No Retina
XS Screen (480px)
SM+ Screen
SM Screen (768px)
SM- Screen
MD+ Screen
MD Screen (992px)
MD- Screen
LG+ Screen
LG Screen (1200px)
LG- Screen
XL+ Screen (1600px)

Double Medals at Junior Worlds

By Tom Kelly
January, 30 2018
Hailey Swirbul
Hailey Swirbul took silver in the 10k classic at the Junior World Championships in Goms, Switzerland.

Hailey Swirbul (Carbondale, Colo./Univ. Alaska-Anchorage) led a history-making day at the FIS Nordic Junior World Ski Championships in Switzerland Tuesday. Swirbul took silver in the women’s 5k classic in Goms while Olympian Ben Loomis (Eau Claire, Wis./Flying Eagles Ski Club) won bronze in the 10k nordic combined championship in nearby Kandersteg. It was the first double medal day ever for the U.S. Ski Team at Junior Worlds.

Swirlbul, who was part of the women’s bronze-medal-winning relay team a year ago, was five seconds out of second at the halfway mark but came charging back in the last 1.5 kilometers to pick up silver.

“Hailey skied tactically really well,” said U.S. coach Bryan Fish. “We had to wait for the later starters to finish, however none of their intermediary splits were matching up and it became clear that she would be on the podium.”

Her finish was the best ever for a U.S. man or woman at Junior Worlds and she becomes the second American to win two career Junior Worlds medals - a mark Katharine Ogden set a year ago.

On the men’s side, Ben Ogden had an impressive seventh-place finish in the 10k classic. His finish matches the best ever for a U.S. man at Junior Worlds, a mark held by Andy Newell from 2003 in the freestyle sprint and Rob Whitney in the 10k classic in 1999. 

Loomis, who won silver at the Youth Olympic Games two years ago, picked up the first nordic combined medal since 2002 when Alex Glueck and Nathan Gerhart were second and third. It was only the fourth U.S. individual medal ever.

"Jumping was pretty good today, but I know I can improve," said Loomis. "Overall it's been consistently getting better and better so I'm happy with the direction things are going."

Loomis began the race 38 seconds behind the leader. Within the first few kilometers, a pack was formed with places third through seventh, and the chase was on. Loomis skied smart, jockeying for position when necessary and trading off the lead in the chase pack, but never going out of his comfort zone.

"It was definitely a really hard race," said Loomis. "I had some ground to make up after the jumping, but I was able to push hard and ski a really smart race and I'm very happy with the outcome."

"I was able to finish on the podium which was my goal for this race," added Loomis. "It was a really tough course, but the race organizers did a really good job of keeping the course maintained."

Action continues in Goms and Kandersteg throughout the week.

Injury Sidelines Nyman Prior to Olympics

By Megan Harrod
January, 29 2018
Steven Nyman
Steven Nyman will miss the upcoming 2018 Olympic Winter Games in South Korea after suffering a knee injury in a downhill training run in Germany. (Getty Images)

Veteran downhiller Steven Nyman (Sundance, Utah) suffered an injury in Thursday’s FIS Alpine World Cup training run in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany, which means he will miss the upcoming 2018 Olympic Winter Games in South Korea. Post-event assessments by a medical team in Garmisch confirmed that Nyman sustained an ACL tear on his right knee, which brings his season to an end.

Nyman will join teammate and Vail/Beaver Creek World Championship downhill silver medalist Travis Ganong (Squaw Valley, Calif.), unfortunately, both cheering for Team USA from the sidelines. Ganong, also one of U.S. Ski & Snowboard's primary men's Alpine speed athletes, also suffered a torn ACL, at the World Cup event in Bormio, Italy in December. 

"We’re disappointed Steven Nyman cannot compete in the downhill as he brings great leadership to that team," said U.S. Ski & Snowboard Chief of Sport Luke Bodensteiner. "His place in the downhill will be taken by one of the many great athletes we have on our Olympic Team."

This is not the first time the dark, bumpy Kandahar track has ended Nyman’s season. Last year, he had a season-ending left knee injuryACL, MCL, and PCL tear – in Garmisch when he crashed into the safety netting. He battled his way back through a grueling rehab process and took a conservative approach to his comeback, starting his first World Cup in Val Gardena, Italy in December. Steadily building towards PyeongChang, Nyman snagged top three training run times and splits before finishing 15th in last weekend’s downhill in Kitzbuehel prior to returning to Garmisch.

Nyman, who had just been named to his fourth Olympic team, has 11 FIS Ski World Cup career podiums, including three victories at Val Gardena, Italy. With a third place under his belt at the Olympic test event at Jeongseon, Nyman was expected to be a contender in the downhill at the Olympics.

I was really looking forward to not only representing our country at my fourth Olympics but trying to contend for a medal,” Nyman reflected. “Unfortunately, a year to the day from my left knee injury, I’ve learned that I’ve completely torn the ACL on my other (right) knee. The good news is that this injury is much more straightforward than last year, and will be much easier to come back from.”

A leader on and off the mountain, Nyman will be missed in PyeongChang, says Head Coach Sasha Rearick. “This injury is a huge loss to the ski racing community of America and the U.S. Ski Team. He’s the leader of our family; he’s been the leader of the downhillers for a long time,” Rearick said. “I think we take a lot of pride in all of the work he has done, and the leadership he has shown to the team about how to work hard and take it step by step over a 12-month period and actually be in a place where he was ready to compete at the elite level.”

In contrast to last year, this year Nyman sustained a simple ACL tear, and none of the other ligaments or cartilage are injured. He will turn 36 in February during the Olympic Games, and he will celebrate a day early by watching his teammates ski the downhill in PyeongChang on February 11th. While his short-term focus is on cheering for his teammates in South Korea, Nyman will be back on the mountain as soon as he is physically able.

If all goes well I should be back on snow for regular summer training camps, and in full form by the start of next season,” Nyman promised. “My focus is now on next year’s World Cup season and the 2019 World Championships [in Are, Sweden]. I’ll be cheering loudly for my teammates and all the athletes in Korea, and I know the whole American Downhiller crew has the potential to be right in there. I’d, of course, like to thank my sponsors, coaches, teammates, friends, and family for all of their support. Go Team USA!”

Rearick echoes Nyman – and does not doubt for a second that he will return, and he will return stronger, “The whole team is rooting for Steven. We know he’s going to be back on the World Cup. We know he’s going to be back competing under the American flag. It’s going to be some time, but we’re looking forward to the moment he’ll be back training and racing at full speed with the team. We wish him the very best.”

Rearick continues to bring optimism into the Games with the rest of the American downhill squad, including two young athletes who have been stepping up: Bryce Bennett (Squaw Valley, Cali.) and Jared Goldberg (Holladay, Utah).

“Steven paved the way for the guys. His spirit and his energy will be will be missed, but it is with us all of the time, and it has really inspired our two young downhillers, Bryce Bennett and Jared Goldberg,” noted Rearick. “Goldberg is showing us tremendous speed, skiing smart, clean, aggressive runs while Bennett has been showing consistency and his progress has been phenomenal. A big part of that is seeing the steps that Nyman made in coming back from his injury the last 12 months. Nyman has been helping both of these guys.”

Always thinking beyond himself and seeing the silver lining, Nyman wrote on Saturday after the race, “On another note, I’m super proud of Bryce! Crushed today. That didn’t look easy and he skied super well ¾ of the way down. Easily top 10 without the bobble.”

The future is bright for both Nyman and the downhillers, and Bennett and Goldberg will be two to watch in PyeongChang, not only according to Nyman, but also Rearick.

“Fortunately, the track in Jeongseon is one we’re familiar with, and we’ve gotten to train on it more than other teams, and Bennett and Goldberg are both skiing well,” assured Rearick. “The challenge for them will be to challenge each other as we go into the Games and support each other in a way that Steven supported them. Bode [Miller] and Daron [Rahlves] did it best – but we, as American downhill racers, pride ourselves on that family tie to support each other, challenge each other, and push each other.”

Believe in Steven. He will be back.


Ligety Returns to Podium in Garmisch

By Courtney Harkins
January, 28 2018

In the giant slalom in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany, Ted Ligety (Park City, Utah) stepped back on the podium in third place.

With nearly two years off due to injury, Ligety has struggled to put two clean runs together this season in his return to the FIS World Cup circuit. But after a solid training block with teammates Lindsey Vonn (Vail, Colo.) and Andrew Weibrecht (Lake Placid, N.Y.) in Italy prior to Garmisch, Ligety was ready for action and crushed two strong runs in front of the cheering German fans. He finished third behind Austrian teammates Marcel Hirscher and Manuel Feller.

“It’s been really nice to finally be back on the podium,” said Ligety, whose last podium was at Beaver Creek in 2015. “It’s been a tough battle the last couple of years here with injuries and it’s nice to feel like I’m starting to ski better.”

Ligety has had success in Garmisch in the past—this was his third World Cup podium at the venue and he holds a gold from their 2011 World Championships. But the podium isn’t quite enough for Ligety, who is looking for his third Olympic gold next month. “There’s still some things to do,” Ligety continued. “It’s nice that we have a couple of weeks here before the giant slalom at the Olympics, so we can figure out those next steps. We’re still a little bit off and I have to find that next step and be really fast. I’m not going to sit here and be psyched on this—I’m going to move forward and keep working.”

Behind Ligety, Tim Jitloff (Reno, Nev.) finished 20th and Tommy Ford (Bend, Ore.) was 27th. 

The U.S. men will not race in the Stockholm city event on Tuesday, and will instead train for the PyeongChang Olympics in two weeks. Downhill training starts February 8.

Men’s giant slalom

Shiffrin Hikes in Lenzerheide

By Courtney Harkins
January, 28 2018
Mikaela Shiffrin
Mikaela Shiffrin races the Lenzerheide slalom. (Getty Images/Agence Zoom-Alain Grosclaude)

It looked like Mikaela Shiffrin (Eagle-Vail, Colo.) was going to take her seventh FIS World Cup slalom win of the season in Lenzerheide, Switzerland, but made a mistake just before the finish and had to hike.

Shiffrin, who would have clinched the slalom World Cup crystal globe with a win or a second-place finish, led after first run by over six-tenths of a second. She built on the lead throughout her second run to over a second, but with the finish line in sight, Shiffrin made a mistake and couldn’t keep her line. She finished 27th.

Petra Vlhova of Slovakia won the race, with Frida Hansdotter of Sweden in second and Wendy Holdener of Switzerland in third. Resi Stiegler (Jackson, Wyo.) was the only other American in the second run, and finished 18th.

Shiffrin now takes a well-deserved break before the PyeongChang Olympics. Stiegler will race the Stockholm city event on Tuesday.

Women's slalom

USA Women: Two for Two in Seefeld

By Tom Kelly
January, 28 2018
Jessie Diggins
This is how you win a World Cup. Jessie Diggins beats World Cup leader Heidi Weng to make it a two-for-two victory weekend for the U.S. Ski Team. (Getty Images/AFP-Barbara Gindl)

Jessie Diggins (Afton, Minn.) skied a brilliant race on fast skis to give the USA a victory sweep of the weekend following Sophie Caldwell's (Peru, Vt.) win in Saturday's freestyle sprint. The 10k freestyle mass start was a test event for the 2019 World Chanpionships in Seefeld, Austria. It was Diggins' first win of the season and set the stage for the team to head to PyeongChang next week for the Olympic Winter Games.

Three U.S. women cracked the top 14 with Sadie Bjornsen (Winthrop, Wash.) eighth and Kikkan Randall (Anchorage) 14th.

The U.S. men had one of their strongest days in recent history in distance racing. Erik Bjornsen (Winthrop, Wash.) was ninth in the men's 15k freestyle mass start with Simi Hamilton (Aspen, Colo.) 12th - both career bests and just seconds behind winner Dario Cologna of Switzerland.

Diggins had sat out Saturday's sprint to pace herself going into the Olympics. She came to the start line fresh and energized, engaging in the race from the start. She played a cat and mouse game with Weng and Norway's Ingvild Flugstad Østberg, mainly back in third to fifth. As they lapped back into the stadium on a long downhill, Diggins let her Salomon skis run and saw quickly she was much faster than the field. Coming into a sharp right corner, she ducked down inside Weng and Østberg to sneak into the lead. She held that spot, dropping back again for a period before making her move on a hill with about a kilometer to go. As the leaders hit the climb, Diggins attacked building a gap and widening it on the subsequent downhill. Raghild Haga then moved into the picture, joining Diggins and Weng in a finish sprint. But it was all Diggins as she took her fifth career World Cup win and first above 5k.

"What a fun race," she said. "Such a cool feeling, having the energy after sitting out Saturday’s race to then make a decisive move on that final brutal uphill. It was a hard course on which to break up the pack. So I stayed near the front and out of trouble, taking my turn to pull but also saving some energy knowing that it would likely come down to the last few kilometers like the men’s race did. I was confident in my skis and how I was cornering the big downhill, so I just put my head down and went for it."

Diggins won in similar style as Cologna had just a few hours earlier, admitting to watching the men and learning his strategy. But one of the keys were her skis. 

"I just had awesome skis today, and our techs did such a good job," she said. "We had some absolutely killer cheering out there as the men’s downhill team came out in full force. I can’t believe how awesome it was to hear them yelling on the side of the trail."

Sadie Bjornsen admitted that her brother Erik's performance in the morning gave her a boost. "I got my brother by one spot, which is a daily competition for the two of us," she laughed. "He set the bar high this morning. I am just so excited to see how well he did, and Simi as well. Those two have a bright future for the team sprint, I can't even wait to watch!"

Her eighth place finish was a career best in a 10k freestyle. "It was an exciting, and super fun final race before the Olympic Games," she said. "It was hot from the start on a really fun course here in Seefeld. I think the nature of the course kind of held the pack together a bit more, which always makes for a fun race. I felt really good out there, and was super happy with the day."

The men's race was pivotal for the USA.

"it was an incredible day," said Hamilton. "I’ve been wanting to do that for a while and today a whole lot of things just clicked. My fitness is great right now and it gives me so much confidence leading into Korea."

The rare mass start format provided an opportunity for new strategies and the course played to the U.S. strengths.

"I focused on skiing a smart race, staying relaxed on the climbs, and picking people off where I could," said Hamilton. "I think the downhills really played into my strengths, and my skis were absolute rockets. I was able to get past a few people on each long downhill on each lap, so moving up through the pack worked really well today."

Hamilton echoed the importance of the event for the team, with three in the points including Scott Patterson (Anchorage) finishing 27th.

"I’m so, so psyched for Scott and Erik today too - specially Erik with his first ever top 10 - and he earned that one today," said Hamilton. "And to have Scott in the points gives our whole men’s team a really good energy heading into Korea." 

Spirits were high across the U.S. Ski Team after its final race before PyeongChang. "It will be great to have two more weeks to rest, recover and come in sharp for these exciting races to come," said Sadie Bjornsen. "I am so excited to see our team on fire right now too. The vibe is great, the spirit is high, and we are so excited to take on the world in a few weeks here! Win or lose, I think this team is going to do something great! Now, let the games begin."

Diggins remained third in the FIS World Cup overall standings with Bjornsen seventh.

The team will train in Europe before heading to PyeongChang next week.

Men's 15k Freestyle Mass Start
Women's 10k Freestyle Mass Start 

Sprint Win for Sophie Caldwell

By Tom Kelly
January, 27 2018
Sophie Caldwell
Laurien Van Der Graaff of Switzerland and Sophie Caldwell celebrate after the Ladies FIS Cross Country Sprint World Cup on in Seefeld, Austria. (Getty Images/AFP - Barbara Gindl)

In an aggressive head-to-head battle, Sophie Caldwell (Peru, Vt.) put down some powerful skiing over three heats to tie for the win in the 2019 World Championship test event freestyle sprint in Seefeld, Austria. Sadie Bjornsen (Winthrop, Wash.) joined her in the finals, finishing sixth. Swiss Laurien van der Graaf joined Caldwell for the win.

Simi Hamilton (Aspen, Colo.) was ninth to lead the U.S. men as Norway’s Johannes Høsflot Klæbo continued his domination.

“I was not expecting to take the win and didn’t realize I had tied for first until 20 minutes after the race had ended,” said Caldwell. “Any day in the final is a good day, any day on the podium is a good day, so of course I’m thrilled with a win.”

The short 1.1k flat course provided some intense skating action with Caldwell and Bjornsen in it across each heat. Caldwell found herself up against Norway's powerhouse skier Maiken Kaspersen Falla in every heat, taking down the Norwegian star in both the semifinals and finals.

“Maiken and I both chose the first heat, which I was pretty psyched with because I really enjoy skiing with her and I knew they would be fast heats,” said Caldwell. “She likes to lead and she’s a very clean skier, so my strategy was to follow her and have a strong finish. I got off to a slow start in my quarter final, but I was able to take the top corner well and move into second.”

Caldwell, who qualified fourth, was just .08 off Falla's pace in the opening heat - the fastest of the opening round by over two seconds. Bjornsen took a half second win in her heat.

Caldwell and Falla battled the entire way in the first semifinal heat with the American taking the win. Bjornsen was second with the pair advancing into the finals.

“After that opening heat I tried to have stronger starts to put myself into a good position,” she said. “I was feeling good all day and knew this was a course that suited my strengths, so I thought if I skied it well in the final I might have a shot at the podium.”  

Falla set a torrid pace in the title round, but Caldwell never left her tails. In a field sprint to the finish, Caldwell powered by Falla while van der Graaf came charging up the other side to grab a tie with Caldwell in a photo finish that could not be separated.

It was Caldwell's fifth career individual podium and second sprint win - one each in classic and sprint. For Bjornsen, it was her first appearance in a skate sprint final.

“It was extra special to be in the final with Sadie,” said Caldwell. “She is skiing so well in every discipline right now.”

Bjornsen clearly showed she was back to form after several weeks of recovery from the Tour de Ski.

“It was an incredible day out there today on the World Championship course for next year,” said Bjornsen. “It is fun to have our final preparation for the Olympics on our World Champs course for next year! I finally had some of my first good feelings since the Tour de Ski today, and had a ton of fun with it.”

Bjornsen had a strong qualifier and set a goal of getting out of quarter finals for the first time in two years in a skate sprint 

“The quarter finals went really well and my legs were feeling really good and strong,” she said. “In the semi's, I again felt good, but could feel some fatigue coming in for the final climb. I tried to recover as fast as I could, and stay positive for the finals to try to fight for a podium alongside Sophie.”

While the field was tightly packed in the final, Bjornsen just didn’t have the power on the final climb and finished sixth - a career best skate sprint.

The one-two punch of Caldwell and Bjornsen showed, once again, the depth of the women’s team going into the Olympics.

“Big huge congrats to Sophie for the win today,” said Bjornsen. “She is an inspiration, and one speedy teammate to look up to.”

Bjornsen’s appearance in a sprint final added yet another name to mix as a contender for the upcoming two-person freestyle team sprint in PyeongChang along with Diggins and Caldwell.

Seefeld is the site of the 2019 FIS Nordic World Ski Championships. The sprint will be freestyle next year in Seefeld, with classic on tap at the upcoming Olympic Winter Games in PyeongChang. The short, flat sprint course is expected to be enhanced for the World Championships.

Bjornsen remained seventh in the FIS World Cup overall rankings, while Jessie Diggins (Afton, Minn.), who sat out the race, stayed in third. Diggins had planned to skip the freestyle sprint to pace herself going into PyeongChang. She is expected to compete in Sunday’s 10k freestyle mass start. The men will run 15k.

Women's sprint
Men's sprint

Shiffrin Seventh In Lenzerheide Giant Slalom

By U.S. Ski & Snowboard
January, 27 2018
Mikaela Shiffrin finished seventh in Saturday’s FIS Ski World Cup giant slalom in Lenzerheide, Switzerland. (Getty Images/Agence Zoom - Alain Grosclaude)
Mikaela Shiffrin finished seventh in Saturday’s FIS Ski World Cup giant slalom in Lenzerheide, Switzerland. (Getty Images/Agence Zoom - Alain Grosclaude)

Mikaela Shiffrin (Eagle-Vail, Colo.) finished seventh in the final FIS Ski World Cup giant slalom before the 2018 Olympic Winter Games in Lenzerheide, Switzerland Saturday.

Tessa Worley of France won, with Germany’s Viktoria Rebensburg was second, and Slovenia’s Meta Hrovat picking up her first World Cup podium in third.

Shiffrin continues to lead the overall World Cup standings with 1,513 total points. Rebensburg is second with 714 points and Switzerland’s Wendy Holdener is third with 702 points. Shiffrin also leads the overall World Cup slalom standings.

Up next, the women compete in the final slalom event prior to the 2018 Olympic Winter Games Sunday in Lenzerheide, followed by a city event in Stockholm on Tuesday.

Bennett Top American in Garmisch Downhill

Bryce Bennett (Squaw Valley, Calif.) led the American Downhillers in 16th on the Kandahar track in Saturday’s FIS Ski World Cup downhill in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany. Tommy Biesemeyer (Keene, N.Y.) was 29th.

“Last week in Kitzbuehel I was pretty focused on the result,” Bennett said. “Today I had a good plan of what I wanted to ski, and a plan on how I was going to execute that technically, and that’s all I focused on and it was pretty solid.”

Swiss Beat Fuez took the win as Austria’s Vincent Kriechmayr was second, followed by Italy’s Dominik Paris in third.

Up next, Ted Ligety (Park City, Utah) will lead the U.S. men in giant slalom Sunday in Garmisch-Partenkirchen.

Women’s giant slalom
Men’s Downhill

All times EST
*schedules subject to change

Jan. 28
3:30 a.m. – Women’s slalom, run 1; Lenzerheide –
4:30 a.m. – Men’s giant slalom, run 1; Garmisch-Partenkirchen –
6:00 a.m. – Women’s slalom, run 2; Lenzerheide – NBCSN
7:30 a.m. – Men’s giant slalom, run 2; Garmisch-Partenkirchen – NBCSN

Vonn Fourth, Mangan 19th in Alpine Combined

By U.S. Ski & Snowboard
January, 26 2018
Lindsey Vonn finished fourth in Friday’s FIS Ski World Cup alpine combined in Lenzerheide. (Getty Images/AFP – Ruben Sprich)

Lindsey Vonn (Vail, Colo.) just missed the podium, finishing fourth in Friday’s FIS Ski World Cup alpine combined in Lenzerheide, Switzerland.

Wendy Holdener of Switzerland took the victory, followed by Italy’s Marta Bassino in second and Slovenia’s Ana Bucik in third.

Vonn won the first-run super-G and finished 18th in the second-run slalom. Tricia Mangan (Buffalo, N.Y.) finished 18th in the super-G, and 14th in the slalom to finish 19th overall, a career-best World Cup result for the 20-year-old.

“I think I skied pretty well,” Vonn said. “It’s good to get another run of super-G before the Olympics, and also for the slalom portion, its good for me to get some practice as well.”

Vonn spent the past few days testing equipment and training super-G and giant slalom in Folgaria, Italy with Andrew Weibrecht and Ted Ligety. Friday’s event served more as an Olympic tune-up to see how her body would respond to slalom, a discipline she hasn’t trained since last month.

“I’ve won slalom World Cups before, but I haven’t really trained (slalom) at all since Christmas … so that’s why I’m starting, so I can see how it feels for the Olympics and know how much I need to improve if I want to get a medal.

“If I can get a good advantage in the speed portion, and have a solid slalom run, I think I can be on the podium,” Vonn said of her Olympic alpine combined aspirations.

Friday’s alpine combined was a makeup race originally scheduled for St. Moritz, Switzerland.  Up next, the women compete in giant slalom Saturday and slalom Sunday in Lenzerheide. Mikaela Shiffrin (Eagle-Vail, Colo.) sat out Friday’s alpine combined and is scheduled to start the giant slalom and slalom events.

Women’s alpine combined

U.S. Olympic Cross Country Skiing Team Announced

By U.S. Ski & Snowboard
January, 25 2018
The U.S. women are expected to be contenders for a medal in the 4x5k relay at the 2018 Olympic Winter Games (U.S. Ski & Snowboard)
The U.S. women are expected to be contenders for a medal in the 4x5k relay at the 2018 Olympic Winter Games (U.S. Ski & Snowboard)

U.S. Ski & Snowboard Friday (January 26) announced its selections for the 2018 U.S. Olympic Cross Country Skiing Team that will compete at the Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018 beginning February 9.

A team of veteran U.S. cross country skiers with proven results led by Jessie Diggins (Afton, Minn.), Sadie Bjornsen (Winthrop, Wash.) and Sophie Caldwell (Peru, Vt.) will head to the Games in PyeongChang with a strong opportunity for success. Diggins is presently ranked third in the world, with Bjornsen seventh.

The selections will be confirmed by the United States Olympic Committee when it formally names Team USA today (January 26).

Among those named is Kikkan Randall (Anchorage, Alaska), who will be competing in her fifth Games – the most ever for a U.S. cross country skier.

"It’s such an incredible honor to be joining another U.S. Olympic Team," said Randall. "Being able to represent my country on the world’s biggest stage is always a big highlight that I look forward to every four years. I am especially excited about this team going into 2018 as the strongest cross country contingent I’ve ever been a part of."

The team includes 20 athletes who qualified for the team through World Cup results as well as domestic racing results at the L.L.Bean U.S. Cross Country Championships.

"The U.S. Ski Team is headed to PyeongChang with one of the most talented and decorated Olympic Teams of all time,” said Cross Country Head Coach Chris Grover. "Never in our history have we fielded a team with so many podium-proven World Cup and World Championship athletes. We also have incredible momentum in this Olympic season with 10 World Cup podiums secured by early January. These USA Olympians have prepared extremely well for PyeongChang and are looking to rewrite U.S. cross country skiing history."

The Opening Ceremonies for the Games are set for February 9. The cross country team will have its first competition on Saturday, February 10 with the women's skiathlon - a blend of classic and freestyle technique. Diggins will be among contenders in that event.

NBCUniversal will present more than 2,400 hours of coverage across NBC, NBCSN, CNBC, USA Network,, and the NBC Sports app - the most ever for a Winter Olympics.

Team Facts

  • The U.S. women will come into the Games on the heels of a strong season in sprint and distance racing, as well as classical and freestyle technique.
  • Jessie Diggins presently stands third in the FIS World Cup overall rankings with Sadie Bjornsen seventh.
  • Sophie Caldwell is third in the FIS World Cup sprint rankings with Diggins sixth. Diggins stands fifth in distance with Bjornsen 11th.
  • Kikkan Randall will compete in her fifth Olympics, the most ever for a U.S. cross country skier. Andy Newell will make his fourth Olympic appearance, matching the U.S. mark held by Bill Koch, Torin Koos and Nina Kemppel.
  • Newell and Simi Hamilton will lead the USA in sprint events for the men, with Erik Bjornsen the top contender in distance racing.
  • The U.S. women are expected to be contenders for a medal in the 4x5k relay. The women have been fourth in the last three World Championships.
  • America's only cross country Olympic medal was won by Bill Koch when he took silver in the 30k race at the 1976 Olympics in Seefeld, Austria.
  • Cross country has one of the largest Olympic programs with five events each for men and women.
  • The team features three sibling pairs - Erik and Sadie Bjornsen, Scott and Caitlin Patterson, and Logan and Reese Hanneman, plus a pair of cousins in Sophie and Patrick (Paddy) Caldwell.
  • The U.S. team will compete this weekend in Seefeld, site of next year's World Championships.



  • Sadie Bjornsen, Winthrop, Wash. (11/21/1989) *
  • Rosie Brennan, Park City, Utah (12/02/1988)
  • Sophie Caldwell, Peru, Vt. (3/22/1990) *
  • Jessie Diggins, Afton, Minn. (8/26/1991) *
  • Rosie Frankowski, Anchorage, Alaska (7/30/1991)
  • Anne Hart, Stillwater, Minn. (8/20/1992)**
  • Kaitlynn Miller, Craftsbury Common, Vt. (8/09/1991)
  • Caitlin Patterson, Anchorage, Alaska (1/30/1990)
  • Kikkan Randall, Anchorage, Alaska (12/31/1982) *
  • Ida Sargent, Orleans, VT (1/25/1988) *
  • Liz Stephen, East Montpelier, VT (1/12/1987) *


  • Erik Bjornsen, Winthrop, Wash. (7/14/1991) *
  • Patrick Caldwell, Lyme Center, N.H. (2/18/1994)**
  • Simi Hamilton, Aspen, Colo., (5/14/1987) *
  • Logan Hanneman, Fairbanks, Alaska (6/02/1993)
  • Reese Hanneman, Anchorage, Alaska (12/25/1989)
  • Noah Hoffman, Aspen, Colo. (8/01/1989) * **
  • Tyler Kornfield, Anchorage, Alaska (2/09/1991)**
  • Andy Newell, Shaftsbury, Vt. (11/30/1983) *
  • Scott Patterson, Anchorage, Alaska (1/28/1992)

* Competed in past Olympics
** Selected via Coach Discretion

Cross Country Staff
Chris Grover, Cross Country Head Coach
Matt Whitcomb, Cross Country Coach
Jason Cork, Cross Country Coach
Oleg Ragilo, Head of Service
Jean-Pascal Laurin, Service Team
Marek Sander, Service Team
Andrew Morehouse, Service Team
Tim Baucom, Service Team
Eli Brown, Volunteer tech
Patrick Moore, Volunteer tech
Erik Flora, Volunteer coach and tech
Dr. Larry Gaul, Physician
Zuzana Rogers, Volunteer physical therapist
Steph McKeen, Volunteer massage therapist
Robert Lazzaroni, Cross country director

Chris Grover, Cross Country Head Coach

The U.S. Ski Team is headed to PyeongChang with one of the most talented and decorated Olympic Teams of all time. Never in our history have we fielded a team with so many podium-proven World Cup and World Championship athletes. We also have incredible momentum in this Olympic season with 10 World Cup podiums secured by early January. These USA Olympians have prepared extremely well for PyeongChang and are looking to rewrite U.S. cross country skiing history.

Jessie Diggins
We are heading into the Games with the strongest team we’ve ever had and I’m so proud of this team for all the hard work that has gone into making the Games. I’m really happy and excited to be representing Team USA again in South Korea!

Kikkan Randall
Five Olympics, wow! It’s such an incredible honor to be joining another U.S. Olympic Team. Being able to represent my country on the world’s biggest stage is always a big highlight that I look forward to every four years. I am especially excited about this team going into 2018 as the strongest cross country contingent I’ve ever been a part of. We have the potential for some great individual performances from multiple members of the team and I know we’re all really looking forward to being contenders in the relay events.

Sadie Bjornsen
It is a pretty unique and amazing experience to have my brother beside me. Erik and I have been working beside each other since we were young kids racing each other to the finish line. The Olympics were just a dream for us for so long and here we are in a whole new dream as we are headed to the Games with goals of winning Olympic medals! An enormous thank you to our family, friends, coaches, teams, sponsors and our community for helping us get to this point!

Our entire team has been racing at a higher level than normal so far this season, and I am so excited to see what we can put together for the big show. I know we are capable, now it is just a matter of putting those perfect days together. Let's see what this incredible Team USA can do!

Erik Bjornsen
There is no other skiing event that compares to the Olympics. It’s hard to describe how amazing it is to be a part of the team. After placing fifth in the team sprint in Sochi, I’m headed to PyeongChang to fight for a medal. It’s also very exciting to know my sister has a shot at a medal. I’m looking forward to watching her achieve a life-long dream.

Andy Newell
My fourth Olympic Games will be a memorable moment. I'm proud to have had such longevity competing in the sport I love but mostly proud of how far we have come as a team since my first Games in 2006. I will be beyond stoked to pull on the red, white, and blue uniform one more time and share in the collective energy and ambition our tightly knit cross-country crew will bring to PyeongChang.

The Road to PyeongChang Continues

By Megan Harrod
January, 25 2018
Steven Nyman
Steven Nyman skis during the Garmisch training run. (Getty Images/Agence Zoom-Christophe Pallot)

The excitement continues in Germany and Switzerland, after the U.S. Olympic Alpine Ski Team was announced Wednesday.

Olympic gold medalists Lindsey Vonn (Vail, Colo.), Mikaela Shiffrin (Eagle-Vail, Colo.) and Ted Ligety (Park City, Utah) will lead the men and women in a mix of tech and speed events this weekend.

After securing her 79th victory last weekend in Cortina d’Ampezzo, Italy and sharing the podium with Lindsey Vonn Foundation ambassador Jackie Wiles (Aurora, Ore.), Vonn will lead a group of six women into Lenzerheide starting with an alpine combined rescheduled from St. Moritz, Switzerland.

Shiffrin will sit the alpine combined out to rest and focus on the giant slalom and slalom on Saturday and Sunday. She continues to prove that she’s one of most dominant athletes in the world, showing her strength across disciplines and sharing the podium with teammate Vonn in Cortina for the first time ever last Friday in the downhill.

Shiffrin will go into the weekend with an 843-point lead in the overall race over Germany’s Viktoria Rebensburg, who is once again healthy and returned to competition in Kronplatz, Italy. She also leads the slalom standings, is second in the giant slalom standings and third in the downhill standings.

In Garmisch, Steven Nyman (Sundance, Utah) will face his demon this weekend on a track where he had a season-ending knee injury last season. Nyman has battled his way back through a grueling rehab process and returned to the Kandahar track two weeks ago to train. After Thursday’s training run, Nyman laughed, “When I came a couple of weeks ago, I wanted to be angry at the net, but I thought ‘Net, you’re fine – you saved my life. I should be mad at the jump!’”

The Kandahar track is dark, menacing and fast, but the American Downhillers had a good start to training on Thursday, led by the strong and consistent Bryce Bennett (Squaw Valley, Calif.) with the eighth-fastest time. Nyman admits the first training run was rough the entire ride, but will look to dial in some equipment issues in Friday’s training run prior to the downhill on Saturday. 

“It’s dense snow with a lot of bumps, and my skis weren’t reacting the way I wanted them to because my boots were too soft,” Nyman recalled. The jump where he crashed last year has not been built up as big, after he and others – including Frenchman Valentin Giraud Moine – sustained season-ending injuries. On Saturday, he’ll find the courage to hurl himself down that track – at speeds of up to 90 mph.

“Fortunately, I got to train here a couple of weeks ago with the German and Swiss, so that allowed me to step back into this area without having to deal with those thoughts today,” Nyman said. “So, I’ve already eliminated potential fear around that, but the biggest thing today was just the vision. It’s dark, which makes the Kandahar so challenging, so you have to really stay in a solid position, continually drive through the bumps and keep pushing.”

The American Downhillers celebrated their naming to the Olympic team in good company with a taste of home during their annual visit to the Garmisch military base, signing autographs for young fans and eating tacos with families at the base. This visit is a highlight of their season and comes at just the right time to reenergize them after the grueling run of chaos and overstimulation in Wengen, Switzerland and Kitzbuehel, Austria.

American Downhiller Garmisch Military Base VisitThe American Downhiller crew poses with children at the military base in Garmisch, Germany. (Manuel Dietrich)

On Sunday, Ligety will return to giant slalom after a solid training block in Folgaria, Italy with teammates Vonn and Andrew Weibrecht (Lake Placid, NY). Ligety has yet to land on the podium in the 2018 season but continues to build steadily towards PyeongChang. Austria’s powerhouse Marcel Hirscher – whom Olympic gold has eluded – must be aware that Ligety is about to strike. It’ll be a wild ride the next few weeks. Buckle up on the road to PyeongChang.

Steve Schlanger and U.S. Ski Team alumnus Will Brandenburg will call the action in the coming week. See who to watch and where to catch all the action below.

Lenzerheide, SUI

Alpine Combined, Giant Slalom, Slalom
Patricia Mangan
Megan McJames
Alice Merryweather
Nina O’Brien
Mikaela Shiffrin
Lindsey Vonn

Garmisch-Partenkirchen, GER

Downhill, Giant Slalom
Bryce Bennett
Tommy Biesemeyer
David Chodounsky
Ryan Cochran-Siegle
Tommy Ford
Jared Goldberg
Ted Ligety
Wiley Maple
Steven Nyman
Hig Roberts

*Final starters per event TBD

All times EST
Friday, Jan. 26

3:30 a.m. – Women’s alpine combined, super G run; Lenzerheide – Olympic Channel TV (LIVE)
6:15 a.m. – Women’s alpine combined, slalom run; Lenzerheide – Olympic Channel TV (LIVE)

Saturday, Jan. 27
3:45 a.m. – Women’s giant slalom, run 1; Lenzerheide – Olympic Channel TV (LIVE)
7:00 a.m. – Women’s giant slalom; Lenzerheide – NBCSN (LIVE)
5:15 a.m. – Men’s downhill; Garmisch – Olympic Channel TV (LIVE)
8:30 a.m. – Men’s downhill; Garmisch – NBCSN (same day delay)

Sunday, Jan. 28
3:30 a.m. – Women’s slalom, run 1; Lenzerheide –
4:30 a.m. – Men’s giant slalom, run 1; Garmisch-Partenkirchen –
6:00 a.m. – Women’s slalom, run 2; Lenzerheide – NBCSN
7:30 a.m. – Men’s giant slalom, run 2; Garmisch-Partenkirchen – NBCSN

Men’s Training Run 1
Men's Training Run 2

Women’s Alpine Combined
Men's Downhill 

Men's Alpine

  • Bryce Bennett, Squaw Valley, Calif. (7/14/1992)
  • Tommy Biesemeyer, Keene, N.Y. (1/30/1989)
  • David Chodounsky, Crested Butte, Colo. (6/25/1984)*
  • Ryan Cochran-Siegle, Starksboro, Vt. (3/27/1992)
  • Mark Engel, Truckee, Calif. (10/1/1991)
  • Tommy Ford, Bend, Ore. (3/20/1989)*
  • Jared Goldberg, Holladay, Utah (6/15/1991)*
  • Tim Jitloff, Reno, Nev. (1/11/1985)*
  • Nolan Kasper, Warren, Vt. (3/27/1989)*
  • Ted Ligety, Park City, Utah (8/31/1984)*
  • Wiley Maple, Aspen, Colo. (5/25/1990)
  • Steven Nyman, Sundance, Utah (2/12/1982)*
  • Andrew Weibrecht, Lake Placid, N.Y. (2/10/1986)*

Women’s Alpine

  • Stacey Cook, Mammoth Lakes, Calif. (7/3/1984)*
  • Breezy Johnson, Victor, Idaho (1/19/1996)
  • Megan McJames, Park City, Utah (9/24/1987)*
  • Alice McKennis, New Castle, Colo. (8/18/1989)*
  • Laurenne Ross, Bend, Ore. (8/17/1988)*
  • Mikaela Shiffrin, Eagle-Vail, Colo. (3/13/1995)*
  • Resi Stiegler, Jackson, Wyo. (11/14/1985)*
  • Lindsey Vonn, Vail, Colo. (10/18/1984)*
  • Jackie Wiles, Aurora, Ore. (7/13/1992)*

* Competed in past Olympic