Long before the “Here comes Diggins” call by 47-year-old Chad Salmela at this season’s Olympics, he was already known throughout the ski world as an athlete and sports commentator. Let’s just say since the now famous call, Salmela’s announcing talents have become more well known. In what now may be considered his spare time, Salmela is a varsity cross country running coach and assistant track and field coach at The College of St. Scholastica in Duluth, Minn. For ten years he was the head coach of St. Scholastica’s nordic ski team. Salmela began the cross-country program before stepping down in 2016.
This winter season, Salmela will be the voice of nordic sport for NBC Sports: He’ll be calling both the cross-country World Cup and biathlon’s IBU World Cup.
As an athlete, Salmela was a member of the U.S. Biathlon team from 1990-1998. He still skis and enjoys the sweet outdoor access Duluth affords.
In this episode, we talk about the “Here comes Diggins” call, why he stepped away from coaching nordic skiing, and how he prepares for the grind of announcing World Cups. If you’d like to hear a solid interview of Salmela and his experience at the 2018 Winter Games by a great cast of mainstream sports writers and podcasters, you can check that out here.
And if you have no idea what we are referring to when we bring up the “Here comes Diggins” call, you should click here.
Jason lives in Bend, Ore., and can often be seen chasing his two boys around town. He’s a self-proclaimed audio geek. That all started back in the early 1990s when he convinced a naive public radio editor he should report a story from Alaska’s, Ruth Gorge. Now, Jason’s common companion is his field-recording gear.