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Diggins Climbs to Second in World Cup Overall

By Tom Kelly
March, 18 2018

Jessie Diggins (Afton, Minn.) and Sadie Bjornsen (Winthrop, Wash.) wrapped up the FIS Cross Country World Cup in sensational style, landing second and third in the women’s 10k freestyle pursuit finale in Falun, Sweden. The finish moved Diggins into the second spot in the season-long World Cup overall standings - a mere 40 points behind winner Heidi Weng of Norway.

Norway’s Marit Bjoergen took the win in the pursuit. Diggins took the Winner of the Day title with the fastest individual time in the pursuit race.

Her second in the overall is the best American finish since Bill Koch won the globe in 1982. Diggins is only the second American woman to finish in the top three, joining Kikkan Randall (Anchorage) who was third in 2012. She had been third coming into the day, but surpassed Norway’s Ingvild Flagstaff Østberg.

“Today was a dream come true,” said Diggins. “I knew I needed a good day to hold my position, but I didn’t know that I would come within 40 points of the overall globe. What an awesome end to the year.” 

Bjornsen’s podium netted her a boost up to sixth in the overall standings and eighth in distance - career bests and among the best U.S. rankings of all time.

“It is amazing to finish the season on that note,” Bjornsen said. “I did not know that would be possible today. When I saw the other girls and how quickly the race went, I decided I was going to fight for the podium.”

Diggins started third in the pursuit, 43 seconds behind Bjoergen, carving 27 seconds out of the Norwegian’s lead - just 16.7 seconds back at the finish for the fastest time of the day. She started out in a group with Østberg just ahead of her and Finland’s Krista Parmakoski right behind. The trio skied together as a chase pack for three kilometers before Diggins decided to up the pace and broke away. She began knocking down the gap by huge chunks and by the 5k mark had put over 30 seconds on the chase group and had Bjoergen in sight. She continued to carve time on Bjoergen, but didn’t have enough race left to catch her.

Pursuit races can create packs that work within to generate energy. But it can also leave individual athletes stranded. “I actually love getting to just go hammer by myself, skiing the downhills exactly how I want to. So I was happy to be out there looking for every second I could get.”

Bjornsen, who started 57 seconds back along with Sweden’s Charlotte Kalla, had to bridge up to the Østberg-Parmakoski group. With Diggins out alone, a chase pack developed by mid-race establishing a battle for third. Bjornsen held her spot in heavy traffic then seized an opportunity to break free in the final stretch to the finish to take third over Norway’s Ragnhild Haga.

Going to the home stretch I was just thinking that this was the last sprint of the season and I better make it count,” Bjornsen said.

Both Bjornsen and Diggins were aided by fast skis. Week in and week out, the U.S. Ski Team technicians - now aided by their own waxing truck - have been provided rocket-fast skis to athletes all season long. "Our awesome techs nailed the skis and we had the boards to go out there and lay down a fast race," said Diggins.

In the series of post race podium presentations for both the race and the crystal globes, it was all Norway and the USA starting with Diggins and Bjornsen sharing the podium with Bjoergen. "Seeing Sadie have an incredible day was the icing on the cake," said Diggins. "I’m just so proud of her and how mentally strong she’s been all season. She has been racing so well the entire year and I can’t wait to see what she does next year." 

The race was a farewell for a host of athletes including Americans Kikkan Randall (Anchorage, Alaska) and Liz Stephen (E. Montpelier, Vt.). Randall was celebrated after the finish, taking a victory lap with son Breck in her arms in front of the thousands in Falun for the World Cup Finals.

Randall leaves with a strong legacy starting with her World Cup sprint win at Rybinsk in December, 2007. She ended up winning 14 World Cup races and three sprint crystal globes. She and Diggins combined for a team sprint World Championship in 2013 and the recent Olympic gold.

Stephen left her mark on the flanks of Alpe Cermis, establishing herself as one of the most dominant hill climbers in the sport. A regular podium finisher on the final hill climb of the Tour de Ski, she recorded one of the best tour finishes in history with her fifth in 2015.

The team now heads back to the USA for the first time since November, heading to Craftsbury Common, Vt. for the SuperTour Finals and the long distance races of the L.L.Bean U.S. Cross Country Championships.

Women’s 10k pursuit
Men’s 15k pursuit 

Women’s overall
Women’s distance
Men's overall
Men's distance

Holland, Dierdorff 1-2 in Veysonnaz Snowboardcross

By U.S. Ski & Snowboard
March, 17 2018
Nate Holland and Mick Dierdorff celebrate their 1-2 finish in Saturday's FIS Snowboardcross World Cup Veysonnaz, Switzerland. (FIS)
Nate Holland and Mick Dierdorff celebrate their 1-2 finish in Saturday's FIS Snowboardcross World Cup Veysonnaz, Switzerland. (FIS)

Nate Holland (Sandpoint, Idaho) and Mick Dierdorff (Steamboat Springs, Colo.) finished first and second respectively in the final FIS World Cup snowboardcross of the season Saturday in Veysonnaz, Switzerland.

The victory as Holland’s seventh career World Cup win and his first in more than two years. Nick Baumgartner (Iron River, Mich.) was 14th; Jake Vedder (Pinckney, Mich.) was 22nd; Hagen Kearney (Telluride, Colo.) was 32nd; and Jonathan Cheever (Seagus, Mass.) was 33rd.

The World Cup snowboardcross season wraps up Sunday in Veysonnaz with a team event.

Men’s snowboardcross
Men's World Cup snowboardcross final standings

Holland, Dierdorff Go 1-2.

U.S. & Snowboard Offers Live Stream of Supergirl Pro Series

By U.S. Ski & Snowboard
March, 17 2018
Supergirl Pro

U.S. Ski & Snowboard, in partnership with Toyota, will offer live streaming of the Supergirl Pro Series snowboardcross and halfpipe competition March 17-18 at Bear Mountain, Calif.

The event is designed to not only showcase the best female snowboarders on the planet, but also to also serve as a developmental contest to help locate, nurture, mentor and encourage the next generation of aspiring snowboarding pros.

The snowboardcross event will be led by 10-time X Games Gold Medalist and four-time U.S. Olympian, Lindsey Jacobellis, as the voice of the event and its inspirational leader.

The half-pipe competition will be hosted by three-time U.S. Olympian and Olympic Gold Medalist, Hannah Teter.

Live Stream Supergirl Pro Series

Corning Wins World Cup Slopestyle Title

By U.S. Ski & Snowboard
March, 17 2018
Chris Corning won the final FIS World Cup slopestyle of the season Saturday and the World Cup slopestyle crystal globe. (FIS)
Chris Corning won the final FIS World Cup slopestyle of the season Saturday and the World Cup slopestyle crystal globe. (FIS)

Chris Corning (Silverthorne, Colo.) took the victory and led three Americans into the top six in Saturday’s final FIS Snowboard World Cup slopestyle of the season in Seiseralm, Italy. With his fourth career World Cup victory, Corning also wrapped up the World Cup slopestyle title. Lyon Ferrell (Haika, Hawaii) picked up his first career World Cup podium in third.

Corning dominated the men’s event with a superb first run including a solid rail line featuring a backside 270 in 270 out, a switch backblunt to 50-50 to backside 360 out, frontside 180 to switch backside 360 out, followed by an equally impressive kicker game with a switch backside 900, a backside triple cork 1440 and a frontside 1080 to finish things off.

“I’m super stoked,” said Corning, who squeaked past Olympic Champion Red Gerard by 50 points to win the slopestyle crystal globe. “That’s why I came to Italy: to get this globe. I had to win today to make it happen, and I did. I’m also happy that Lyon (Farrell) stomped his run, and I’m stoked to share the podium with him.”

"I’ve been coming to Seiseralm for the last three years, and I just really enjoy it here," said Ferrell. "I was nervous for sure before dropping in, because I really wanted to put down a run here so ending up on the podium here is amazing, and I’m really happy now."

Judd Henkes (La Jolla, Calif.) was sixth; Ryan Stassel (Anchorage, Alaska) was 14th and Chandler Hunt (Park City, Utah) was 16th.

Corning also leads the World Cup big air standings heading into next weekend's final big air World Cup of the season in Quebec City. 

Men’s slopestyle
Men's World Cup slopestyle final standings 

Shiffrin Dominates World Cup Finals Slalom

By U.S. Ski & Snowboard
March, 17 2018
Mikaela Shiffrin fifth slalom globe.
Mikaela Shiffrin won her fifth FIS Ski World Cup slalom crustal globe following her seventh slalom win of the season in Are, Sweden (Getty Images)

Mikaela Shiffrin (Eagle-Vail, Colo.) put on another dominating performance to win her seventh FIS Ski World Cup slalom race of the season Saturday in Are, Sweden.

Shiffrin build almost a half-second first run lead, then absolutely ripped down the second run to win by 1.58-seconds over Wendy Holdener of Switzerland, who finished second, and Olympic slalom champion Frida Hansdotter of Sweden in third.

“To finish with a run like that was just super special,” Shiffrin said after capturing her fifth World Cup slalom crystal globe, and her second-consecutive overall World Cup title this season.

“That’s just a dream,” Shiffrin said of her second overall title. “It’s so unbelievable in a way. But first I have a race to do tomorrow and I’m really excited for that, and after today, I’m really looking forward to going to the start one last time this season and hammering down.”

In winning the World Cup overall title last season, Shiffrin utilized her strong tech skills. However, this season she expanded her skill set to include select downhill and super-G events, which included winning her first World Cup downhill at Lake Louise in December. But as the season wore on, she re-focused her energy back to the tech events.

“It’s always difficult, there are always so many challenges during the season, and throughout the year all the girls kept picking up the pace and I felt like I had to step back from speed in order to stay on top,” she said. “But it’s so nice to be at this part of the season and feel like I still put out some of my best skiing.”

Up next, Shiffrin shoots for her 44th career World Cup win in giant slalom Sunday in Are.

Women’s slalom
Women’s World Cup slalom final standings

Ford Eighth in World Cup Finals GS

By U.S. Ski & Snowboard
March, 17 2018
Tommy Ford finished eight in the giant slalom at the FIS Ski World Cup Finals Saturday in Are, Sweden. (Getty Images/Agence Zoon - Alexis Boichard)
Tommy Ford finished eight in the giant slalom at the FIS Ski World Cup Finals Saturday in Are, Sweden. (Getty Images/Agence Zoon - Alexis Boichard)

Tommy Ford (Bend, Ore.) posted his second top-10 World Cup result of the season, a career-best eight-place finish, at the FIS Ski World Cup Finals giant slalom in Are, Sweden Saturday.

“I was training well in the summer and carried it over into Beaver Creek and the skiing stuck throughout the year,” Ford said, whose previous career-best was ninth in giant slalom at Kranjska Gora, Slovenia two weeks ago. “I kind of had a couple hic-ups here and there, but I’m glad to finish it on that note.”

Marcel Hirscher of Austria took his 13th World Cup victory of the season Saturday. Norway’s Henrik Kristoffersen finished second for the 11th time this season. Victor Muffat-Jeandet was third.

Ted Ligety (Park City, Utah) struggled with his set up in the first run, but found his groove in the second, posting the fifth-fastest second-run time.

“First run I skied on the old 35-meter skis; I trained on them a little bit this year and it was kind of stupid of me not to try them earlier in the year,” said Ligety, who finished 17th Saturday. “But today they set it more like a normal GS, whereas the rest of the year it’s been dead, dead straight – no turn shape anywhere.

“It was way, way turny, so that was a difficult task that first run,” Ligety said. “Second run I went on a different pair of skis, and I’m just trying to figure out the answer.

“It’s been a pretty tough one, that’s for sure. I’m glad it’s over,” Ligety said of the season. “It’s good to finish this one off, regroup and figure it out from there.”

With the World Cup season wrapping up Sunday in Are with men’s slalom and women’s giant slalom, Ford is looking forward to adding another national title to his trophy case next week.

“The season is not over,” Ford said. “We have Nationals coming up in Sun Valley, so I’ll be there soon.”

Men’s giant slalom
Men’s World Cup giant slalom final standings

Diggins Third with One to Go

By Tom Kelly
March, 17 2018
Falun mass start
Skiers charge out from the start in Falun.

With one race remaining, Jessie Diggins (Afton, Minn.) remains third in the FIS Cross Country World Cup overall and distance rankings. Diggins skied to eighth Saturday in a 10k classic mass start in Falun, Sweden. Finland's Krista Parmakoski came from behind to pass Norway's Marit Bjoergen at the finish line for the win. Sadie Bjornsen (Winthrop, Wash.) was 11th.

Diggins is poised to become only the second American woman to finish the season ranked in the top three. Kikkan Randall (Anchorage) was third in 2013.

Alexander Bolshunov of Russia won for the men with Erik Bjornsen (Winthrop, Wash.) 52nd in a 15k classic mass start.

It was another picture postcard day in Falun. Diggins charged out at the start to set the early pace before Bjoergen and Ingvild Flugstad Oestberg took control. Near the midway point, Norway took firm hold on the lead pack with Astrid Uhrenholdt Jacobsen and Heidi Weng joining while Diggins dropped a few seconds back with the chase pack. Just past the halfway mark, Parmakoski moved quickly to challenge.

In the final stages, Bjoergen, Oestberg and Parmakoski took control of the race with Parmakoski charging past Bjoergen to take the win.

"Today was an OK race for me, not my best feeling, which tells me how far I’ve come when eighth in a classic World Cup doesn’t bring the same fireworks anymore," said Diggins, who now has five top-10 classic distance World Cup finishes this season. "Today I just went as hard as my body would let me and it was good to only lose 15 seconds on the winner of the day, because in a mini-tour every second counts."

While Diggins takes pride in how she has developed her classic skiing, what really gets her heart racing is putting on the skate skis Sunday to wrap up the 2018 World Cup with a freestyle pursuit. 

"I’m really excited for tomorrow - a pursuit style skate race is one of my favorite formats," she said. "My strategy is pretty simple - just go chase down as many seconds as I can and race the course as fast as I can! I’ll be starting bib #3 around some awesome girls, so I’m hoping we can work together to keep us moving at a fast pace."

The three-day mini tour in Falun wraps up Sunday with a 15k freestyle pursuit for men and 10k for women. Sweden's Hanna Falk is on top of the mini-tour after two days with Diggins fifth. The winner will get 200 bonus points for the overall World Cup.

Men's 15k Mass Start (starts 9:30 a.m. EDT)
Women's 10k Mass Start 
Women's Falun Mini-Tour Ranking 

Women's Overall 
Women's Distance 

Caldwell Third In Final World Cup Sprint Standings

By U.S. Ski & Snowboard
March, 16 2018
Sophie Caldwell
Sofie Caldwell finished third in the World Cup sprint standings this season. (U.S. Ski & Snowboard)

Sophie Caldwell (Peru, Vt.) became only the second American to finish on the podium in the season-long World Cup sprint standings, finishing third overall after a sixth-place finish in season's final sprint in Falun, Sweden, Friday.

“Two years ago I set a two-year goal of being in the top three in the sprint World Cup,” said Caldwell. “At the time, I wasn’t sure I wanted to set a goal that big. But it’s really a dream come true to accomplish it. I’m so proud to be a part of this team where on any given day there could be a handful of people on the podium and to have a staff that works so incredibly hard for us.” 

Sweden dominated the women’s races Friday with Hanna Falk taking the win over teammate Jonna Sundling. Norway’s Marit Bjoergen was third. Jessie Diggins (Afton, Minn.) was seventh with Sadie Bjornsen (Winthrop, Wash.) ninth and Kikkan Randall (Anchorage, Alaska) 14th.

The men’s win went to Norway’s Johannes Høsflot Klæbo who took the sprint season globe and increased his stranglehold on the overall. Simi Hamilton (Aspen, Colo.) led the U.S. men in 14th.

In the women’s quarterfinal heats, Bjornsen opened it up finishing second in the first heat. In heat three, Diggins went up against Randall, who was skiing in the final sprint race of her career, and advanced. Randall, however, made a strong lunge at the finish but just missed finishing second and was not quite fast enough for a lucky loser spot. In heat four, Caldwell skied a smart race, waiting for her time and passing on the final small climb and sprinting up to the lead in the final hundred meters to win and move on to semifinals.

In the semifinals opening heat, Diggins and Bjornsen were paired together. Both battled heavy traffic through most of the heat as the field only broke up in the final few hundred meters. Bjornsen was able to work to the front by midway but Diggins was boxed in and unable to thread her way through the field. As the pack broke up coming into the stadium, Bjornsen dropped back and Diggins moved up with a powerful sprint, narrowly missing second with Sweden’s Hanna Falk taking the win. In heat 2, Norway’s Marit

Bjoergen set a much faster pace to take the win with Caldwell third and grabbing a lucky loser spot.

In the finals, Caldwell was on tails of Falk and Sundling, but eventually, she dropped back and finished sixth.

"I felt great today, and my skis were running fast thanks to our awesome team," said Diggins. "I got to lay down a solid qualifier and in my quarterfinal I got to just hammer away. My semifinal, I got stuck behind people as the course was only two skiers wide on the uphills and unfortunately, we were basically walking out there, which meant there wasn’t going to be a lucky loser time from our heat. I kept looking for ways to get around but was blocked in until the course opened up in the final 800 meters, but unfortunately it was too late for me to be able to make any solid moves."

Bjornsen continued her solid season with another top 10. "It was a beautiful day for sprint racing here in Falun," she said. "I have been feeling strong lately, so I was really happy to finish fourth in the qualifier! I felt super strong climbing all day today, which is always a good sign for me, and something I have started to feel this year. Sprint racing is always hit or miss for me, because I am not one for tactics, so it works out best when we just go super fast from point A to point B. Fortunately, I had a really strong quarter final, so we skied really hard from the start, and I was able to use my good feelings to qualify into the semi finals."

Like Diggins, Bjornsen was challenged by the narrow course and heavy traffic. "The semi finals turned into a tactical war, and I was feeling good coming into the final part of the course, but unfortunately got bobbled a bit on the final descent, and struggled to pick up the killer sling shot from there and then things ended up turning into a drag race sprint at the end, which didn't work out ideal for me. I certainly left the last sprint of the season dreaming of more, but feeling really confident in my skiing. I am excited to work on some more specific things this summer."

In the three-day mini stage race, athletes only receive half the normal World Cup points (50 for the win) with a bonus of 200 World Cup points to the series winner on Sunday. Diggins remained third in the overall standings with two events remaining, gaining a bit of ground on both leader Heidi Weng and second place Ingvild Flugstad Oestberg.

Caldwell put together an impressive sprint season, with three podiums including a win in Seefeld, Austria - site of the 2019 World Championships. She was in the top 10 in every sprint except Drammen, Norway a week ago.

"It was amazing to see Sophie step up to the third step in the sprint overall today," said Bjornsen. "I am darn proud of the step she made this year and constantly inspired by really strong teammates."

Action now shifts to classic distance racing on Saturday with a 15k race for the men and 10k for the women.

Women’s sprint
Men’s sprint
Women’s World Cup sprint standings
Men’s World Cup Sprint standings

U.S. Ski & Snowboard Adds ClimateCase and CatTongue Grips as New Mobile Accessory Partners

By U.S. Ski & Snowboard
March, 15 2018
master logo

PARK CITY, UTAH – U.S. Ski & Snowboard has announced ClimateCase and CatTongue Grips as its newest partners in the mobile accessories category.

ClimateCase, the Official Insulating Smartphone Carrier of the U.S. Ski & Snowboard Team, is an insulating smartphone carrier that can prevent a cellphone issue that almost everyone has faced at one time or another. After just 15 minutes below 32°F or above 95°F a cellphone may shut down completely to protect itself, leaving users vulnerable and out of touch. The ClimateCase was launched to address that issue by providing protection for smartphones from overheating and freezing.

“Prolonged exposure to harsh temperatures can permanently damage a smartphone and its internal battery,” said ClimateCase’s CEO Lisa Lambert. “With the ClimateCase, U.S. Ski & Snowboard’s athletes and staff can protect their phones from harsh conditions, both on and off the mountain. It also protects against accidental drops, so users are covered in most all situations.”

CatTongue Grips are the perfect anti-slip solution for a mobile device and can be used directly on the device or existing case. CatTongue Grips feel great in users’ hands and are functional and super durable for everyday use or for extreme athletes to use. There are over 50 designs as well as a customization option, so users can make each grip their own.

“As lovers of all things art, we wanted this product to not only have a fantastic grip, but to include fun, feel-good artwork and design for a more personal touch,” said Missy Kelly, co-founder and president of CatTongue Grips. “Plus, CatTongue Grips are recyclable, extremely durable, waterproof and can stand up to the variable terrain and conditions U.S. Ski & Snowboard athletes encounter.”

For more information, visit and

Vonn Third In World Cup Finals Super-G

By U.S. Ski & Snowboard
March, 15 2018
Lindsey Vonn grabbed her 46th career World Cup super-G podium Thursday at the World Cup Finals in Are, Sweden (Getty Images/Agence Zoom – Alexis Boichard)
Lindsey Vonn grabbed her 46th career World Cup super-G podium Thursday at the World Cup Finals in Are, Sweden (Getty Images/Agence Zoom – Alexis Boichard)

Lindsey Vonn (Vail, Colo.) wrapped up her World Cup season on the podium Thursday, finishing third in the super-G at the World Cup Finals in Are, Sweden.

“It’s nice to close out the season with a podium in super-G,” said Vonn, who now has 46 career World Cup super-G podium finishes, “and to end the season on a high note.”

Italy’s Sofia Goggia won her second career World Cup super-G by 0.32-seconds over Germany’s Viktoria Rebensburg. Vonn was 0.53 back on the soft, bumpy and rutted course that will also be used for the 2019 World Alpine Ski Championships.

Tina Weirather of Liechtenstein finished sixth in Thursday’s race and wrapped up her second career World Cup super-G title.

With her World Cup season in the rearview mirror, Vonn looks ahead for her run at Ingemar Stenmark’s World Cup record of 86 victories.

“My focus now it just to try to beat Ingemar’s record,” Vonn said. “I’m four (wins) behind and I feel like I’m in a good place, picking up steam, confident and relatively healthy, so that’ll be my focus from here on out.”

Up next, the team event takes place Friday in Are, followed by slalom and giant slalom events for the men and women Saturday and Sunday.

Women’s super-G
World Cup super-G standings

Vonn Third in Super G