After The Medals: Team-Sprint Bronze Medalist Sadie Bjornsen

Gabby NaranjaFebruary 27, 2017
American Sadie Bjornsen (r) during the women’s 6 x 1.3-kilometer classic team sprint on Sunday at the 2017 Nordic World Championships in Lahti, Finland. (Photo: John Lazenby/

LAHTI, Finland — While Monday marked a rest day for skiers competing in the 2017 Nordic World Championships, FasterSkier took the opportunity to sit down and chat with Sadie Bjornsen of the U.S. Ski Team, one day after she earned bronze with teammate Jessie Diggins in the women’s 1.3-kilometer classic team sprint. Not only was it Bjornsen’s first-career World Championships medal, it was the first for the U.S. women’s program in a World Championships classic race.

Bjornsen, 27, who lives and trains in Anchorage, Alaska, claimed the third spot on the podium with Diggins after a nail-biting sprint finish. With Bjornsen racing the first leg for the U.S., two of the three times she posted were the fastest first leg splits. No small feat with names like Norway’s Heidi Weng, Sweden’s Ida Ingemarsdotter, and Finland’s Aino-Kaisa Saarinen, Slovenia’s Katja Visnar, Russia’s Yulia Belorukova, Switzerland’s Nadine Fähndrich, Germany’s Stefanie Böhler among others all on the list for the first leg.

In the interview, Bjornsen explains what the bronze medal means to her and how racing the team sprint has been a goal of hers for quite some time. She outlines some of the challenges she’s faced throughout her career up to this point and highlights the importance of her club coach, Erik Flora, of Alaska Pacific University.

(Note: the interviews were conducted in a non-studio environment and are best listened to without headphones.)

Bjornsen is entered in the women’s 10 k classic race slated to take place Tuesday, Diggins is not. The men will race a 15 k classic on Wednesday. Men’s start lists were not available at the time of publication.

U.S. 10 k classic entries:


  • Sadie Bjornsen
  • Rosie Brennan
  • Kikkan Randall
  • Ida Sargent

Canadian 10 k classic entries:


  • Dahria Beatty
  • Emily Nishikawa
  • Katherine Stewart-Jones
  • Cendrine Browne

Start list: Women

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Gabby Naranja

Gabby Naranja considers herself a true Mainer, having grown up in the northern most part of the state playing hockey and roofing houses with her five brothers. She graduated from Bates College where she ran cross-country, track, and nordic skied. She spent this past winter in Europe and is currently in Montana enjoying all that the U.S. northwest has to offer.

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