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CloudDweller182 t1_jaciqoo wrote

Still remember the days when Estonia was as good as USA is now. Now we are where USA used to be, at the back of the pack.


Buckscience t1_jadmwwp wrote

They're coming back. My kid coaches Mariel Pulles and Chris Kalev at Fairbanks and got to coach them at World Uni Games. Mariel, in particular, is a good one. She'll start making some noise on the World Cup tour soon.


FSchmertz t1_jacqbd1 wrote

Guessing you have a few less people than the US?

If you have less to pick from, you're less likely to find the "best in the world."

It's just that the US didn't have that many X-C skiers in the past, and still doesn't have a lot of places with the necessary snow for it.

Signed Captain Obvious? ;)


Ok_Introduction2 t1_jacwkm5 wrote

Bro, look at Norway. They are amazing at the Winter Olympics! Size and population are not the only factors.


MoozeRiver t1_jad534t wrote

It's more about that Estonia had quite a few doping cases in XC skiing in the past and that basically killed interest.


CloudDweller182 t1_jaepe6e wrote

Well non of the medal winner were never caught doping i guess but they probably were doing it. Guess they had good enough support team to make sure they are “cleared”.

Tho the recent doping scandal, boosting and still finishing 60++, just goes to show that even if you do dope, you still got to have the strength and skill to compete for medal.


AGreatBandName t1_jadb0oi wrote

Cross country skiing is not a mass participation sport in the US. I live in a place that gets reliable snow (or at least it used to up until a decade ago), and you would really have to seek out xc ski racing. Every high school has basketball teams in my area, but very few have xc skiing even though it would be a good complement to track (spring) and cross country running (fall).

Yes there is a lot of potential for finding the best with a higher population, but if these people never get introduced to the sport it won’t happen. On the other hand Norway has a population of less than Minnesota, but routinely dominates xc and biathlon. (Speaking of biathlon, you’d think the US would be good at it because, ya know, guns, but it’s the only Olympic sport we’ve never medaled in)

Hopefully one thing that will come out of the success of the American women in xc skiing over the past few years is increased interest in the sport, not just competitively but also recreationally. If nothing else it would give the people in my area a fun activity to do in the winter so they’d stop bitching every time it snows.


TheAustr0naut t1_jadlm5i wrote

I never heard of biathlon before this comment. Thank you for introducing me to the world of guns on skis.


AGreatBandName t1_jado5b2 wrote

Video of all the biathlon World Cup (a series of races for top competitors throughout each winter) and world championships races are free at

The biathlon world championships were just held a week or two ago. There are several different formats of races - interval starts where each person competes individually and whoever has the best time at the end wins, relays with either same-gender or mixed-gender, and a mass start where everyone starts at once and the first across the line wins.

The men’s and women’s mass starts were both particularly good this year, they’d be a good introduction to biathlon imo.


There’s also /r/biathlon but I don’t really go on there much so I can’t vouch for it myself.


Edit: the link for the men’s race doesn’t work right, this one will take you directly to the video:


Frankishism t1_jaeqwza wrote

Biathlon is a big deal for me because it was the first sport where I enjoyed watching men’s and women events equally, and then I realized my gender bias in sports and changed my attitude across the board. I was a younger teenager at the time, so always a bit thankful. Also I hope the U.S. gets a medal soon.


WesternOne9990 t1_jae58uv wrote

It’s commonplace in Minnesota.

I actually sorta competed on the same cross country team as her basically because men and womens team practiced together… I was 4 years too young to know her but my brother did from classes.

She also lived in Afton where they have the ski hill called afton alps attached to afton state park where they have groomed trails for Nordic, which is what we called cross country.


robspeaks t1_jacwr94 wrote

Her gold-medal finish in the team sprint at the 2018 Olympics was thrilling.


eagle_eye_larry t1_jad5q9s wrote


ipsofacto122 t1_jadl74p wrote

Was gonna post this myself if I didn’t see it here. Probably my favorite sports moment ever.


sublime1691 t1_jaduq6x wrote

You are the MVP for linking original quality video clip. YouTube will only net you someone with a phone recording their TV while screaming along. Lol


whatsthehappenstance t1_jacxago wrote

It was the greatest TV call in the history of skiing. The dude yelling/screaming was her former coach.


vstrong50 t1_jaeiaag wrote

The call and emotion from him (Chad Salmela), was second to none.


sublime1691 t1_jadksrg wrote

HERE COMES DIGGENS will forever live in history with call in that battle


rufusvonburon t1_jaeajx7 wrote

Makes me cry every time even though it’s not my sport. I suppose it’s the mostly the passionate announcing but there’s something about when she launches into the final sprint. A solo athlete on the brink of exhaustion digging in for an effort that they’ve dedicated their whole life to.


madladolle t1_jaez9vc wrote

Still can't believe Sweden lost it, so good at sprint usually


[deleted] t1_jacrh9j wrote



usmagrad87 t1_jad44oy wrote

And she won by 14 seconds! That is a huge lead.


vstrong50 t1_jaeii4u wrote

It's probably the hardest Olympic level endurance sport. I'm a competitive endurance cyclist and have done cross country skiing and the two aren't close.


[deleted] t1_jadwmd2 wrote



freerangetrollfarmer t1_jae3rzx wrote

You can also teach toddlers to run, but it’s flipping hard to win a marathon with best runners from around the world.


Forkrul t1_jaekzds wrote

He didn't say competitive skiing was hard, he said skiing itself was hard. Which it's very much not.


SD_prairie_Goat t1_jae8z87 wrote

I'm on your side. Really not that hard to learn how to ski. Learning to ski well is more about being amazingly in shape, technical skill comes later.

I'm guessing all the down votes have never tried skiing and just imagine it's difficult


Mastodon31 t1_jaec41c wrote

Ok now go ski up the mountain. Let me know if you can still do this


SD_prairie_Goat t1_jaech1s wrote

I'm in a limited snow state, but I could. You don't forget 8 years of xc skiing. Might be rusty and out of shape but it's like riding a bike


Forkrul t1_jaekk80 wrote

I've skied up mountains, down mountains and across highlands on cross country skis since I was a little boy. It's really not hard, you just need to be in decent shape if you want to go fast. My mom is past 70 and still goes for 5 or 10 mile trips regularly for some light exercise.


l_--__--_l t1_jad0gv2 wrote

In 1976, Bill Koch won the US’ first xc Olympic medal, a silver in the men's 30 km race at the Innsbruck Olympics.

The result was so unexpected that US TV didn’t even cover the race.


bare-spare t1_jad1y2c wrote

He was one of the pioneers of freestyle cross country skiing right?


cho_bits t1_jad2tmq wrote

Yup, he created skate skiing (edit apparently popularized but didn’t create!) a much faster technique that totally revolutionized the sport, similar to what the Fosbury flop did for the high jump.


niems3 t1_jad6gkb wrote

I’d say it’s more similar to the butterfly stroke in swimming. Some dude figured out that the motions of the butterfly were legal within the former rules of the breast stroke, so he did that and they ended up creating a new discipline within swimming. Skate and Classic are two different disciplines within Nordic skiing. The manufacturers loved it because it required everyone to have two sets of equipment 😂


cho_bits t1_jadj5hy wrote

Ah yeah fair point! Skate didn’t replace classic. I’m Just glad more people are learning about the sport as a whole! I saw an interview with Kikkan Randall a few years ago and she talked about how she’s a huge celebrity in Europe and then she goes home and nobody recognizes her, even though at the time she was one of the best and most successful athletes representing the US.


ActualWhiterabbit t1_jadrvv1 wrote

The real secret is just to just classic while double poling only so you only have to buy one pair of skis but still wear combi boots


madscandi t1_jaej7y3 wrote

He didn't create it. Johan Grøttumsbråten used it all the way back in the 1930s, and it was used in ski marathons up until Koch built on it and popularized it in the 80s on the biggest stage.


cho_bits t1_jaey8a8 wrote

Edited thanks! Typical American man taking the credit 😂


Agitated-Airline6760 t1_jadcq2o wrote

>The result was so unexpected that US TV didn’t even cover the race.

US TV networks and specially NBC in recent years are terrible at covering Olympics and in particular non-mainstream sports.


sublime1691 t1_jadn5ut wrote

Remember when the snowboarder Ludeska won Olympic gold in downhill skiing after they shut the coverage off? And had to bounce back on replay to show the greatest upset ever?

Edit- reminded it was Super G, point stands

Yup NBC Olympic coverage is awful if it's not figure skating.


Agitated-Airline6760 t1_jadpkw2 wrote

Yup, countless example of showing events on tape delayed when it should've/could've been shown live and then not showing the full event but chop it up where they only show american(s) and perhaps medal winning portion if applicable. And also broadcast it where for something like SG event - btw Ledecká won the upset gold in SuperG event not downhill but hey close enough for government work - will be done with showing like 5-6 skiers on tape delay then go 4 minute commercial break then go back to figure skating for 40 minutes then come back and show 6 other SG runs.

The only good thing I can say is, at least with streaming which NBC was forced to do, I can watch the events live instead of only prime time chopped up "plausibly live" coverage.


sublime1691 t1_jadrkyd wrote

Forgot it was Super g but still a premier event in which I got to watch them scramble to try to figure out how they missed in a Marquee event they missed it entirely. I get she started like 45th, and almost never happens, but even their make up replay coverage was so tone deaf. Like they cared more about explaining why they totally weren't wrong for not staying live.

I mean I might have cut it after the first 30. But just fix it with a good add on coverage. Don't cut back in to explain how right you were. Lol


Agitated-Airline6760 t1_jadssd9 wrote

It was worse than you remember b/c Ledecká was bib# 26. I mean I get that only the top 20 is seeded and alpine racing is not figure skating. But come on NBC should've put it on live on one of the gazillion cable channels uninterrupted until the conclusion of the race/event.


sublime1691 t1_jadtpqi wrote

Exactly. And if super g isn't a big enough sell for MSNBC 3 then what the hell is?

That being said, they have covered the Hahnenkamm well when they have had it. So I'll give them a little slack thanks to that fact.


Agitated-Airline6760 t1_jadutps wrote

Well, I think it wasn't SG necessarily but the "women's" part was more germane part. Related to the Jessie Diggins, she is swimming upstream in multiple levels competing in women's nordic racing.


sublime1691 t1_jadvu9x wrote

Jessie Diggens back on topic has actually changed the culture of cross country skiing in Minnesota. She has set up camps and has young Minnesotans thinking they can beat the Scandinavians at their own game. I'm pretty sure there are a few inspired by her that are getting ready to be next.

She's a pretty amazing person. Won't lie, got an autograph when she did a event in Duluth after her win in 18.


sublime1691 t1_jadskno wrote

I agree. Streaming will save the shit show of their broadcasting so they can focus on 4 hours of ice dancing. It's basically dancing with the stars for them and I guess that's what viewers eat up.

I'm guessing Michaela shiffrin will win her 120th title on replay while the Estonian pair in ice dancing puts up an 11th place performance live. 😃


alinroc t1_jadkc8b wrote

It’s not “recent years.” It’s been terrible since I can remember (1988) and every 2 years gets worse.

One glorious winter I had access to CBC and NBC for the Winter Games and CBC’s coverage was excellent.


Buckscience t1_jadliq0 wrote

CBC Olympic coverage back in the early 2000's was the ONLY way to watch the Olympics. So much better than NBC was at the time. Streaming has changed everything.


Buckscience t1_jadml24 wrote

Jessie is an indisputably great person, and an amazing ambassador for the sport. In 2011(?) she raced nationals in Rumford, ME, and wrote a glowing letter thanking everybody--volunteers, the town, the spectators. Next year they returned to Rumford, so I somehow contacted her and asked her if she'd visit our school to speak. She declined that, with busy schedule, and wanting to reduce exposure to the cesspool of germs in a school, but offered to ski with the middle school team I coached. She brought along Jennie Bender, who was also a pretty big-deal racer. My son was in 8th grade at the time, and has gone on to ski collegiately and now coaches at Alaska-Fairbanks, in no small part because of Jessie and Jennie.

She's a hero.


LightningVole t1_jaf3u1n wrote

Those two were on Team CXC together along with Caitlin Gregg, if I’m remembering correctly.


Buckscience t1_jaf4bl7 wrote

That sounds right. They both were anyway, I just don’t know Caitlin definitively. But I think you’re right.


nimama3233 t1_jacspyr wrote

What a boss. She’s from Saint Paul and that makes me proud as a local!


scsuhockey t1_jad9qwx wrote



zoinkability t1_jadoxim wrote

Aaand... the XC World Cup will be in the Twin Cities next year after having been canceled in 2020 due to COVID!

For those who don't know, it is extremely rare for the XC World Cup to hold races outside Europe. So this is a big deal, and I believe Jessie Diggins has been one of the people advocating hard for it to come to North America more often.


WesternOne9990 t1_jae78qn wrote

Isn’t she from afton? She went to my high school in Stillwater I know that for sure.


bearybearington t1_jaeopjm wrote

She’s from Afton, per her memoir. But St. Paul likes to claim her.


KauaiRoosterParty t1_jaclerp wrote

She is on a mission. Amazing to see such a great athlete continue to push forward. 💪


GeneralLynx3 t1_jacwyo3 wrote

They advertise renting snowshoes and cross country skiing equipment in our area. I was not surprised she’s from Minnesota. It’s SO popular here.


tylerhovi t1_jadjb31 wrote

If you haven't done it yet, do it. XC Skiing is a lifetime sport, I just jumped on the train here this year (in Minn.) and have been absolutely hooked. No better way to enjoy winter here than XC skiing.


Buckscience t1_jadn6r9 wrote

Great way to overcome Seasonal Affect Disorder. Fresh air and sunshine in the doldrums of winter do wonders for mental and physical health.


tylerhovi t1_jadosgj wrote

I've tried explaining this to my partner but she just despises the cold. Hoping she comes around next year and goes out on the trails with me more.


tribrnl t1_jae0yru wrote

It looks so fun, but I'm in Kansas, so we don't have the sustained cold and snow over the winter to be able to try it without traveling. Plus I'm a cyclist, so there's some overlap there (it seems like xc ski is popular cross training).


WesternOne9990 t1_jae7uri wrote

Here during the Minnesota summers it’s not an uncommon site on the bike trails and foot paths to see people “skiing” on their extended roller blades that are basically skis with wheels. I’ve only tried it once, fun fact i got to use those roller blades for summer practice while being apart of the same Nordic team she was on but like four years after.


DigMeTX t1_jacncxh wrote

Wooow! That is amazing!


1imp4n t1_jadkenf wrote

Congrats Jessie! I was hoping for Ebba or Frida but I'm glad Jessie won it, anytime a nation other than Sweden or Norway wins is good for the sport.


Buckscience t1_jadno5i wrote

So many of the top racers are easy to root for. Jessie will always be my favorite, but on any given day it's usually easy to be happy for whoever is on the podium...though I can't say I miss Johaug that much...


Nolofinwe_Curufinwe t1_jaf2kzk wrote

Why? Johaug was a boss.


Buckscience t1_jaf2x9k wrote

She was so good I could appreciate her greatness, but it was boring when every race was a race for silver.


avdpos t1_jadvi9w wrote

Even if I am a swede I agree . We have after all already got a full podium already this year.


BurtonPerformer t1_jacqeqk wrote

Can we watch this somewhere?


BurtonPerformer t1_jacslf5 wrote


kultom t1_jadouqz wrote

As a Norwegian and so used to watching whole races when growing up and not recaps like this, wtf with the random signing of the board. This frantic cutting in this recap is the weirdest experience in a while. Was this some AI doing this?


avdpos t1_jadv8ur wrote

Recaps of cross country can be really boring. I watch the whole race or nothing.

But I'm like you used to cross country as I'm a swede


flashgski t1_jacuan0 wrote is the official u s ski team streaming partner this year


skinte1 t1_jaeu4yf wrote

If you have a VPN and set it to Norway you can watch it and alla other races for free on NRK TV.


QuirrelsTurban t1_jad8npn wrote

I remember watching the team sprint in 2018 during the Olympics and just being so psyched that America won the gold with Diggins and Randall. Just love watching a sport normally dominated by other countries being won by country who doesn't usually win the top prize.


zoinkability t1_jadpiiq wrote

Yay Jessie! She is a phenomenal skier and person. Her memoir "Brave Enough" is well worth a read. And she has been a role model for teambuilding and team member inclusion in a sport where some stars have been notably aloof from their national teams.


Chrissie319 t1_jaed1py wrote

Wow! Had to read that title twice. Not the first woman. Not the first man. Not the first black American. But the first American wow! That’s impressive!!


ActualWhiterabbit t1_jadrhws wrote

So it turns out the secret to being a successful Minnesota skiier is to wear your own bib.


cmnthom t1_jadwpdq wrote

She’s “one of us” in my area. Local news outlets creaming their pants right now.


WesternOne9990 t1_jae4n14 wrote

She went to my high school! Apparently my older brother had a few classes. We got to stop class and watch her compete.


Pileofme t1_jadpi2s wrote

When she feels exhaustion start to take hold, she internally repeats 17 "dig-in"s.


91singletrack t1_jaexj7u wrote

This is a big deal. A huge achievement. Congratulations Jesse Diggins.


borderlineidiot t1_jadny4q wrote

I must be too tired. I read that as she skied across the country from coast to coast.


anon19111 t1_jaehs4n wrote

Can someone post a link to the actual event instead of whatever the F that dumb NBC musak video they had at the linked article?


Mormegil1971 t1_jaeycwp wrote

Few have deserved it more. Congrats from Sweden!


Oldtimer_2 t1_jaeyobb wrote

Amazing accomplishment


madladolle t1_jaez6cp wrote

Frida and Ebba will take her in the next race


MJsLoveSlave t1_jadm2j6 wrote

My sleepy ass read this as "cross-dresser" at first


Semen_K t1_jacozip wrote

wow I did not know they give out medals for skiing across the country!


heephap t1_jadu6ki wrote

Not sure why so downvoted this made me lol.


Semen_K t1_jae53j3 wrote

lol, apparently there is a competition to be the most serious person on reddit, too :D