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Olympic Gold Medalist Jessie Diggins visits Valley Crossing Elementary School

Olympic Gold Medalist Jessie Diggins paid a visit to her childhood school, Valley Crossing Elementary School, on Friday, April 13.

Students packed into the school’s gym to listen to Diggins tell of her adventures as a cross-country skiing champion. She was introduced to the crowd by her former teacher, and now Valley Crossing Elementary Principal, Lela Olson, who remembered Diggins as a cheerful and energetic learner.

“I remember that she always had a big smile on her face, she was very curious, and she thought about a lot of things as a reader,” said Olson. “Jessie used to have tons of post-it notes in the books that she read where she recorded connections, questions and other things she noticed about characters and the structure of stories.”

Speaking to students, Diggins shared her adventures of training and competing across the country. She concluded her presentation encouraging students to find joy in all they do and to work their hardest at what they love to do. At the end of the presentation, a student asked Diggins why she always has glitter on her face for competition. Diggins said it helped remind her of how much she loves the sport.

Diggins made the stop during her first trip back to Minnesota since competing in the Pyeongchang Olympics this winter. Diggins and her teammate, Kikkan Randall, won the United States' first-ever cross-country skiing gold medal at the Winter Olympics in women's team sprint at Pyeongchang in 2018. In addition to her success at the games, Diggins is known for her determination and positive attitude. It was because of these attributes members of the US Olympic team chose Diggins to be the one to carry the American flag in the Closing Ceremonies at Pyeongchang.

Diggins attended Valley Crossing throughout her elementary years, and later graduated from Stillwater High School.