Jessie Diggins

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Jessica Diggins (born August 26, 1991) is an American cross-country skier. She and teammate Kikkan Randall won the United States' first ever cross-country skiing gold medal at the Winter Olympics in the team sprint in 2018.[2][3] At the 2022 Winter Olympics, Diggins won the silver medal in the 30 kilometer freestyle and the bronze medal in the individual sprint, making her the most decorated American cross-country skier of all-time. She also won four medals at the FIS Nordic World Ski Championships from 2013 to 2017. In 2021, Diggins clinched the top spot in the women's overall standings for the 2020–21 FIS Cross-Country World Cup, becoming the first American to do so.[4]

Jessie Diggins
20180128 FIS NC WC Seefeld Jesscia Diggins 850 3406.jpg
Diggins in Seefeld, January 2018
Country United States
Born (1991-08-26) August 26, 1991 (age 30)
Saint Paul, Minnesota, United States
Height5 ft 4 in (163 cm)[1]
Ski clubStratton Mountain School
World Cup career
Seasons12 – (2011–present)
Individual wins12
Team wins2
Indiv. podiums40
Team podiums9
Indiv. starts248
Team starts18
Overall titles1 – (2021)
Discipline titles1 – (DI in 2021)
Updated on 13 March 2022.

Early lifeEdit

Diggins was born in Saint Paul, Minnesota, and grew up in Afton, Minnesota.[5] She has one sister, Mackenzie.[6] Diggins began skiing at age 4.[7] She showed prowess for skiing at age 11 when she started competing against older children.[7] Diggins graduated from Stillwater Area High School in 2010.[5]

Athletic careerEdit

High school and juniorsEdit

Diggins competed for the Stillwater Area High School cross-country ski team. In 2008, Diggins was the top-ranked girls individual cross-country skier in the Minnesota high school rankings.[8] She fell out of the state rankings in 2009 when she competed and won the United States Junior National Sprint title on March 9 of that year.[9] She was added to the United States' World Junior Cross-Country Ski Team in 2010.[10]

ProfessionalEdit

 
Diggins in 2020

Diggins earned an academic scholarship to Northern Michigan University, but deferred enrollment to race with the Central Cross-Country Elite team for one year. She decided to race professionally rather than attend college. She was named to the United States Ski Team in 2011[11] and competed at her first World Championships that year. Diggins won a gold medal with Kikkan Randall in the team sprint in the FIS Nordic World Ski Championships 2013 in Val di Fiemme.[3] At the 2014 U23 World Championships, Diggins won silver in the individual sprint.

Diggins was named to the U.S. team for the 2014 Winter Olympics. In her first event, the 15 kilometer skiathlon, she placed 8th (out of 61 competitors) with a time of 40:05.5.[12]

Diggins won the silver medal in the 10 kilometer freestyle race in the FIS Nordic World Ski Championships 2015 in Falun.[3] In the 2015–2016 World Cup, she placed 8th in the overall and sprint rankings and 9th in the distance ranking.[13]

At the 2017 Nordic World Ski Championships in Lahti, Finland, Diggins took two medals: in the freestyle sprint, she won her quarterfinal and semifinal heats on her way to taking the silver, ahead of teammate Randall in third.[14] Subsequently, in the classic team sprint, Diggins and Sadie Bjornsen finished third, catching and passing the Swedish team in the closing stages of the race to take the bronze by 0.19 seconds. This made Diggins the first American to win four World Championship medals in cross-country skiing.[15]

Diggins finished third overall in the 2017–18 Tour de Ski, becoming the first American to finish on the podium in the overall classification, and beating her previous best of fifth overall in the previous edition. Her teammate Sadie Bjornsen finished ninth overall, also making it the first time that two Americans finished in the overall top ten.[16] Diggins finished second overall in the World Cup 2017–2018 season standings.[4]

At the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, Diggins and Randall became the first American cross-country skiers to capture a gold medal by winning the women's team sprint at the Alpensia Cross-Country Centre. In the final sprint, Diggins passed the last two individual sprint classical gold medalists – Sochi gold medalist Maiken Caspersen Falla of Norway before the last turn and then Pyeongchang gold medalist Stina Nilsson of Sweden on the last straightaway. Theirs was not only the United States' first ever cross-country skiing gold medal but also the first American cross-country skiing medal since Bill Koch won silver in the men's 30km in 1976.[17] Steve Schlanger and Chad Salmela called the end of the race for NBC:[18][19]

Salmela: As they come into the stadium, Diggins trying to get in on the outside!
Schlanger: Jessie Diggins with two fifth-place finishes, one sixth, so close for the U.S. on so many occasions, now moving up on the outside into second place!
Salmela: They're all completely gassed! They've given it everything on the Klaebo-bakken! Stina Nilsson leading Jessie Diggins into the final turn – can Diggins answer?!
Schlanger: As the roars rattle around the cross-country stadium in Pyeongchang, Sweden, the U.S., and Norway coming to the line!
Salmela: Here comes Diggins! Here comes Diggins!
Schlanger: On the outside! Diggins making the play around Sweden!
Salmela: Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes! Gold!
Schlanger: Jessie Diggins to the line! And it is Jessie Diggins delivering a landmark moment that will be etched in U.S. Olympic history! The first ever cross-country gold medal for the U.S.!

Salmela: It's a gold medal for the United States! It's not just a medal, it's the gold!

Diggins competed in all six women's cross-country skiing events at the Olympics and finished in the top 10 in all of them. At the end of the games, she was the flag bearer for the United States in the closing ceremony.[20]

Diggins won the 2021 Tour de Ski, a first for an American. She placed atop the overall World Cup 2020–2021 season standings, claiming the biggest annual prize in cross-country skiing. Diggins' victory put her with Koch, who won the men's title in 1982, to be the only Americans to win overall season titles for a World Cup cross-country ski circuit.[4]

At the 2022 Winter Olympics, Diggins won bronze in the women's sprint to become the first American to win an individual Olympic medal in a cross-country sprint.[21] She went on to win silver in the women's 30 kilometer freestyle, earning the U.S.'s last medal on the last day of the Olympics.[22] She was the first non-European to win a medal in the event.[23] Diggins left Beijing as the most decorated American cross-country skier of all-time.[24] For the second straight Olympics, she finished in the top 10 in all six women's cross-country skiing events.

Social activismEdit

Diggins is an ambassador for the non-profit organization Fast and Female, which works to inspire girls from ages 8–18 to be active and empowered in sports.[25][26] Diggins is also an ambassador for the non-profit organization Protect Our Winters (POW), whose aim is to effect systemic solutions to climate change through the outdoor sports community. Diggins travelled with POW to Capitol Hill in April 2018 to raise concerns over climate change.[27]

In 2019, Diggins became a spokesperson for the Emily Program, an organization in the United States that provides treatment for eating disorders. In several interviews and essays, she revealed her experience of seeking treatment for bulimia at the organization in 2010, with the aim of her story to improve self-acceptance and reduce stigma and secrecy around eating disorders.[28][29] In 2020, Diggins wrote an autobiography, Brave Enough, about her athletic accomplishments and personal struggles with bulimia as a teenager.[30]

Cross-country skiing resultsEdit

Olympic GamesEdit

  • 3 medals – (1 gold, 1 silver, 1 bronze)
 Year   Age   10 km 
 individual 
 15 km 
 skiathlon 
 30 km 
 mass start 
 Sprint   4 × 5 km 
 relay 
 Team 
 sprint 
2014 22 8 40 12 9
2018 26 5 5 7 6 5 Gold
2022 30 8 6 Silver Bronze 6 5

World ChampionshipsEdit

  • 4 medals – (1 gold, 2 silver, 1 bronze)
 Year   Age   10 km 
 individual 
 15 km 
 skiathlon 
 30 km 
 mass start 
 Sprint   4 × 5 km 
 relay 
 Team 
 sprint 
2011 19 28 29 9
2013 21 23 DNF 4 Gold
2015 23 Silver DNF 4 8
2017 25 DNF 5 Silver 4 Bronze
2019 27 25 4 8 5 5
2021 29 4 15 24 4

World CupEdit

Season titlesEdit

  • 2 titles – (1 overall, 1 distance)
Season
Discipline
2021 Overall
Distance

Season standingsEdit

 Season   Age  Discipline standings Ski Tour standings
Overall Distance Sprint Nordic
Opening
Tour de
Ski
Ski Tour 2020 World Cup
Final
Ski Tour
Canada
2011 19 NC NC
2012 20 34 26 35 15
2013 21 36 34 44 24 21 26
2014 22 20 21 23 24 13 36
2015 23 22 17 23 44 DNF
2016 24 8 9 8 38 10 5
2017 25 6 7 10 8 5 16
2018 26     6 12    
2019 27 6 6 7 13 6 14
2020 28 6 8 11 5 9 6
2021 29     4 15  
2022 30   9 4 8

Individual podiumsEdit

  • 12 victories – (4 WC, 8 SWC)
  • 40 podiums – (18 WC, 22 SWC)
No. Season Date Location Race Level Place
1 2015–16 8 January 2016   Toblach, Italy 5 km Individual F Stage World Cup 1st
2 23 January 2016   Nové Město, Czech Republic 10 km Individual F World Cup 3rd
3 20 February 2016   Lahti, Finland 1.6 km Sprint F World Cup 2nd
4 1 March 2016   Gatineau, Canada 1.7 km Sprint F Stage World Cup 3rd
5 12 March 2016   Canmore, Canada 10 km Pursuit C Stage World Cup 3rd
6 2016–17 3 December 2016   Lillehammer, Norway 5 km Individual F Stage World Cup 1st
7 3 January 2017   Oberstdorf, Germany 5 km + 5 km Skiathlon C/F Stage World Cup 2nd
8 6 January 2017   Toblach, Italy 5 km Individual F Stage World Cup 1st
9 2017–18 1 January 2018   Lenzerheide, Switzerland 10 km Pursuit F Stage World Cup 3rd
10 7 January 2018   Val di Fiemme, Italy 9 km Pursuit F Stage World Cup 3rd
11 30 December 2017
– 7 January 2018
    Tour de Ski Overall Standings World Cup 3rd
12 28 January 2018   Seefeld, Austria 10 km Mass Start F World Cup 1st
13 7 March 2018   Drammen, Norway 1.2 km Sprint C World Cup 3rd
14 11 March 2018   Oslo, Norway 30 km Mass Start F World Cup 2nd
15 18 March 2018   Falun, Sweden 10 km Pursuit F Stage World Cup 1st
16 16–18 March 2018   World Cup Final Overall Standings World Cup 2nd
17 2018–19 29 December 2018   Toblach, Italy 1.3 km Sprint F Stage World Cup 3rd
18 1 January 2019   Val Müstair, Switzerland 1.4 km Sprint F Stage World Cup 3rd
19 3 January 2019   Oberstdorf, Germany 10 km Pursuit F Stage World Cup 3rd
20 16 February 2019   Cogne, Italy 1.6 km Sprint F World Cup 1st
21 17 March 2019   Falun, Sweden 10 km Individual F World Cup 3rd
22 2019–20 1 December 2019   Rukatunturi, Finland 10 km Pursuit F Stage World Cup 3rd
23 7 December 2019   Lillehammer, Norway 7.5 km + 7.5 km Skiathlon C/F World Cup 2nd
24 15 December 2019   Davos, Switzerland 10 km Individual F World Cup 3rd
25 4 January 2020   Val di Fiemme, Italy 1.3 km Sprint C Stage World Cup 3rd
26 26 January 2020   Oberstdorf, Germany 1.5 km Sprint C World Cup 3rd
27  2020–21  1 January 2021   Val Müstair, Switzerland 1.4 km Sprint F Stage World Cup 3rd
28 2 January 2021 10 km Mass Start C Stage World Cup 3rd
29 3 January 2021 10 km Pursuit F Stage World Cup 1st
30 5 January 2021   Toblach, Italy 10 km Individual F Stage World Cup 1st
31 6 January 2021 10 km Pursuit C Stage World Cup 3rd
32 9 January 2021   Val di Fiemme, Italy 10 km Mass Start F Stage World Cup 2nd
33 1–10 January 2021    Tour de Ski Overall Standings World Cup 1st
34 29 January 2021   Falun, Sweden 10 km Individual F World Cup 1st
35 6 February 2021   Ulricehamn, Sweden 1.3 km Sprint F World Cup 3rd
36 2021–22 3 December 2021   Lillehammer, Norway 1.6 km Sprint F World Cup 2nd
37 12 December 2021   Davos, Switzerland 10 km Individual F World Cup 2nd
38 28 December 2021   Lenzerheide, Switzerland 1.5 km Sprint F Stage World Cup 1st
39 31 December 2021   Oberstdorf, Germany 10 km Mass Start F Stage World Cup 1st
40 12 March 2022   Falun, Sweden 10 km Individual F World Cup 3rd

Team podiumsEdit

  • 2 victories – (1 RL, 1 TS)
  • 9 podiums – (6 RL, 3 TS)
No. Season Date Location Race Level Place Teammate(s)
1 2011–12 15 January 2012   Milan, Italy 6 × 1.4 km Team Sprint F World Cup 2nd Randall
2 2012–13 25 November 2012   Gällivare, Sweden 4 × 5 km Relay C/F World Cup 3rd Brooks / Randall / Stephen
3 7 December 2012   Quebec City, Canada 6 × 1.6 km Team Sprint F World Cup 1st Randall
4 2013–14 8 December 2013   Lillehammer, Norway 4 × 5 km Relay C/F World Cup 3rd Randall / Bjornsen / Stephen
5 2015–16 6 December 2015   Lillehammer, Norway 4 × 5 km Relay C/F World Cup 3rd  Brennan / Bjornsen / Stephen 
6 24 January 2016   Nové Město, Czech Republic 4 × 5 km Relay C/F World Cup 2nd Caldwell / Bjornsen / Stephen
7 2019–20 8 December 2019   Lillehammer, Norway 4 × 5 km Relay C/F World Cup 2nd  Caldwell / Bjornsen / Brennan 
8 2021–22 19 December 2021   Dresden, Germany 12 × 0.65 km Team Sprint F World Cup 2nd Kern
9 13 March 2022   Falun, Sweden 4 × 5 km Mixed Relay F World Cup 1st Brennan / Ketterson / Patterson

US National Championships medalsEdit

2011 –   Rumford, Maine   1st, sprint freestyle
2011 –   Sun Valley, Idaho   3rd, 30 km classic mass start
2012 –   Rumford, Maine   1st, sprint freestyle
2012 –   Rumford, Maine   1st, 10 km freestyle
2012 –   Rumford, Maine   1st, 20 km classic mass start
2012 –   Rumford, Maine   2nd, sprint classic
2012 –   Craftsbury, Vermont   2nd, 30 km freestyle mass start
2016 –   Craftsbury, Vermont   1st, 30 km freestyle mass start
2018 –   Craftsbury, Vermont   1st, 30 km freestyle mass start

BibliographyEdit

  • Diggins, Jessie and Smith, Todd (2020). Brave Enough. ISBN 978-1517908195

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Jessie Diggins". usskiandsnowboard.org. United States Ski and Snowboard Association. Retrieved 25 February 2018.
  2. ^ "Jessie Diggins". U.S. Ski & Snowboard. Retrieved 2019-03-08.
  3. ^ a b c Jessie Diggins at the International Ski Federation
  4. ^ a b c OlympicTalk (2021-03-09). "Jessie Diggins clinches historic World Cup overall title". OlympicTalk | NBC Sports. Retrieved 2021-03-10.
  5. ^ a b "Jessie Diggins". Team USA. Retrieved February 26, 2018.
  6. ^ "Jessie Diggins". U.S. Ski & Snowboard. Retrieved February 26, 2018.
  7. ^ a b Emerson, Dan (January 2017). "Afton's Jessie Diggins is a star on the U.S. Nordic Ski Team". Community Life Magazine. Retrieved February 26, 2018.
  8. ^ "Minnesota High School Rankings". Skinnyski.com. Retrieved 2021-11-18.
  9. ^ "High School 2008". Skinnyski.com. Retrieved 2021-11-18.
  10. ^ "High School 2009". Skinnyski.com. Retrieved 2021-11-18.
  11. ^ "About – Jessie Diggins: Making the Choice to Ski". 2019. Retrieved 2021-11-18.
  12. ^ "Ladies' Skiathlon 7.5 km Classic + 7.5 km Free Results". SOOC. Retrieved February 8, 2014.
  13. ^ "FIS Ski World Cup Leader Board". International Ski Federation. Archived from the original on 2016-03-16. Retrieved March 15, 2016.
  14. ^ Axon, Rachel (24 February 2017). "U.S. women make history at cross-country skiing world championships". USAToday.com. Retrieved 4 March 2018.
  15. ^ Shinn, Peggy (26 February 2017). "Jessie Diggins, Sadie Bjornsen Win Bronze In Team Sprint; Diggins Is First American To Win 4 World Medals". United States Olympic Committee. Retrieved 4 March 2018.
  16. ^ "Jessie Diggins takes third in Tour de Ski, makes history for U.S. team". USAToday.com. 7 January 2018. Retrieved 11 January 2018.
  17. ^ Dougherty, Tom (February 21, 2018). "U.S. ends 42-year Olympic cross-country medal drought with historic gold". NBC Universal. Archived from the original on 2018-03-07. Retrieved February 27, 2018.
  18. ^ "Women's Team Sprint Ending". Twitter. National Broadcasting Company. 21 February 2018. Retrieved 23 February 2022.
  19. ^ "Team USA 2018 Playlist: Jessie Diggins And Kikkan Randall Win Gold". YouTube. United States Olympic Team. 7 December 2018. Retrieved 24 February 2022.
  20. ^ Nancy Armour (23 February 2018). "Gold medalist Jessie Diggins will carry U.S. flag in 2018 Winter Olympics closing ceremony". USA Today. Retrieved 26 November 2018.
  21. ^ Chappell, Bill. "Jessie Diggins wins first-ever U.S. Olympic medal in cross-country sprint". npr.org. February 8, 2022. Retrieved February 8, 2022.
  22. ^ Scott, Roxanna. American Jessie Diggins wins silver in 30K, Team USA's final medal in Beijing. USA Today. February 20, 2022. Retrieved February 20, 2022.
  23. ^ Schrader, Adam (February 20, 2022). "Jessie Diggins wins silver medal for U.S. in 30-km. cross-country skiing". UPI. Retrieved February 20, 2022.
  24. ^ Gastelum, Andrew (February 20, 2022). "Jessie Diggins Reveals Food Poisoning Bout Before Winning Historic Silver in 30-Km Race". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved February 20, 2022.
  25. ^ Coleman, Alyson. "About". Fast and Female. Retrieved 2019-03-08.
  26. ^ Coleman, Alyson. "Ambassadors - USA". Fast and Female. Archived from the original on 2019-05-24. Retrieved 2019-03-08.
  27. ^ "Jessie Diggins talks climate change & Olympic gold | Cross-country skiing". Retrieved 2019-11-07.
  28. ^ "Jessie Diggins: Facing my Fears and Finding Recovery". The Emily Program. 2019-02-25. Retrieved 2020-10-21.
  29. ^ "How Olympic gold medalist Jessie Diggins works to be her own best cheerleader". Star Tribune. Retrieved 2020-10-21.
  30. ^ "'Brave Enough' Book Review: Here Comes Diggins's Memoir – FasterSkier.com". Retrieved 2020-10-21.

External linksEdit