Big enough to draw the attention of the New York Times (see above), this year’s Holmenkollen Ski Festival featured the first ever women’s 50 km World Cup event.
Lumi Experiences was on hand to cheer on the racers in a place where cross-country skiing is the national sport. Huge crowds of Norwegian fans were partying throughout the woods surrounding the Holmenkollen venue. Alaska-based journalist Nat Herz’s article in the New York Times, “Skis, Songs and Shots at a Supremely Norwegian Sports Festival,” captures the festival scene really well, with a photo of the Lumi crew on the Norway-Birken trip in the stands!
Norway’s reputation for producing outstanding cross-country skiers held strong. Norwegians – in their red race suits, on their home trails – won the two main races: the men’s and women’s 50km freestyle events. Still, it was an exciting weekend for the US Team.
The men’s 50 km kicked off the weekend on Saturday. Lumi Experiences guests from Alaska got to cheer on athletes they watched grow up skiing on their local trails – all four US men competing were from Alaska. Not only did one of the Norwegians win the event, but the top 10 skiers to cross the finish line were all Norwegians.
On Sunday, the US Team competed in the first-ever World Cup-level women’s 50km. With an Overall World Cup title in reach and 190 World Cup points on the line (most races only have 100 points for the winner), Jessie Diggins led most of the race to take 87 World Cup bonus points, winning 11 of 12 mid-race point bonuses. 47km into the race, she fell back to 6th with a gap opening up to the leaders, and then found an extra gear that brought her back to compete in the final sprint with Norway’s Ragnhild Gløersen Haga and Astrid Øyre Slind. Jessie finished ½ a second behind first – winning bronze for the USA in the longest women’s race at the World Cup level and collecting a total of 177 of 190 World Cup points available for the day.
Overall for this World Cup season, Jessie had 1588 points after Tuesday’s classic sprint in Drammen, Norway – she’s currently second only to Norway’s Tiril Udnes Weng. With only 7 races left in Sweden, Estonia, and Finland it will be an exciting finish to the season.
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Here are a few highlights from the Holmenkollen World Cup weekend…
Inspired to experience what it’s like to cheer for Team USA at Norway’s “Super Bowl” event of the year? Join us in March 2024 for a festive weekend at Holmenkollen followed by the Norway-Birken trip.
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See you on the trail,