As the 54 women Olympians who have represented our country in cross country skiing, and calling our group United States Nordic Olympic Women, we give an annual award to the female athlete that demonstrates outstanding amounts of grit and grace throughout the year.
We call our award: The Gold Rush Award.
The past two years have seen three recipients of our award: Rosie Brennan, Sadie Maubet Bjornsen and
Sophie Caldwell Hamilton When asked if these three would please choose this year’s athlete for our award they agreed.
A huge first was achieved and everyone celebrates the achievement. We know it takes the whole team to realize these high goals. We congratulate and are inspired by each of the US Ski Team Athletes this year. We cheered loud and proud as we watched the coverage of the races. Thank you to each of the athletes for your hard work, dedication and devotion to our sport. We love you all.
Announcing our award is: Sophie Caldwell Hamilton
We are proud to choose Jessie Diggins for this year’s US NOW Award! Her results speak for themselves, but the reason we chose her this year is not just because she was the first U.S. woman to ever win the Tour de Ski and the crystal globe for the overall World Cup winner.
We want to recognize that this was a very different year for everyone, but it had the potential to be a particularly difficult year for extroverts who feed off of the energy of others and thrive in social situations and camp settings (hello, Jessie!). I don’t know anyone who loves camps more than Jessie does and this year we had zero camps as a national team. Not having training camps and time together as a team was surely hard on Jessie, but rather than panicking about what couldn’t be, she took advantage of getting into a consistent routine and training her butt off in Vermont, enjoyed the silver lining of getting to live with her fiance for the first time they’ve been able to do that in the summer (he worked from home in Stratton), and trusted the process in a year of unknowns. She didn’t start the season the strongest she ever has, but she believed in her plan, knew she had put in the work, and by the time the Tour de Ski came around, she was on fire.
Jessie has also used her success as a platform to advocate for causes she believes in, particularly eating disorder awareness, which has the potential to change the course of a lot of peoples’ lives. This is not an easy topic to talk about, but Jessie does it with grace and strength and has made huge steps towards removing the stigma around eating disorders and asking for help. Jessie isn’t afraid to show how much she cares and how hard she works, she digs straight into the pain cave with grit not many others can match, and she can finish her efforts being proud of what she has accomplished and proud of what she stands for. We’re really proud of her too 🙂