Afton X-C skier helps U.S. team win gold at world championshipby Nancy Lebens, Minnesota Public Radio
ST. PAUL, Minn. — A Minnesota cross country skier teamed with another woman Sunday to win the first world championship for the United States.
Jessie Diggins, 21, of Afton and Kikkan Randall won the women's team sprint at the Nordic World championship in Italy. Diggins raced part of her last leg without one of her ski poles. She lost the pole when a competitor accidentally skiied over it. Diggins recovered and gave Randall a lead before the anchor leg of the race.
The pole was not broken and was later returned to Diggins.
"I actually got the pole back and I'll be racing with it tomorrow. Hopefully, it will stay on my hand next time," Diggins said to Alaska Public Radio Network's Annie Feidt.
Diggins told Feidt the win helps the rest of the team as they look to the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia.
"You when one of us, or a team of us has success, the whole team is like, Hey you know we all train together, everyone can do this," Diggins said. "I think it's really inspiring for the entire team going into the Olympics. All right we're ready, like, we're competitive on the world stage."
Diggins has been on the U.S. Ski Team since last year, after winning her first U.S. title in 2011.
Nancy Lebens is an editor for MPR News.