Minnesota cross-country skiers Jessie Diggins and Caitlin Gregg made United States skiing history this morning by finishing second and third respectively in the 10 kilometer freestyle event at the world Nordic skiing competition in Falun, Sweden.
Diggins, a Stillwater Area High School graduate from Afton, finished second. Gregg finished third, marking the first time two Americans placed in the top three at an international competition, according to NBC Sports.
The race was among the least predictable events held this season on the World Cup circuit, according to a report on the US Ski Team’s website.
Snow was forecast for start time but at the actual start, there were just tiny little flakes, which created little impact on the event. As the race went on however, the heavy snow moved in, hindering the later skiers.
“It was hard to see anything and it was getting slower all the time,” Diggins said. “The climbs were getting soft. The coaches were running next to me going crazy so I knew that I was in it. I couldn’t be happier.
“We’ve never had U.S. girls podium at a distance event at the World Champs and to have two? It’s incredible,” Diggins said during a press conference. “We talked at the team meeting last night and I said, ‘Why not me?’”
Diggins, a state champion as a Pony, was a member of the 2014 U.S. Olympic team. Diggins skied with Gregg, of Minneapolis, at training camps when she was a junior at Stillwater Area High School.
“I’ve looked up to Caitlin for a long time and that makes this so incredible,” Diggins said. “It was amazing; the skis were unreal. Lucky for me it started snowing. This is the best race of my life. I am so happy.”
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