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U.S. Ski & Snowboard Congress 2018

By U.S. Ski & Snowboard
December, 1 2017
U.S. Ski & Snowboard Congress

U.S. Ski & Snowboard Congress, the annual meeting of the organization, takes place May 1-5 in Park City, Utah. The Congress is open to all, and there is no fee to attend the meetings.  

There is a fee to attend the U.S. Ski & Snowboard chairman's awards dinner, which takes place during the Congress.  The Congress features meetings of the sport committees and subcommittees, as well as the U.S. Ski & Snowboard Board of Directors. 

For U.S. Ski & Snowboard Congress and the chairman's awards dinner, information, registration and hotel accommodations please refer to the schedule, registration and chairman awards dinner links in the Resources Section to the right (if viewing on a desktop, or below if viewing on a mobile device), or visit the meetings page.

View All
As of May 2, 2019.
Please use the link to register for U.S. Ski & Snowboard Congress 2019.
Please use this link to purchase tickets to the Chairman's Awards dinner.

American Downhillers Ready To Tackle Birds of Prey

By Megan Harrod
November, 30 2017
Thomas Beisemeyer

The North American tour rolls on, with the American Downhillers taking on a perfectly prepared Birds of Prey piste and the women up in Lake Louise for a weekend of speed and exhilaration.

Ted Ligety (Park City, UT), who has won an unprecedented six times on this Birds of Prey track, leads the men into battle this weekend, while Steven Nyman (Sundance, UT) has yet to decide if he’ll return to action after rehabbing his knee after an injury sustained in Garmisch, Germany last January. Travis Ganong (Squaw Valley, CA), who won a silver medal in the downhill at the 2015 World Championships in Beaver Creek, posted the sixth-fastest time in Wednesday’s training run.

Keep an eye on the American Downhillers - they were itching to get back on this track after unseasonably warm weather forced a cancellation last season. Tom Johnston—a.k.a. “Cowboy”—and the fabulous Talon Crew have worked wonders on this surface once again and the guys are saying it’s hard and fast. That means it’ll hold up for the guys in the back of the back, which is good considering Andrew Weibrecht (Lake Placid, NY), Tommy Biesemeyer (Keene, NY) and Ryan Cochran-Siegle (Burlington, VT) all had blazing fast times in the first of two training runs from the back.

This weekend marks the 10-year anniversary of Weibrecht’s bibbo from 54 to 10th place finish in 2007, and the last time the speed men were in Beaver Creek, Ligety and Weibrecht scored a double podiumed in the super-G and led four into the top 11.  
Up north in Lake Louise, Canada - lovingly referred to by many as “Lake Lindsey” - the women take on a pair of downhill races and a super-G on a track where Lindsey Vonn (Vail, CO) has 18 career World Cup

wins - that’s 10 more than anyone else in history. In Thursday’s training run, Vonn posted the second-fastest time behind the Czech Republic’s Ester Ledecka. Vonn led six American women into the top 12, including Mikaela Shiffrin (Eagle-Vail, CO) who landed in 12th. Keep an eye on Breezy Johnson (Victor, ID) and Jackie Wiles (Portland, OR) - two rising stars that could do something special this weekend.

Dan Hicks will call the Birds of Prey action from Beaver Creek, joined by analysts Bode Miller, the most decorated U.S. Olympic skier in history, U.S. Ski Team alumnus Steve Porino and reporter Carolyn Manno also join the action for NBC Sports.

Steve Schlanger and U.S. Ski Team alumnus AJ Kitt will call the action in Lake Louise. See who to watch and where to catch all the action below.

MEN’S STARTERS – Birds of Prey
Bryce Bennett
Tommy Biesemeyer
Ryan Cochran-Siegle
Travis Ganong
Jared Goldberg
Ted Ligety
Wiley Maple
Sam Morse**
Andrew Weibrecht

Bryce Bennett
Tommy Biesemeyer
Travis Ganong
Jared Goldberg
Wiley Maple
Sam Morse
Steven Nyman**
Andrew Weibrecht

Giant Slalom
David Chodounsky
Ryan Cochran-Siegle
Tommy Ford
Tim Jitloff
Ted Ligety
Brian McLaughlin*
River Radamus*

Downhill and Super-G
Stacey Cook
Breezy Johnson
Alice McKennis
Alice Merryweather
Laurenne Ross***
Mikaela Shiffrin
Lindsey Vonn
Jackie Wiles

*Denotes first World Cup start
**Denotes first World Cup start in discipline
***TBD on return to competition

Friday, Dec. 1
1:00 p.m. – Birds of Prey Men’s super-G – NBCSN – LIVE
2:30 p.m. – Women’s downhill – NBCSN – LIVE
7:00 p.m. – Birds of Prey Men’s super-G – Olympic Channel TV (same day delay)

Saturday, Dec. 2
1:00 p.m. – Birds of Prey Men’s downhill – Olympic Channel TV – LIVE
2:00 p.m. – Women’s downhill – NBCSN – LIVE
4:00 p.m. – Women’s downhill – Olympic Channel TV (same day delay)
5:00 p.m. – Birds of Prey Men’s downhill – NBC (same day delay)

Sunday, Dec. 3
11:45 a.m. – Birds of Prey Men’s giant slalom run 1 – NBC Sports App/ – LIVE
1:00 p.m. – Women’s super-G – Olympic Channel TV – LIVE
2:30 p.m. – Birds of Prey Men’s giant slalom run 2 – Olympic Channel TV – LIVE
5:00 p.m. – Birds of Prey Men’s giant slalom – NBC (same day delay)
6:30 p.m. – Women’s super-G – NBCSN (same day delay)

Men’s Downhill Training 1
Men’s Downhill Training 2
Women’s Downhill Training 1
Women’s Downhill Training 2

Athletes On Snow and TV Around the World: Dec. 1-3

By Caitlin Furin
November, 29 2017
Lindsey Vonn DH training at Lake Louise Tuesday, Nov. 29.

Mikaela Shiffrin (Eagle-Vail, Colo.) put on a show in last weekend’s Xfinity Killington Cup, taking second in giant slalom and the win in slalom in front of 34,000 cheering fans. Over in Finland, Sadie Bjornsen (Anchorage) snagged her first World Cup sprint podium with a third-place finish in Ruka Finland, and young guns Caroline Claire (Manchester Center, Vt.) and Colby Stevenson (Park City, Utah) took home a pair of third-place finishes from the freeskiing big air World Cup in Switzerland.

Read on to see where the U.S. Ski & Snowboard Team is competing this week, how to watch and which athletes you may see on the podium.

Birds of Prey - Beaver Creek, Colo.
The fastest men in the world return to the famed Birds of Prey speed venue at Beaver Creek Resort Dec.1-3 for super-G, downhill, and giant slalom races. Ted Ligety (Park City, Utah) will be looking for his seventh win on the GS course. The American Downhiller crew will be out in full force with Travis Ganong (Squaw Valley, Calif.), Andrew Weibrecht (Lake Placid, N.Y.) on the starting roster. Fans may also see the return of Steven Nyman (Sundance, Utah) who was sidelined with an injury last season.

FIS Ski World Cup - Lake Louise, CAN
After a solid showing from the U.S. Ski Team’s men’s squad last weekend, the women will race a pair of downhills and a super-G Dec.1-3. The venue is nicknamed “Lake Lindsey” for a reason -  Lindsey Vonn will be looking to add to her 18 career wins on the track in Lake Louise alongside teammates Stacey Cook (Mammoth Lakes, Calif.) and Jackie Wiles (Aurora, Ore.). Shiffrin, who finished 13th in one of the downhills at Lake Louise last season, will also make an appearance.

FIS Cross Country World Cup - Lillehammer, NOR
After a strong opener in Ruka, Jessie Diggins (Afton, Minn.), Bjornsen and teammates will compete in a classic sprint and skiathlon Dec. 2-3.

FIS Women’s Ski Jumping World Cup - Lillehammer, NOR
World Champion Sarah Hendrickson (Park City, Utah), Nita Englund (Iron Mountain, Mich.), Nina Lussi (Lake Placid, N.Y.), Abby Ringquist (Park City, Utah) and Tara Geraghty-Moats (West Fairlee, Vt.) open the women’s World Cup season for the U.S. Team Nov. 30 - Dec. 3 in Lillehammer, Norway. They will take to the HS138 jump, the first time the World Cup has opened with a large hill event.

FIS Men’s Ski Jumping World Cup - Nizhny Tagil, RUS
With their first World Cup of the season under their belts, Kevin Bickner (Wauconda, Ill.), Will Rhoads (Park City, Utah) and Michael Glasder (Cary, Ill.) will take to the jumps in Russia Dec. 1-3

FIS Nordic Combined World Cup - Lillehammer, NOR
After a pair of top-20 finishes in the World Cup opener in Ruka last weekend, Bryan Fletcher (Steamboat Springs, Colo.) will lead the charge in the second weekend of nordic combined action along with brother Taylor Fletcher (Steamboat Springs, Colo.), Ben Berend (Steamboat Springs, Colo) and Jasper Good (Steamboat Springs, Colo.).

FIS Snowboard & Freeski World Cup - Moenchengladbach, GER
Freeskiers and snowboarders will converge in Germany this weekend for men’s and women’s big air competitions. Freeski athletes will compete on Dec. 1 with snowboarders on Dec. 2. U.S. Snowboard Team rookie Kirra Kotsenburg (Park City, Utah) and Stratton Mountain School freeskier Mac Forehand will represent the U.S.

All times EST
*schedules subject to change

Dec. 1

1:00 p.m. – Birds of Prey Men’s super-G – NBCSN
2:30 p.m. – Women’s downhill – NBCSN
7:00 p.m. – Birds of Prey Men’s super-G – Olympic Channel TV (same day delay)

Dec. 2
1:00 p.m. – Birds of Prey Men’s downhill – Olympic Channel TV
2:00 p.m. – Women’s downhill – NBCSN
4:00 p.m.  – Women’s downhill – Olympic Channel TV (same day delay)
5:00 p.m. – Birds of Prey Men’s downhill – NBC

Dec. 3
11:45 a.m. – Birds of Prey Men’s giant slalom run 1 –
1:00 p.m. – Women’s super-G – Olympic Channel TV
2:30 p.m. – Birds of Prey Men’s giant slalom run 2 – Olympic Channel TV
5:00 p.m. – Birds of Prey Men’s giant slalom – NBC
6:30 p.m. – Women’s super-G – NBCSN (same day delay)

Dec. 1

12:00 p.m. – Men’s and women’s big air – Olympic Channel TV

Dec. 2

5:30 a.m. – Men’s and women’s sprint – Olympic Channel TV

Dec. 3
4:00 a.m. – Women’s skiathlon – Olympic Channel TV
5:45 a.m. – Men’s skiathlon –

Dec. 1

9:00 a.m. – Men’s HS134 qualifications –
6:00 p.m. – Women’s HS98 – Olympic Channel TV (same day delay)

Dec. 2
10:15 a.m. – Men’s HS134 finals –
5:00 p.m. – Women’s HS98 – Olympic Channel TV (same day delay)

Dec. 3
10:00 a.m. – Men’s HS1434 finals –
7:30 p.m. – Women’s HS138 finals – Olympic Channel TV (same day delay)

Dec. 2

4:15 a.m. – Men’s team HS100 –
7:45 a.m. – Men’s team 4x5k –

Dec. 3
3:00 a.m. – Men’s gundersen LH HS138 –
8:00 a.m. – Men’s gundersen 10k –

Dec. 2

7:00 p.m. – Men’s and women’s big air  – Olympic Channel TV (same day delay)

Anchorage to Host 2018 L.L.Bean U.S. Cross Country Championships

By U.S. Ski & Snowboard
November, 27 2017

ANCHORAGE (Nov. 27, 2017) – Top cross country skiers from across America will compete for national titles, FIS Junior World Championship spots and potential Olympic berths at the 2018 L.L.Bean U.S. Cross Country Championships Jan. 3 - 8. All events will take place at Kincaid Park. U.S. Ski & Snowboard will also carry a live stream of the events on it's Facebook page.

Alaska is a hotbed for cross country skiing and past U.S. Championships in Anchorage have attracted large fields. The Alaskan city most recently hosted the event in 2010. This year's U.S. Championships are being organized by the Nordic Ski Association of Anchorage.

The week’s competitions will feature two freestyle and two classic events for both men and women. The top American in each race will be crowned national champion. Results from the freestyle races and the classic distance events will be used to determine the teams for the 2018 FIS Junior & U23 World Ski Championships, taking place in Goms, Switzerland January 28 - February 3.

"The U.S. Championships is a stop for our top domestic skiers seeking not just U.S. titles but spots on international teams," said U.S. Ski & Snowboard Nordic Domestic Program Director Robert Lazzaroni. "Anchorage is an excellent venue as the event will capture the great enthusiasm we have for cross country skiing in Alaska."

"Anchorage has an amazing infrastructure for cross country skiing," said organizing committee chair Joey Caterinichio. "Events such as the U.S. Cross Country Championships help keep the circle of cross country skiing alive and give our youth an atmosphere to thrive in at all levels of skiing and to witness the pinnacle of U.S. racing."

All races in Anchorage are also part of the 2017-18 SuperTour and points will count towards the overall SuperTour titles, Olympic Winter Games selection and international World Cup starts. The long distance and team championships will take place March 23-28 in Craftsbury, Vermont.

While primary selection for the 2018 Olympic Cross Country Team will come from World Cup races, some final spots will be determined from results in Anchorage. The Olympic team nominations will be announced the week of January 23.

More information on the 2018 L.L.Bean U.S. Cross Country Championships can be found at and

2018 L.L.Bean U.S. Cross Country Championships
Schedule subject to change

Wednesday, January 3
Men's 15k freestyle
Women's 10k freestyle

Friday, January 5
Men's and women's freestyle sprints

Sunday, January 7
Men's 30k classic mass start
Women's 20k classic mass start
Junior men's 10k classic mass start
Junior women's 5k classic mass start

Monday, January 8
Men's and women's classic sprints

Shiffrin Dominates Xfinity Killington Cup Slalom

By U.S. Ski & Snowboard
November, 26 2017

KILLINGTON, Vt. (Nov. 26, 2017) – In front of 16,000 fans, her 96-year-old Nana and her best friend, Mikaela Shiffrin (Eagle-Vail, Co.) skied with dominating precision, powered by a thunderous roar from the crowd, to win her first FIS Ski World Cup slalom of the season on a steep, windy, icy track at the Xfinity Killington Cup at Vermont's Killington Resort.

“My Nana and my best friend are here, and those are two people that I rarely see, and they were able to come and watch me race here last year and this year, and these are just the moments that are above the Olympics, above the World Championships, above anything else,” Shiffrin said. “This day, in and of itself, will make this season successful for me.”

Shiffrin opened up a 0.89-second advantage in the first run and then blew the doors off the competition in the second to win by 1.64 seconds over Slovakia’s Petra Vlhova - winner of the season-opening slalom in Levi, Finland earlier this month. Austria’s Bernadette Schild finished third.

With a cold north wind blowing, a number of athletes struggled in the second run with visibility and the slick, icy course. Switzerland’s Wendy Holdener skied to second in the first run, but then blew out early on in the second run, hiked, blew out again and DNFed. Sweden’s Frida Hansdotter also struggled, dropping from fourth in the first run to fifth in the second. That left the door open for Vlhova, who only managed fifth in the first run, to remain in the leader’s hot seat after a stellar second run, and put the pressure on Shiffrin.

“I saw her in the first gates before her mistake, and she wants it. She is skiing well,” Shiffrin said of Holdener. “Petra had a great second run, so there are quite a few girls who want it just as much as I do and the difference comes with the skiing, comes with the discipline, and that’s where I’m going to come out on top. Right now, I’m just focusing on my skiing, because if I focus on winning, it’s too stressful.”

With the season’s opening tech events in the rearview mirror, it’s time for Shiffrin to now focus on the upcoming speed events at Lake Louise, Alberta.

“I’m building momentum even more so now in GS and slalom. I’m really excited for the first speed races in Lake Louise,” she added. “Once you get the ball rolling, it’s usually a bit easier to keep it rolling, but anything can happen. So now I’m just trying to focus on my skiing and having fun with it.”

Resi Stiegler (Jackson Hole, Wyo.) finished 21st. Katie Hensien (Redman, Wash.) made her World Cup debut at Killington, but did not finish the first run. With her victory, Shiffrin extended her overall World Cup lead to 84 points over Vlhova. Shiffrin and Vlhova are also tied for the overall World Cup slalom lead with 180 points each.

Up next, the ladies FIS Ski World Cup moves to Lake Louise with a pair of downhill races and a super G, Dec. 1-3.

Ganong Top American in Lake Louise Super G
The first super G of the season for the men’s FIS Ski World Cup took place at Lake Louise, Alberta Sunday as Norway’s Kjetil Jansrud took the victory. Austrians Max Franz and Hannes Reichelt finished second and third respectively.

Travis Ganong (Squaw Valley, Calif.) was the top American in 16th, as Tommy Biesemeyer (Keene, NY) was 20th and Andrew Weibrecht (Lake Placid, NY) 21st. The men’s World Cup moves to Beaver Creek for the Birds of Prey Dec. 1-3 with a super G, downhill and giant slalom.

Women’s slalom - Killington, Vermont
Men’s super G – Lake Louise, Alberta

Bjornsen, Diggins Lead in Ruka Finale

By Tom Kelly
November, 26 2017
Sadie Bjornsen skied to 10th in the Ruka Nordic Opener pursuit Sunday. (Getty Images)

RUKA, Finland (Nov. 26, 2017) - It was a strong opening weekend for the U.S. Ski Team in the Ruka Nordic Opener. In the freestyle portion of the pursuit Sunday, Sadie Bjornsen (Winthrop, Wash.) was 10th with Jessie Diggins (Afton, Minn.) 12th. Sweden’s Charlotte Kalla won for the women with Norway’s Johannes Hoesflot Klaebo took his third straight win of the weekend for the men.

The pursuit combines Saturday’s 15k classic for men and 10k for women in similar freestyle distances Sunday with the start seeded based on the classic results. Kikkan Randall (Anchorage) had the eighth fastest time of the day. Bjornsen ended the weekend 10th in the overall World Cup standings buoyed by her second in the opening sprint Friday.

In the first skate race of season, Bjornsen and Diggins were both strong. Digging had the 10th fastest time of the day with Bjornsen 11th fastest.
“Today was a good race for me. I always work into the season and was carrying a pretty high load of training into the last week, so overall I’m really happy with how the season opener went!,” said Diggins. “For me the best part of the season has been seeing how well the team is working together - everyone is in great spirits and as a team we’re incredibly cohesive, and that positive energy really works for us!”

Bjornsen had her best opening weekend ever showing strength in both classic and freestyle on tough courses in Ruka.
“Today was another fun and tough day of racing here to complete the tour,” added Bjornsen. “It was nice to have skate skis under my feet after two really challenging classic days! Ruka is what I consider one of the toughest race courses on the circuit. It is just wall after wall (steep climb after steep climb), and you never seem to get a break.”

Randall ended up 25th in the pursuit with Rosie Brennan (Park City, Utah) also in the points at 28th.

Head Coach Chris Grover was also pleased with the performance of the men, led by Erik Bjornsen (Winthrop, Wash.) who finished 26th. “This was a great opening World Cup Tour for Erik and we got to see his versatility, skiing equally strong in both skate and classic, sprint and distance, as well as his improved fitness,” said Grover. “Erik has been in outstanding shape all prep season and it is showing already on the World Cup.”

Scott Patterson (Anchorage), Paddy Caldwell (Lyme, N.H.) and Noah Hoffman (Aspen, Colo.) all moved up in the freestyle half of the pursuit. Simi Hamilton (Aspen, Colo.) did not start due to illness. 

Next weekend the team heads to Lillehammer, Norway for another classic sprint plus a 15k/10k classic

Men’s 15k freestyle pursuit

Women’s 10k freestyle pursuit

Shiffrin Second In Xfinity Killington Cup GS

By U.S. Ski & Snowboard
November, 25 2017

KILLINGTON, Vt. (Nov. 25, 2017) – Mikaela Shiffrin (Eagle-Vail, Colo.) took a huge step in her Olympic season giant slalom preparation, finishing second in the Xfinity Killington Cup, the second GS race of the FIS Ski World Cup. Germany’s Viktoria Rebensburg took her second-straight giant slalom victory, as Italy’s Manuela Moelgg finished third.

“This is definitely a step in the right direction after Soelden,” said Shiffrin, who finished fifth at the season-opening giant slalom last month in Austria. “I felt a lot more confident with my skiing today and I’m excited to keep that going. It was a sweet race today, it was really fun to ski.”

In front of a record-breaking crowd of more than 18,000 screaming fan at Killington – which eclipsed the previous record of 16,000 set last year at Killington – Shiffrin drilled her first run, leaving just a 0.26-second margin to first-run leader Rebensburg, winner of the season-opener in Soelden.

With a thundering crowd, overcast skies and light precipitation moving in for the second run, Shiffrin took a few risks to maintain her podium position.

“I felt like I had a couple little bobbles where I felt myself losing time,” she said. “But I also took a little bit of extra risk where I may have gained some time. It wasn’t like one of my flawless training runs where I felt like: ‘Oh my gosh it’s the fastest that course could be skied.’ But it was definitely one of my best race runs.”

With her second-place finish, Shiffrin maintained her overall World Cup lead by five points over Rebensburg heading into Sunday’s slalom, the second run of which will be broadcast LIVE on NBC at 1:00 p.m. EST.

“The mentality I had today is the same mentality I need to have tomorrow in order to bring out some of my better skiing,” Shiffrin said heading into Sunday’s slalom. “It’s a new day, a new race and new competition. And I’m excited to go for it!”

Megan McJames (Park City, Utah) finished 29th.  AJ Hurt (San Francisco, Calif.) made her World Cup debut, finishing 45th in the first run.

Bennett Top American in Lake Louise Downhill
The speed skiers kicked off their season today with the downhill in Lake Louise. Beat Feuz of Switzerland squeaked out the win over Matthias Mayer of Austria, who was second and Aksel Lund Svindal of Norway in third. Bryce Bennett (Squaw Valley, Calif.) was the top American Downhiller of the day in 21st. The super G goes off Sunday at 2:00 p.m. EST, led by Travis Ganong (Squaw Valley, Calif.), who has podiumed twice at Lake Louise.

Women’s Giant Slalom, Killington, Vermont
Men’s Downhill – Lake Louise, Alberta

Diggins Top-10 in Ruka 10k

By Tom Kelly
November, 25 2017
Jessie Diggins double poles to a top 10 in Ruka.

RUKA, Finland (Nov. 25, 2017) - Jessie Diggins (Afton, Minn.) put down a top-10 finish in the opening distance race of the season Saturday in Ruka, Finland. Diggins was 10th, just over a minute back from a dominating win by Norway’s Marit Bjoergen in the 10k classic. Ida Sargent was 22nd with Sadie Bjornsen (Winthrop, Wash.) 23rd – just a day after her classic sprint podium.

“I was really impressed with our wax staff,” said Diggins. "It was extremely tricky waxing conditions out there with new snow that got wet and glazed in the tracks. And since we chose wax over wax-less, I was able to run right up those Ruka hills for the first time in my career! It was awesome. I always work my way into the season and it’s nice to feel my race shape starting to take form again!”

“It was a classic Ruka day – zero degrees Celsius with a rainy mist coming down and cold snow underneath the surface of the snow,” said Head Coach Chris Grover. “It was a brutal day for the service team.” Ski selection ran the gamut from hairies to klister covered and warm hard wax.

“I really struggled with skis today and didn't have the extra power to push through it,” said Sadie Bjornsen, who now stands fifth in the FIS World Cup overall rankings. She went with hairies, which ended up a bit slick.

“I was really proud for fighting hard, and pushing on like I was racing for a medal. What I have learned with classic skiing in this world of crazy conditions is that when the stars align, it can turn into an incredible day.”

“Skis worked well for some and were quite a bit off for others unfortunately,” added Grover. “Jessie was happy with her performance - perhaps one of her better early season classic races in Ruka. Really big distance performance today for Ida Sargent in 22nd - one of her best distance performances ever."

Erik Bjornsen (Winthrop, Wash.) led the U.S. men in 26th, catching a ride from podium finisher Iivo Niskanen, who started 30 seconds behind him, but wasn’t quite able to hold onto him during the last lap. Bjornsen is in a good place for Sunday’s pursuit.   Action wraps up in Ruka Sunday with a 10k freestyle pursuit for the women and 15k for the men.

Men’s 15k Classic
Women’s 10k Classic

Bjornsen Second In World Cup Opener

By Tom Kelly
November, 24 2017

RUKA, Finland (Nov. 24, 2017) – Sadie Bjornsen (Winthrop, Wash.) battled head-to-head against the best sprinters in the world to finish second – a career-best individual result – in the opening World Cup classic sprint of the season at Ruka. It was a breakthrough performance and another showcase for the depth of the U.S. Ski Team women.

Bjornsen qualified fifth then took a semi-final victory to advance to the finals where Sweden’s Stina Nilsson picked up the win. Sophie Caldwell (Peru, Vt.), who qualified third, was eighth.

"What an amazing and exciting way to start this new season," said a jubilant Bjornsen.

In the first Olympic selection event of the season (the Olympic sprint will be classic technique), both Bjornsen and Caldwell ticked off the top-level criteria box for team selection. While the squad won't be confirmed until late January, it puts both of them into the driver's seat in classic sprint selection.

"Sadie was in control all day," said Head Coach Chris Grover. "She really challenged Nilsson for the win in the finish straight. She knows now that she can do it."

The American qualified four women and one man into the heats. Jessie Diggins (Afton, Minn.) was just outside in 34th. Also, qualifying was Ida Sargent (Orleans, Vt.), Rosie Brennan (Park City, Utah) and Erik Bjornsen (Winthrop, Wash.).

It was the first time Bjornsen had advanced out of a heat since March, 2016 in Quebec City. But she came in with renewed sense of optimism - "I said to myself, 'time to fight, Sadie, it's a new year.'" In the quarter-final she had some 'intimidating names' (her words) to contend with. But she just kept believing and won over Russian Yulia Belorukova by nearly four-tenths and Sweden's Hanna Falk. In the semi-finals, she found her place on the final hill where she was the strongest - loving the steepness of the climb. She held off Belorukova for her second straight heat win.

Bjornsen took a renewed sense of confidence into the final heat - this time finding herself was on that final climb going toe-to-toe with Nilsson - one of the greatest sprinters of all time.

"I was in disbelief," she said. "I had dreamed of this kind of day and now it was happening."

On a tricky waxing day, the U.S. Ski Team technician team came through. While Norway struggled early on finding the wax, Bjornsen and Caldwell had rockets. With temps at that tricky point right around freezing, Jean-Pascal 'JP' Laurin found a special sweet spot to give Bjornsen an edge. Bjornsen attacked Nilsson on the climb and was setting up for a sprint finish when a small bobble dampened her momentum, putting her second by two-tenths.

Both Diggins and Randall both just missed qualifying in tricky weather conditions where new snowfall played a factor.

“Today was such a great day for the team and I’m especially pumped up for Sadie. What awesome skiing out there!,” said Diggins. “Personally, this course and this event have never been an amazing race for me and I always work into the season. So I’m staying confident in the hundreds of hours of training I’ve put in and staying patient knowing that my peak will come later in the season!”

Racing continues at Ruka with a men's 15k and women's 10k mass start classic on Saturday, wrap up Sunday with same distances in a freestyle pursuit. Neither is an Olympic discipline this year, so Olympic selection is not at stake. Expect a strong matchup next weekend in the second classic sprint in Lillehammer, Norway.

Friday's sprint will air on the Olympic Channel: Home of Team USA TV channel at 4:30 p.m. Friday. A technical program impacted planned live coverage earlier in the day.

Women's Classic Sprint

Wall-to-Wall Nordic Coverage from NBC Sports Group

By Tom Kelly
November, 23 2017
Jessie Digging Ruka Training

Nordic ski fans in America will have a special treat this year as the NBC Sports Group gears up to bring every World Cup competition from around the globe to U.S. viewers, including all cross country, nordic combined and ski jumping (men and women) events. It's the most comprehensive lineup of coverage ever for nordic sport in America, with more than 118 hours of TV broadcast coverage plus live streaming.

The coverage plan will feature extensive live streaming and television broadcasts, primarily on the new Olympic Channel - Home of Team USA - television channel as well as streaming on and featured broadcast coverage on NBCSN.

The programming lineup is the most ever for nordic sports in America. And this February, fans can watch live streaming of every event at the Olympic Winter Games in Pyeongchang, plus an increased TV broadcast presence.

The blockbuster coverage begins this weekend with live coverage from the Ruka Nordic Opener, a three-day festival of nordic skiing including the open races of the 2017-18 FIS Cross Country and Nordic Combined World Cup tours, plus the second weekend of the Ski Jumping World Cup.

To watch the coverage, fans will need subscriptions to NBCSN and Olympic Channel through their cable or satellite provider.

All TV broadcasts will feature commentary. NBC's Bill Seward and Olympian Chad Salmela will handle cross country with NBC's Bill Spaulding and Seward doing ski jumping along with world champion Johnny Spillane.


  • NBC Sports Group coverage of cross country, nordic combined and ski jumping will be an all-time high this season, featuring nearly every World Cup around the globe.
  • U.S. fans should get a subscription to Olympic Channel, Home of Team USA, from their cable or satellite provider to enable viewing on TV, web or mobile app. Olympic Channel is readily available from nearly all cable and satellite providers.
  • The Olympic Channel - Home of Team USA - will be the primary home of broadcasts with most planned live (some on same day delay).
  • will be the primary home for live streaming.
  • Some higher-profile events will air on NBCSN (separate subscription). Those events airing on NBCSN will be live streamed at and on the NBC Sports mobile app.

Cross Country

Friday, Nov. 24
6:30-8:00 a.m. - Men’s & Women’s  Sprint - LIVE on Olympic Channel TV
8:30-9:25 a.m. - Nordic combined HS142m jump - Streaming live on Olympic Channel app and
11:15 - 12:00 p.m. - Nordic combined 5k - Streaming live on Olympic Channel app and
11:55 a.m.-1:05 p.m. - HS142m ski jumping qualifying - Streaming live on Olympic Channel app and

Saturday, Nov. 25
3:45-4:40 a.m. - Nordic combined HS142m jump - Streaming live on Olympic Channel app and
4:30-6:00 a.m. - Women's 10k CL - LIVE on Olympic Channel TV
6:30-8:00 a.m. - Men's 15k CL - Streaming live on Olympic Channel app and
8:30-9:15 a.m. - Nordic combined 10k - Streaming live on Olympic Channel app and
10:15 a.m.-12:15 p.m. - HS142m team ski jumping - Streaming live on Olympic Channel app and

Sunday, Nov. 26
3:30-5:00 a.m. - Women’s 10k pursuit - LIVE on Olympic Channel TV
4:45-5:40 a.m. - Nordic combined HS142m jump - Streaming live on Olympic Channel app and
6:00-6:55 a.m. - Men's 15k pursuit - Streaming live on Olympic Channel app and
7:30-8:15 a.m. - Nordic combined 10k - Streaming live on Olympic Channel app and
9:00 a.m.-10:50 a.m. - HS142m ski jumping - Streaming live on Olympic Channel app and
6:00-7:30 p.m. - Olympic Channel TV