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Five New England athletes among nominees for the U.S. Olympic Cross Country Team

U.S. Ski & Snowboard announced today its nominations for the U.S. Olympic Cross Country Team to represent Team USA at the Olympic Winter Games Beijing 2022 from February 4-19, 2022. 

Nominations are to be confirmed by the United States Olympic & Paralympic Committee when it formally announces the U.S. Olympic Team.

Fourteen athletes were nominated to Team USA, including the 2018 Olympic gold medalist and defending World Cup overall and distance champion Jessie Diggins, and two-time World Cup winner Rosie Brennan. Brother and sister Caitlin and Scott Patterson, both 2018 Olympians, are also nominated to return to the Games. The 10 remaining nominated athletes will be competing in their first Olympic Winter Games. 

Of the fourteen athletes nominated to Team USA, five consider a town or city in New England their hometown.

For the Women’s 2022 U.S. Olympic Cross Country Team, Jessie Diggins calls Stratton, Vermont and Afton, Minnesota her hometown, Julia Kern calls Waltham, Massachusetts home, the hometown for Sophia Laukli is Yarmouth Maine, and Caitlin Patterson calls Craftsbury, Vermont her hometown.

On the Men’s 2022 U.S. Olympic Cross Country Team, Ben Ogden calls Landgrove, Vermont his hometown.

This will be the first time as an Olympian for Kern, Laukli, and Ogden.

Athletes were selected based upon World Cup results, World Cup rankings, SuperTour results, and the recently completed U.S. Cross Country Championships.

Here’s what some of the New England athletes had to say in provided statements;

Jessie Diggins – “I’m honored and excited to be representing my country once more as a member of the 2022 Olympic team! This will be my third Olympics and I’m so proud of all the hard work and dedication from all our athletes to make this team. I’m also incredibly thankful for the support from so many people who have helped me prepare for the Games! I won’t be racing for just myself out there.”

Julia Kern – “I am very excited to be named to the Olympic team, it is a dream come true! I believe the team we are bringing is really strong and will do great things at the Olympics. It takes a massive support system to get there and I am extremely thankful for all of the people who have been a part of this journey.”

Sophia Laukli – “I’m so so excited. It’s pretty incredible to actually be named to the Olympic team and I still haven’t fully wrapped my mind around it. Even just a year ago, the Olympics seemed far-fetched, so it feels pretty surreal. That being said, I am so excited and grateful for the opportunity. It’s definitely a proud moment and I’m looking forward to the whole experience and learning a lot from it, and I especially can’t wait to see what the U.S. team can do this year!”

Caitlin Patterson – “I’m very excited to be heading to my second Olympic Games! The U.S. is bringing a strong group of cross-country athletes and I’m looking forward to seeing what we can do!”

Ben Ogden – “I’m really excited to be named to the Olympic team. Growing up in southern Vermont, I have been inspired by Olympians my whole life, and becoming one myself has always been a dream. I am excited to race hard and have some fun in China.”

The 2022 Olympic Winter Games will feature 12 cross country events, including four individual events for both men and women and two team events for each gender, including the team sprint and the team relay. At each Olympics, disciplines swap between freestyle and classic techniques. For example, Diggins and Kikkan Randall won the freestyle team sprint at the 2018 Games—the first-ever Olympic gold medal for the USA in cross country skiing. The team sprint hosted at the 2022 Games will be held in the classic technique.

Cross country kicks off the 2022 Games with its first medal event, the women’s 15k skiathlon on Saturday, February 5. The event features two 7.5k legs, with the athletes skiing the classic technique for the first 7.5k, then switching to the freestyle technique for the second 7.5k. The men will compete in the 30k skiathlon on Sunday, February 6— a 15k classic followed by 15k freestyle. The complete Olympic cross country program is listed below.

2022 U.S. OLYMPIC CROSS COUNTRY TEAM

(Name, Hometown; Birth Date; Club; Past Olympics)

Women

  • Jessie Diggins, Afton, Minnesota and Stratton, Vermont; 8/26/91; Stratton Mountain School Elite Team (Olympics: 2014, 2018)
  • Rosie Brennan, Park City, Utah; 12/2/88; Alaska Pacific University Nordic Ski Center (Olympics: 2018)
  • * Julia Kern, Waltham, Massachusetts 9/12/97; Stratton Mountain School Elite Team
  • * Hailey Swirbul, El Jebel, Colorado; 7/10/98; Alaska Pacific University Nordic Center
  • * Sophia Laukli, Yarmouth, Maine; 6/8/2000; University of Utah
  • * Novie McCabe, Winthrop, Washington; 12/15/2001; Methow Valley Nordic Team
  • * Hannah Halvorsen, Truckee, California; 2/19/1998; Alaska Pacific University Nordic Ski Center
  • Caitlin Patterson, Craftsbury, Vermont; 1/30/90; Craftsbury Green Racing Project (Olympics: 2018)

Men

  • * JC Schoonmaker, Tahoe City, California; 8/12/2000; University of Alaska Anchorage
  • * Kevin Bolger, Minocqua, Wisconsin; 4/11/93; Sun Valley Ski Education Foundation
  • * Ben Ogden, Landgrove, Vermont; 2/13/20; Stratton Mountain School Elite Team
  • * Luke Jager, Anchorage, Alaska; 1/7/2000; University of Utah/Alaska Pacific University
  • * Gus Schumacher, Anchorage, Alaska; 7/25/2000; Alaska Winter Stars
  • Scott Patterson, Anchorage, Alaska; 1/28/92; Alaska Pacific University Nordic Center (Olympics: 2018)

*Denotes first-time Olympian 

2022 Olympic Winter Games 

Cross Country Schedule

Saturday, Feb. 5

Women’s 15k Skiathlon

Sunday, Feb, 6

Men’s 30k Skiathlon

Tuesday, Feb. 8

Men and Women’s Freestyle Sprint

Thursday, Feb. 10

Women’s 10k Classic

Friday, Feb. 11

Men’s 15k Classic

Saturday, Feb 12

Women’s 4x5k Relay

Sunday, Feb. 13

Men’s 4x10k Relay

Wednesday, Feb. 16

Men and Women’s Classic Team Sprint

Saturday, Feb. 19

Men’s 50k Freestyle Mass Start

Sunday, Feb. 20

Women’s 30k Freestyle Mass Start

Watch Team USA compete on the networks of NBC throughout the Olympics, February 4-20, 2022.