The 2011 Junior Olympics, hosted by the City of Lakes Nordic Foundation in Minneapolis, MN, kicks off Monday afternoon with freestyle sprint racing action. Racing begins at 12:30pm with the J2 boys qualifying rounds and continues through to the evening semi-finals and finals, held under the lights from 6pm to 8pm.
Teams arrived between Thursday and Saturday and have been enjoying the urban format of this year’s Junior Olympics. All teams stay at the Minneapolis Marriott City Center and share shuttle buses to the course, 15 minutes away, for training and racing each day.
The Junior Olympics were officially opened at Sunday’s opening ceremonies. Athletes gathered at the hotel and paraded through a section of Minneapolis’s extensive skyway system to the IDS Center, several blocks away. Video coverage of the opening ceremonies is available below.
Particularly exciting for the Midwest team is the return of Jessie Diggins from the World Championships. Diggins, an OJ who is fresh off anchoring the United States women to 9th place in the 4 x 5k relay, is expected to compete in Minneapolis.
Live footage of the race is expected to be available for those who cannot be in Minneapolis to watch. Click the following links for more detailed information, schedule, start lists, live coverage, course maps and more. For more information, visit http://www.jo2011.com.
Webcam (shows the Button Hook at 4.75k of the 5k course and wax testing zone in background, does not show the sprint course.)