As Minnesota gets ready to host elite competitors for the World Cup ski event, snow arrives just in time

Snow comes just in time as Minnesota prepares to welcome top athletes for World Cup ski race | Image Credit: mprnews.org
Snow comes just in time as Minnesota prepares to welcome top athletes for World Cup ski race | Image Credit: mprnews.org

Theodore Wirth Park’s grass was visible last week, and a man-made snow track could be seen winding through the otherwise snow-free terrain.

How much a storm and a week can change

The elite cross-country skiers will be in Minneapolis this weekend for the COOP FIS World Cup ski competition.

The first significant snowfall of the season arrived this week, adding to the artificial snow track that was already in place at the course.

On Friday, skiers from all over the globe practiced running across the course to get a feel for the snow and terrain. The trees were covered in a thick layer of snow.

Jessie Diggins, the well-known Afton cross-country skier on the world scene, is one among the competitors. She had always dreamed of seeing this marathon held in her native state.

Gold medalist Jessie Diggins of United States celebrates victory in the Cross-Country Women’s 10km Individual Start Free at the FIS Nordic World Ski Championships in Planica, Slovenia. | Image Credit: mprnews.org

“I’m feeling quite strongly about this.” Please be patient with me if I start sobbing,” she said to the media on Friday afternoon. “I mean, I was 19 years old the last time I raced here in the whole state of Minnesota.” It has been a while. And I’ve wanted to accomplish this for ages.

Diggins has already had a fantastic ski season. Last Thursday, she emerged victorious in her sixth World Cup solo race. She shares the American record for the most victories in a single season. With 10 individual race podiums in a season, she holds the record for most American podiums. She is now returning home to ski in front of her loved ones.

She remarked, “Knowing that I’m going to have so much love out there is really unique and significant.” Naturally, there are moments when it makes you feel as though you have to win because everyone is observing you, but all you have to do is go out there and race with all of your heart. And I will act in such manner.

Teams of professionals that have an extremely detailed understanding of ski wax, equipment, and circumstances go with the athletes.

Details, according to Joel Harrison, proprietor of New Moon Ski and Bike Shop in Hayward, Wisconsin, are crucial for these athletes.

The long-awaited races for COOP FIS World Cup ski race will start Saturday morning and run through Sunday. | Image Credit: mprnews.org

“It’s definitely beyond our abilities to discern in terms of performance, you and I go out and ski on what their selection criterion is,” he said. “We’re talking about choices that will be made in terms of wax and ski selection, that might be the difference between being in first place and not making the top 10,” the race director said. “The racing performance disparities on the clock will be a modest proportion of the overall time.”

The park covered in snow was not something that the organizers had anticipated in the previous several weeks. However, that was a nice addition.

It’s mystical. We said, “Someone likes the Loppett.” Claire Wilson, executive director of the Loppet Foundation, which is sponsoring the event, said, “It’s exciting to have it happen now.”

The event was initially scheduled to take place in Minneapolis in 2020, but COVID-19 forced its cancellation. Wilson expressed her excitement at having another opportunity to host.

The Twin Cities got over six inches of snow on Wednesday improving skiing conditions ahead of the race | Image Credit: mprnews.org

This, she declared, “is a tremendous problem.” We therefore have 180 contestants representing 21 different countries. The top skiers in the world are now practicing in our Minneapolis public park.

Prior to the cancellation of the 2020 event, Harrison had made plans to attend. This year’s event, which was last hosted in the United States twenty years ago, will require him to go to the Twin Cities.

To be honest, we’ve had it on our list of things to do since March 2020. Because of how mild the winter has been, we were afraid it might get scratched again when we were going to travel down there. “I’m very happy to see that you people appear to have received six inches of snow; perhaps it will also appear to be winter down there.”

It’s perfect timing for a Loppet that will make Minneapolis the skiing capital of the globe, that sense of a Minnesota winter.

The much expected races will begin on Saturday and continue through Sunday.

Source:
https://www.mprnews.org/story/2024/02/16/the-snow-comes-just-in-time-as-minnesota-prepares-to-welcome-world-cup-ski-race


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