diggins skied into second place at U23 World Ski Championships in Val di Fiemme, Italy. (Photo: Vianney Thibaut/Agence Zoom/Getty Images)
A team of 23 USSA athletes are competing this week in the FIS Junior Nordic World Ski Championships and U23 (under 23) World Championships in Val di Fiemme, site of last year’s FIS Nordic Ski World Championships. (Photo: Sarah Brunson/U.S. Ski Team)
14 athletes, led by World Champion Kikkan Randall, were nominated to the U.S. Olympic team in cross country skiing today. (Photo: Reese Brown)
Liz Stephen, seen here at 2013 World Championships, skied to her career best FIS World Cup finish in sixth in the women’s 10k classic mass start Sunday in Szklarska Poreba, Poland.
World Cup sprint champion Kikkan Randall topped every one of her heats Saturday to take her 10th World Cup victory in the Szlarska Poreba sprints.
Jessie Diggins and Liz Stephen in the finish Sunday in Val di Fiemme, Italy after Stephen posted the USA's best overall Tour de Ski finish in history with seventh, skiing to the third-fastest time of the day up the 9k Alpe Cermis hill climb finale.
World Champion Jessie Diggins earned a career-best World Cup classic result Saturday, skiing into 10th in the Val di Fiemme 5k, the sixth stage of the Tour de Ski.
Jessie Diggins Quick Facts
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Representing a growing contingent of Midwestern skiers, Jessie Diggins had nine U.S. junior titles and three Minnesota state titles before ever representing the red, white and blue. A gap year between high school and college to focus on racing paid large dividends, as Diggins landed a spot on the U.S. Ski Team in 2011 and made her Olympic debut in 2014.
In 2013, the Stratton Mountain Elites skier made history with teammate Kikkan Randall, winning the USA’s first-ever World Championships gold medal in the team sprint and first-ever first place in a World Cup team sprint.
The 2014 Sochi Olympic Winter Games didn’t yield the same team success, however Diggins excelled individually, landing eighth in the opening skiathlon event. Diggins also posted seven scoring results on the World Cup circuit, including a fifth in the Szklarska Poreba, Poland freestyle sprint final.
Add five U.S. titles, including a sweep of all four events at the 2012 U.S. Championships, and Diggins is already on the short list of American nordic skiing greats. And at just 23, it looks like we might be hearing about this young skier for years to come.
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