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Jessie Diggins Can Smile Despite Cancellation of Minneapolis Ski Race

By U.S. Ski & Snowboard
March, 18 2020
Jessie Diggins (left), the Olympic Gold Medal winning cross country skier from Stillwater, Minn., skied with local high school skiers at Theodore Wirth Park on Tuesday morning. (Star Tribune - Brian Peterson)

There would have been no sense in letting a beautiful day go to waste. Though Tuesday’s World Cup cross-country ski races were canceled last week, Jessie Diggins showed up at Theodore Wirth Park anyway, with silver glitter on her cheeks and a smile on her face.

Were it not for the coronavirus pandemic, the Olympic gold medalist from Afton would have been facing her global rivals in a freestyle sprint. As many as 20,000 spectators were expected to line the course, clanging cowbells to welcome World Cup cross-country racing back to America after a 19-year absence. Instead, Diggins zipped around the snowy loop with a group of high school girls, to a soundtrack of clanks and bangs as workers disassembled the grandstand.

It wasn’t how she envisioned a day she had worked toward for two years. But it wasn’t a total loss, either.

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