US Women Skiers Wired by World Cup in Oslo

Jessie Diggins (MN) and Holly Brooks (AK) in front of Holmenkollen ski-jump at the 2011 World Cup (photo courtesy of Holly Brooks).

Jessie Diggins (MN) and Holly Brooks (AK) in front of Holmenkollen ski-jump at the 2011 World Cup (photo courtesy of Holly Brooks).

John Erik Stacy 7 Mar 2011

Norwegians are crazy for skiing and their mania was pumped to the bursting point as hosts of the World Cup championships in Nordic Skiing. “The Norwegian skiers here are like rock stars” writes Team USA skier Holly Brooks on her blog; “Signs of skiers are everywhere” and she notes the yield for skier signs on country roads and ski figures on milk cartons. Sadie Bjornsen from Winthrop WA writes that she experienced “a whole new meaning of cheering and crowds” and that “the crowd would go wild…. even when we were just warming up!!”

It may seem natural then that Norway had nine gold medals in the twelve cross country events. But when you consider that the Germans, Russians, Fins, Estonians, Poles, Slovenians, Slovaks, Austrians, Italians, Swiss AND the Swedes (!) are also pretty darn serious about the sport, you can appreciate how remarkable the Norwegian performance indeed is. And you can begin to fathom the challenge faced by US skiers competing on Norwegian snow.

The women’s relay was a high point for the US, with Jessie Diggins (Afton MN) fighting up to 9th place: “That’s the great thing about relays – no matter how bad you’re hurting, you can never throw in the towel when you know you’re teammates are counting on you!” Jessie returned to MN the next day to prepare for the Junior Nationals at Theodore Wirth Park in Minneapolis.

Women representing US in 2011 World Cup:

Morgan ArritolaSun Valley Ski Education Foundation Idaho

Sadie BjornsenAPU Nordic Ski Center Alaska

Holly Brooks – APU Nordic Ski Center

Jessica DigginsCentral Cross Country Ski Association – Wisconsin

Kikkan Randall – APU Nordic Ski Center

Ida SargentDartmouth Ski Team New Hampshire

Elizabeth StephenBurke Mountain Academy Vermont

Yield for skier (Photo HB)

Yield for skier (Photo HB)

Nature + Skiing = Health (Photo HB)

Nature + Skiing = Health (Photo HB)

Sadie Bjornsen, Jessie Diggins and Holly Brooks in "Nordmarka" (Photo HB)

Sadie Bjornsen, Jessie Diggins and Holly Brooks in "Nordmarka" (Photo HB)

USSA bios

Morgan Arritola

Kikkan Randal

Liz Stephen

Blog links and quotes

Sadie Bjornsen “The fans were incredible, but the athletes were even more incredible. I have watched hundreds of world cup races on TV and video’s, and to be honest, I even considered it a chance to be able to ski with them for a bit. But when I had the chance to watch them ski in person… I was in awe.”

Holly Brooks “My “recovery ski” this morning was perhaps one of the most amazing things I’ve ever done. At the 5k turnaround – as FAR AS YOU CAN GET FROM THE STADIUM – thousands of people cheered me on as I tried to keep it level one. It was INCREDIBLE!”

Jessie Diggins “…the fans were filing into the stands and scrambling for a good viewing position along the course. They were singing, dancing, waving flags, and the Swedish fans were carrying extra large flags to try to balance out against the sea of red screaming for Norway.”

Kikkan Randall “I came into this championships more prepared and with higher expectations that I had ever before. Yet unfortunately, due to some bad luck, I came out empty handed and a little disappointed.”

Liz Stephen “As Oslo is the birthplace of nordic skiing, saying people are into it over here, really doesn’t come close to summing up how into it these people are.”

This article was originally published in the March 11, 2011 issue of the Norwegian American Weekly. For more information about the Norwegian American Weekly or to subscribe, call us toll free (800) 305-0217 or email

The Norwegian American

Published since May 17, 1889 PO Box 30863 Seattle WA 98113 Tel: (206) 784-4617 • Email:

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