Salomon athletes, Holly Brooks, Kikkan Randall and Jessie Diggins, made history Sunday as part of the four member U.S. relay squad that scored the countries first ever World Cup Distance Relay podium.
Holly Brooks, who captured everyone’s attention with her 5th place performance Saturday in the 10km freestyle, led off for the U.S.Team. A Salomon Complete Athlete on skis, boots and bindings, Holly backed up yesterday’s performance with a strong classic leg tagging to World Cup Sprint Champion Kikkan Randall just 11 seconds down to the leading Norwegian squad. Kikkan, in her Salomon Boots and bindings, also her 3rd place performance on Saturday with the fastest 2nd leg split to tag off to teammate Liz Stephens in 2nd place just 8 seconds out of the lead.
Liz continued the World class pace to make the final exchange to Jessie Diggins with the team still in 2nd place sandwiched only a handful of seconds between two Olympic gold medalists (Marit Bjoergen of Norway ahead and Charlotte Kalla from Sweden just behind. Finland and Norway 2 were a few more second in arrears in hot pursuit. Jessie, on Salomon skis, boots and bindings, proved that she and her U.S. team mates are now amongst the world elite. While Kalla, (also on Salomon boots and bindings) was able to pass Jessie and move into second, Jessie fought hard to resist a late challenge by Norway 2.
Coming into the stadium, Jessie was not going to deny her teammates, nor herself, a historic 3rd place World Cup finish. With determination and focus and as she put it a “a near out-of-body experience” Jessie sprinted down the finishing straight to win a well-deserved trip for her and her team mates and allot of Salomon gear to the podium. The USA women made history as a team, a team that is living Winter Enhanced.
While the US Women were definitely the talk of the Cross Country World Cup opening weekend. Numerous other Salomon athletes had their own history making results. In Saturday’s 10km womens Freestyle Theresa Johaug NOR (Salomon Boots and bindings) placed second just ahead of Kikkan Randall, Chalotta Kall and Holly Brooks. While in Saturday’s 15km Freestyle Marcus Hellner (Salomon boots and bindings) (racing in Marcus Hellner stadium) placed 3rd place just ahead of Salomon Complete athlete Matti Heikkinen FIN. In Nordic Combined action two-time defending World Cup champion Jason Lamy Chappuis (Salmon Complete) started the season strong with 2nd place Saturday and a 4th place finish Sunday.