Anyone interested in the Winter Olympic sports of Cross-Country Skiing and Biathlon can see Minnesota’s Olympic Nordic Skiing Champion Jessie Diggins competing in World Cup events on the Olympic Channel and occasionally on the NBC Sports Network most weekends throughout this fall and winter. Former Vasaloppet announcer Chad Salmela, Duluth will be providing color commentary of each World Cup Cross-Country and Biathlon skiing race.
Diggins will be competing in and Salmela will be announcing for NBC at the World Cup Cross-Country Ski races that will be held at Theodore Wirth Park in Minneapolis on Tuesday, March 17.
In World Cup races Diggins has been on the podium (in the top three finishers) 21 times in individual events and six times in team sprint and relay events. She has earned four World Championship medals and is well known for her gold medal in the team sprint with Kikkan Randall at the 2018 Winter Olympics in South Korea. She has skied the Mora Vasaloppet USA Miniloppet as a child and won the 13K race as a teenager. She was a three-time State High School Girls’ Nordic Skiing Champion.
Salmela started and coached the Nordic Skiing program at St. Scholastica College in Duluth for 10 years. He is now the cross-country running and distance running track coach at the college. He has announced Nordic Skiing events for NBC for the last four Winter Olympics and World Cup Cross-Country and Biathlon races for many winters. He is the nephew of Terry Salmela of Mora.
World Cup television coverage started at the end of Thanksgiving week with cross-country skiing races in Ruka, Finland and biathlon races in Ostersund, Sweden.
In Sunday’s Women’s 10K Pursuit Freestyle Race in Ruka Finland, Diggins finished fifth after starting 12th. She had the third fastest time in the race for the day. Sadie Maubet Bjornsen finished fourth after starting in second. The Americans had three in the top ten (4th, 5th and 10th) with Rosie Brennan in 10th.
On Friday, Bjornsen placed third for a bronze medal in the Classic Sprints. On Saturday, she placed 4th in the 10K Classic race and became the overall world cup leader, a first for an American. Brennan placed 6th. The US women’s team is currently the second most dominant team on the World Cup behind the perennially dominant Norwegians.