The fastest women in the world: The remarkable rise of the US Women’s XC Ski Team

The U.S. earned its only Olympic medal in cross-country skiing in 1976, when Vermont skier Bill Koch captured silver. That may soon change: The women of the US cross-country ski team are serious contenders for an Olympic medal in South Korea in 2018. [Note: On Feb. 21, 2018, Jessie Diggins & Kikkan Randall won an Olympic gold medal in cross-country skiing, the first ever for Americans in this sport.]

In this Vermont Conversation, and author, coach and skiers discuss the remarkable rise of the US women’s cross-country ski team from being perennial back-of-the-pack finishers to winning numerous medals in world championship races. Author Peggy Shinn says it “attests to the power of a transformational leader, a coach who connects with his athletes, the super-fast individual skiers who are also conscientious teammates–and a bit of good luck.” (January 31, 2018 broadcast)

Peggy Shinn, author, World Class: The Making of the US Women’s Cross-Country Ski Team

Matt Whitcomb, coach, US Women’s Cross-Country Ski Team

2018 Olympic US Women’s Cross-Country Ski Team members:

  • Liz Stephen, 3x Olympian from E. Montpelier, Vt.
  • Jessie Diggins, 2x Olympian from Minnesota, trains in Vt with team from Stratton Mountain School 
  • Sophie Caldwell, 2x Olympian from Peru, Vt.

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