A pair of Minnesotans shocked the skiing community when they finished second and third at a World Cup event in Sweden Tuesday.
Jessie Diggins of Afton and Caitlin Gregg of Minneapolis took the silver and bronze medals at the Nordic Skiing World Championship 10-kilometer freestyle race in Falun, Sweden.
The Star Tribune reports it's the first time two Americans have finished in the top three of a long-distance international event. In fact, an American had never medaled in a distance event at the international level before today.
Minnesotans doing well in winter sporting events is usually no surprise. But Diggins and Gregg weren't expected to finish on the podium. According to USA Today, Diggins had never placed in the top three of a long-distance World Cup race, and Gregg had never finished in the top 10.
Diggins finished 5.9 seconds ahead of Gregg. Both women went out early among the group of 71 racers. Competitors who went started the race later had to deal with heavier snow and stronger winds, USA Today notes.
“I’m glad I started early cause it snowed more and more," Gregg said after the race, according to event's official site. "Oh how I love this snow! I had incredibly good skiing and it feels fantastic to be here together with Jessica. So much fun and such an amazing surprise."
Uptown Funk Music Video
SELF Magazine has an awesome story about Diggins choreographing a dance to the "Uptown Funk," the billboard-leading song by Bruno Mars and Mark Ronson. The entire U.S. Cross Country ski team is involved. Here's the video – it's awesome.