Jessie Diggins fell in love with skiing along cross-country trails at an early age as she rode in a child-carrying backpack strapped to her father’s shoulders. Little Jessie loved to go fast, yelling “Mush!” at her father while tugging on his hair.
Her U.S. teammate Sadie Bjornsen described Diggins as “the most fearless, silly and talented” person she has ever met, noting that she’s also the “most engeretic human” she knows. Bjornsen also pointed out Diggins requires no less than 10 hours of sleep a night.
The silliness is on full display when Diggins hits the race course, shimmering along with her U.S. teammates. To keep fun at the forefront of her race day prep, Diggins and her teammates cover their cheeks with glitter.
Diggins is the most decorated U.S. cross-country athlete in world championship history, even without the glitter. Her first world championship medal was won racing with fellow U.S. cross-country star, Kikkan Randall in 2013. The duo won gold in the team sprint event, the first ever world championship title for the U.S.
In 2015, Diggins added an individual silver medal at Worlds in the 10km freestyle. Appearing at the biannual event in 2017, this time in Lahti, Finland, Diggins won another individual silver in the sprint and bronze in the team sprint with teammate Sadie Bjornsen.
Diggins’ performance in Finland has many believing she could break the 41-year U.S. Olympic cross-country medal drought. The first, and last, time the United States had an athlete on an Olympic cross-country podium was at the 1976 Innsbruck Olympic Games where Bill Koch won silver in the men’s 30km.
Diggins enters her second Olympic Games in PyeongChang, having first raced under the Olympic flame in Sochi in 2014. She had her best result in Sochi in the Skiathlon, an event that combines the classic and freestyle skiing techniques into one race, where she placed eighth.
Getting to know Jessie Diggins
Her favorite foods include pickles and raspberries, pointing out on her website "separately, not together."
Has a passion for dancing, often choreographing complex routines for her teammates
Once spent a week training in Norway with their national cross-country team