Welcome home celebration for Diggins set for Friday

Stillwater graduate and Team USA member Jessie Diggins, left, will celebrate a successful season as a member will celebrate with friends, family and supporters during a welcome home celebration on Friday at the Lake Elmo Park Reserve Chalet from 6-9 p.m.

Stillwater graduate and Team USA member Jessie Diggins, left, will celebrate a successful season as a member will celebrate with friends, family and supporters during a welcome home celebration on Friday at the Lake Elmo Park Reserve Chalet from 6-9 p.m.

It’s not just more snow scheduled to greet Afton native Jessie Diggins on Friday as she returns from a successful season with the United States Ski Team.

Friends, family, supporters and cross-country ski fans are encouraged to celebrate with Diggins as part of a welcome home celebration at the Lake Elmo Park Reserve Chalet from 6-9 p.m. Light refreshments will be served and Diggins will be signing posters during the evening.

Diggins, 21, who is the youngest member of the U.S. Ski Team, has contributed to several unprecedented performances for Americans in the sport. She combined with Kikkan Randall to win the team sprint race at the FIS Nordic Ski Championships in Italy — marking the first-ever World Championship for Team USA in cross-country skiing. Diggins and Randall also won the first-ever gold medal for Team USA in a World Cup Team event and skied the anchor leg for the bronze medal 4×4 relay team in a World Cup event — yet another first for the Americans.

Diggins graduated from Stillwater Area High School in 2010 after winning three individual state championships in pursuit and leading the Ponies to state titles in 2008 and 2010. Diggins began her skiing career with the Minnesota Youth Ski League and continues to inspire by hosting clinics and providing encouragement and enthusiasm for young skiers.

Salomon skis will provide free buffs to the first 50 guests, starting at 6 p.m. Diggins will share some of her World Cup and World Championship adventures with a slide show and talk at 7 p.m.. Drawings and free door prizes will be awarded at 8 p.m., including a new set of Salomon skate skis, Marwe 610 Roller Skis, One Way Premio 10 Poles and pole tube and more.

The event is free and open to the public, although a Washington County Park sticker or day pass (both are available at the park gate, if needed).

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