History being made in the U.S.!

History was made this week (for all of the cross country skiers out there, you know what I mean)! Both Sophie Caldwell and Jessie Diggins (members of the U.S. Ski Team racing on the world cup) raced their way to first place for the first time on the World Cup! Not only were they the first Americans to ever win their events in U.S. history, but they are also part of only a handful of people who have managed to out ski the Norwegians this season. These historic results lined up well with U.S. Nationals going on this week. Every morning my teammates and I would wake up to watch the races before our day began. I must say there is nothing more inspiring than watching your teammates win a world cup!

Italy Cross Country Tour de Ski
Jessica Diggins of The United States celebrates in the finish area after winning the Tour de Ski, women’s 5-kilometer free pursuit cross-country ski event, in Dobbiaco (Toblach), Italy, Friday, Jan. 8, 2016. (Andrea Solero/Ansa via AP)
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Sophie!

The rising competition on U.S. circuit is no coincidence with the historic results on the World Cup. The U.S. is stepping up their game as a whole, from local clubs all the way up to the U.S. Ski Team. This past week I competed in 4 races at U.S. Nationals. U.S. Nationals is one of the most competitive weeks of racing in the U.S. and also acts as a qualifier for World Juniors, U23 Worlds, U18 Nations Cup, and this year, Canada World Cup Tour as well!

The week for me consisted of a 10km, 2 sprints, and a 5km race. Some races were really good, and others not so much, but all in all, I was very satisfied with my week. I am excited to be selected for the World Juniors Team again this year! This year, World Juniors is Romania in late February. Following Romania, I will most likely spend two more weeks in Europe doing OPA Cup races in Germany and Italy! Until then, I will be at SMS for a whole 6 weeks, mostly training with a few races here and there. I am looking forward to have a solid training block in one place in the upcoming weeks!

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Mass start (I am in the red and white).
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Finishing stretch.
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Group photo!Β 
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Junior podium.
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One happy skier πŸ™‚
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Lo and I cooked up a delicious last dinner.
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Our last “family” dinner with our wonderful host parents Trish and Mark (top right).
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Sprint heats.
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Junior podium.
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Mass start, charging up the hill (Hannah or the left, me on the right).
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Mass start.
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Nicole (future World Juniors teammate) and I after the finish.
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Chelsea and I charging up the hill.
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Racing hard.
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Goodbye Michigan.

-JKern

 

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