Minnesota’s Jessie Diggins First American to Win the Tour de Ski
She's already an Olympian who's won a gold medal, and now Minnesota's Jessie Diggins just became the first American to win another huge race.
Anytime one of our fellow Minnesotans shines on the national stage, it's pretty cool. And when that stage is actually an international one, like the 2021 Tour de Ski race, held recently in Italy, it's even cooler. Literally.
And for Afton native Jessie Diggins, her win Sunday was record-setting. Because, according to this NBC Sports story, Diggins is the first American from Team USA to ever win the international Tour de Ski cross country race.
You might remember Jessie Diggins from the 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang, China, when she and her fellow Team USA member, Kikkan Randall, won the Gold Medal in team sprint freestyle. Diggins, who got her start skiing on the slopes over at Afton Alps (about an hour and twenty minutes northeast of Rochester in Afton, Minnesota), also represented Team USA during the winter games in Sochi, Russia.
And Sunday, she outlasted Russian Yuliya Stupak and came in with the fastest time in the 10-day, 8-stage Tour de Ski in Cavalese, Italy. The story said the Tour de Ski is a long-distance race, similar to the Tour de France bicycle race. It's been held each year since starting in the 2006-2007 season. Each competitor skis a certain distance each day, and their times are compiled to find the fastest skier. And, this year, it was Jessie Diggins.
Team USA noted it might have been the biggest accomplishment of Diggins' career, seeing as no American had ever won the race before-- and she's also the first winner from outside Europe. And, yeah, it's a big deal, as Diggins noted on the Team USA website:
I think it’s so cool for our country to show that it’s possible...
So, congrats, Jessie! Way to represent Minnesota-- and the entire U.S. of A! Now, if YOU'D like to get out and enjoy our winter season here in Minnesota, but you're not quite the same caliber skier that Jessie is, never fear. You can still enjoy a night in an igloo-- right here in the Land of 10,000 Lakes! Keep scrolling to see the way-cool pictures...