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McCabe Shines in 4x5k Relay For Team USA

By Tom Horrocks
February, 12 2022
Novie McCabe
Novie McCabe competes during the Women's Cross-Country 4x5km Relay on Day 8 of the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics at The National Cross-Country Skiing Centre on February 12, 2022 in Zhangjiakou, China. (Photo by Lars Baron/Getty Images)

Novie McCabe may be the new kid on the team, but she skied like a wily veteran for Team USA in Saturday’s 4x5k women’s Team Relay at the Kuyangshu Nordic Center, in Zhangjiakou, China.

“It was so cool to be part of a team with three legends,” the 20-year-old McCabe said of her teammates Jessie Diggins, Rosie Brennan, and Hailey Swirbul. “I had a lot of fun doing it, even though I was extremely nervous beforehand.”

McCabe skied the third leg for Team USA and posted the sixth-fasted freestyle time, which was 10 seconds faster than Diggins’ fourth lap time, as Team USA finished sixth. The Russian Olympic Committee took the gold, with Germany winning a surprise silver, and Sweden taking the bronze.

“I’m really, really proud of this team,” Diggins said. “Every one of these girls went out and skied so hard...and we gave it everything we had. Some days that ends up with the result of your life, and some days it doesn’t. But either way, the only thing we can control is going out there and skiing as hard, and as smart as we can, and this team did that!”

Following the race, the team was surprised with an Athlete Moment, an opportunity to connect with friends and family back home in the U.S. on a big screen in the finish area.

“Some of my friends from high school, and also some of our former teammates - Holly Brooks and Sadie Bjornsen - they had a watch party with my boyfriend (Tyler Kornfield) in Alaska, so we got to wave and say hi to them,” Brennan said. 

As is customary on relay day, the team wears special relay socks. And, ironically, Bjornson had on a pair of relay socks at the watch party - she competed on the U.S. relay team at the World Championships in Oberstdorf, Germany, last season. 

“Honestly, I wouldn’t expect anything less from her,” Brennan said of Bjornsen. 

“We have been missing a pair,” Diggins added. “That explains a lot!”

Fun and games aside, the women have a few days of rest and recovery before Wednesday’s classic team sprint. Team USA will be announced on Tuesday for Wednesday’s event. Up next, the men compete in the 4x10k relay Sunday. Luke Jager and Scott Patterson will ski the classic first and second legs, with Gus Schumacher and Kevin Bolger skiing the freestyle third and fourth legs.


Women’s 4x5k Relay