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Countdown to the 2022 Olympic Winter Games

Diggins and Ogden Lead the U.S. in World Championships Sprint

By Courtney Harkins
February, 25 2021
Ben Ogden World Championships classic sprint
Ben Ogden led the way for the U.S. in the World Championships classic sprint, qualifying 11th into the heats and finishing in 17th place.

The classic sprint kicked off the 2021 FIS Nordic World Ski Championships in Oberstdorf, Germany on Thursday, with Ben Ogden leading the way for the Davis U.S. Cross Country Ski Team men in 17th place and Jessie Diggins for the women in 24th place. JC Schoonmaker finished 26th and Sophie Caldwell Hamilton was 29th.

The well-known Ried cross country stadium in Oberstdorf was quiet with a stadium full of fan cutouts for the biggest event of the 2020-21 FIS Cross Country World Cup season, with no fans allowed due to COVID restrictions, but that didn’t get in the way of the athletes’ excitement to have made it this far during a strange season.

“I’m really really excited to be here,” said Diggins. “I feel really lucky to race at all. This is pretty incredible to think back to how we were looking at the season back in November—the fact that we made it here to World Champs and they’re happening is really really cool in and of itself. So I think it’s kind of a victory for FIS and the organizers for everyone to have made it here.”

Warm weather greeted the athletes when the U.S. team arrived in Oberstdorf from a training camp in Davos, Switzerland, with temperatures climbing into the mid 50 degrees Fahrenheit during the race, making it challenging for the athletes - and ski techs - as they climbed through the qualifier and into the heats. Diggins led the way for the women in 23rd and Caldwell Hamilton in 26th, while on the men’s side, Ogden hammered out an extraordinary 11th place finish to snag a spot in the heats. Schoonmaker also had a great showing, finishing in 20th.

Rosie Brennan, Julia Kern, Logan Hanneman, and Kevin Bolger also raced the sprint qualifiers but did not qualify for the heats.

Diggins and Caldwell Hamilton raced in the quarterfinals but didn’t qualify through to the semis. “On the last uphill, I definitely was mentally trying to churn the legs and get the gears going, but I felt like my body just ran out of energy,” said Diggins. “Not really sure what happened there to be totally honest, but I know that I prepared the best I could… I’m really proud of my effort—I felt like I pushed as hard as I could and I don’t have any regrets. There isn’t something I can point to and say I’d totally do that differently.”

On the men’s side, the two young rising stars of the Davis U.S. Cross Country Ski Team kept it competitive in their first World Champs appearance in their careers, but weren’t quite fast enough to make it through to the semifinals. But both were pleased with their impressive qualifier results and, for Ogden, his first World Cup-level sprint heats.

“I was happy to feel fast in the qualifier,” said Ogden, who is a sophomore at the University of Vermont. “The heats were a little tricky, as they often are. These are only my second heat so far this year—since World Juniors last year. I have a lot to learn. I’m really excited with the whole day.”

Schoonmaker, who has had a few tastes of great sprint results, having racked up a number of top-20s in the 2020-21 season, knows he has more to give. “I didn’t feel my best today, but it was a solid result for my first World Champs,” he said. “I think I can walk away saying I learned a lot and I’m happy with it. I saw it going better and I hoped it was going to go better, but I think overall it was still good. That’ll be something that will fire me up.”

Jonna Sundling of Sweden was crowned World Champion for the women with Maiken Caspersen Falla of Norway silver and Anamarija Lampic of Slovenia bronze. On the men’s side, the Norwegians swept the podium with Johannes Hoesflot Kaebo taking the gold, Erik Valnes silver and Haavard Solaas Taugboel in third for the bronze.

Next up, the women and men race the World Championships 15k skiathlon Saturday. 

RESULTS
Women’s World Championships classic sprint
Men’s World Championships classic sprint

HOW TO WATCH
All Times EST

Thursday, Feb 25
11:00 a.m. FIS World Ski Jumping Championships Women’s HS106 - LIVE, Oberstdorf, GER, Streaming Peacock
12:30 p.m. FIS World Ski Jumping Championships Women’s HS106 - same-day broadcast, Oberstdorf, GER, Olympic Channel
2:30 p.m. FIS World Nordic Championships Men's and Women's Sprint Finals - same-day broadcast, Oberstdorf, GER, Broadcast NBCSN

Friday, Feb. 26
4:15 a.m. FIS World Nordic Combined Championships Men’s HS106 - LIVE, Oberstdorf, GER, Streaming Peacock
9:00 a.m. FIS World Nordic Combined Championships Men’s HS106 - same-day broadcast, Oberstdorf, GER, Broadcast Olympic Channel
10:00 a.m. FIS World Nordic Combined Championships Men’s 10k - LIVE, Oberstdorf, GER, Broadcast Olympic Channel
10:00 a.m. FIS World Nordic Combined Championships Men’s 10k - LIVE, Oberstdorf, GER, Streaming Peacock

Saturday, Feb. 27
4:00 a.m. FIS World Nordic Combined Championships Women’s HS106 - LIVE, Oberstdorf, GER, Streaming Peacock
5:45 a.m. FIS World Cross Country Championships Women’s 15k Skiathlon - LIVE, Oberstdorf, GER, Streaming Peacock
7:30 a.m. FIS World Cross Country Championships Men’s 30k Skiathlon - LIVE, Oberstdorf, GER, Streaming Peacock
9:30 a.m. FIS World Nordic Combined Championships Women’s 5k - LIVE, Oberstdorf, GER, Streaming Peacock
10:30 a.m. FIS World Ski Jumping Championships Men’s HS106 - LIVE, Oberstdorf, GER, Streaming Peacock
9:00 p.m. FIS World Nordic Combined Championships Women’s HS106 and 5k - same-day broadcast, Oberstdorf, GER, Broadcast Olympic Channel
10:00 p.m. FIS World Ski Jumping Championships Men’s HS106 - same-day broadcast, Oberstdorf, GER, Olympic Channel

Sunday, Feb. 28
4:00 a.m. FIS World Nordic Combined Championships Men’s HS106 team event - LIVE, Oberstdorf, GER, Streaming Peacock
7:00 a.m. FIS World Cross Country Championships Men and Women’s Team Sprint Finals - LIVE, Oberstdorf, GER, Streaming Peacock
8:00 a.m. FIS World Nordic Combined Championships Men’s HS106 team event - same-day broadcast, Oberstdorf, GER, Olympic Channel
9:00 a.m. FIS World Nordic Combined Championships Men’s 4x5k team event - LIVE, Oberstdorf, GER, Broadcast Olympic Channel
9:00 a.m. FIS World Nordic Combined Championships Men’s 4x5k team event - LIVE, Oberstdorf, GER, Streaming Peacock
10:30 a.m. FIS World Nordic Championships Men's and Women's Team Sprint Finals - same-day broadcast, Oberstdorf, GER, Broadcast Olympic Channel
11:00 a.m. FIS World Ski Jumping Championships Mixed Team HS106 - LIVE, Oberstdorf, GER, Streaming Peacock
10:00 p.m. FIS World Ski Jumping Championships Mixed Team HS106 - same-day broadcast, Oberstdorf, GER, Broadcast Olympic Channel

Tuesday, March 2
7:15 a.m. FIS World Cross Country Championships Women’s 10k freestyle - LIVE, Oberstdorf, GER, Broadcast Olympic Channel
7:15 a.m. FIS World Cross Country Championships Women’s 10k freestyle - LIVE, Oberstdorf, GER, Streaming Peacock
1:00 p.m. FIS World Cross Country Championships Women’s 10k freestyle - same-day broadcast, Oberstdorf, GER, Broadcast NBCSN

Wednesday, March 3
7:15 a.m. FIS World Cross Country Championships Men’s 15k freestyle - LIVE, Oberstdorf, GER, Streaming Peacock
11:15 a.m. FIS World Ski Jumping Championships Women’s HS137 - LIVE, Oberstdorf, GER, Streaming Peacock

Thursday, March 4
7:00 a.m. FIS World Nordic Combined Championships Men’s HS137 - LIVE, Oberstdorf, GER, Streaming Peacock
7:15 a.m. FIS World Cross Country Championships Women’s 4x5k relay - LIVE, Oberstdorf, GER, Streaming Peacock
9:15 a.m. FIS World Nordic Combined Championships Men’s 10k - LIVE, Oberstdorf, GER, Streaming Peacock

Friday, March 5
7:15 a.m. FIS World Cross Country Championships Men’s 4x7.5k relay - LIVE, Oberstdorf, GER, Streaming Peacock
11:00 a.m. FIS World Ski Jumping Championships Men’s HS137 - LIVE, Oberstdorf, GER, Streaming Peacock

Saturday, March 6
4:00 a.m. FIS World Nordic Combined Championships Men’s HS137 team sprint - LIVE, Oberstdorf, GER, Streaming Peacock
6:30 a.m. FIS World Cross Country Championships Women’s 30k classic mass start - LIVE, Oberstdorf, GER, Streaming Peacock
9:00 a.m. FIS World Nordic Combined Championships Men’s 2x7.5k team event - LIVE, Oberstdorf, GER, Streaming Peacock
11:00 a.m. FIS World Ski Jumping Championships Men’s Team HS137 - LIVE, Oberstdorf, GER, Streaming Peacock

Sunday, March 7
7:00 a.m. FIS World Cross Country Championships Men’s 50k classic mass start - LIVE, Oberstdorf, GER, Streaming Peacock