Noah Hoffman’s decision to pursue competitive cross country skiing right out of high school has paid off, leading to an Olympics nod, two World Championships teams and two U.S. titles. (Getty Images/Harry How)
Sadie Bjornsen led the U.S. Ski Team finishing 17th in the women's 10k classic World Cup in Ruka.
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.
Noah Hoffman, seen here at the 2014 Sochi Olympic Winter Games, muscled through the Holmenkollen 50k classic World Cup race Saturday to earn the top result for the USA in 29th.
Kikkan Randall, seen here at the 2014 Sochi Olympic Winter Games, took the top spot for the USA Sunday with 21st in the 10k freestyle World Cup race, the final event of the Lahti Ski Games.
Here is Noah Hoffman chasing race-winner Alexander Legkov of Russia on Sunday, when Hoffman finished 26th after an impressive performance at the 50k cross country race, the final event of the 2014 Sochi Olympic Winter Games.
Andy Newell (right) kicks off the men’s relay, where Team USA came up from the back of the pack Sunday to finish 11th.
Springtime temperatures ruled the course for a second day in a row Friday at the men’s 15k classic of the 2014 Sochi Olympic Winter Games. Here’s Kris Freeman battling the loose and challenging track.
Noah Hoffman skied into the top spot for the USA Sunday, finishing 35th in the Olympic skiathlon at the Laura Cross Country Ski Center.
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.
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.
Liz Stephen posted the fifth-fastest time of the day Friday, starting from 22nd to finish 12th in the 15k pursuit stage of the Tour de Ski.
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Taking a gap year after high school to focus on skiing has paid off for Noah Hoffman, who, after seven successful years on the U.S. Ski Team, became an Olympian in 2014. As if the honor weren’t enough for the Aspen native, Hoffman was a contending player in Sochi’s 50k freestyle mass start, hanging with the lead pack and asserting himself as the new face of U.S. distance skiing.
In addition to an impressive Olympic debut, Hoffman also finished 9th in the Ruka Triple Stage World Cup 15k freestyle pursit. He tacked that on to a 2013 that saw a top-10 finish at the Canmore World Cup stop, and two top-15 finishes in just his second World Championships appearance. Hoffman earned his first national title in 2012 and a silver medal in the U23 World Championships in Turkey in the same year.
Hoffman continues to get stronger as the years go on, and used a gutsy Olympic performance to prove to himself and the rest of the world that he belongs. The 2015 World Championships could be a pivotal moment for the young skier, who looks to continue shaking things up on the big stage.
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