By Daniel Etchells |
Cross-country skier Jessie Diggins has received the Beck International Award at United States Ski and Snowboard’s (USS) annual Congress in Park City, recognizing her historic victory at the Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympic Games alongside team-mate Kikkan Randall.
The duo’s team sprint success secured the US’s first women’s cross-country Olympic medal and only the second cross-country medal ever following Bill Koch’s 30 kilometers silver at the Innsbruck 1976 Games.
Diggins also had a spectacular World Cup season with eight podiums, including wins in Seefeld in Austria and Falun in Sweden.
The Beck International Award is handed out each season to a USS athlete to recognize performance in international competition.
“It is an honor to be receiving the Beck International Award, and I’m extremely grateful to the team that created so many extraordinary racing opportunities this season,” Diggins said.
“Our coaches and staff have worked tirelessly, putting the rest of their lives on hold to travel the world with us and help us achieve athletic excellence.
“Our team-mates have put in thousands of hours of training to push the level of skiing in this country forward.
“This season wouldn’t have happened without such amazing support.”
Diggins was also named Cross Country Athlete of the Year, while Randall received the Buddy Werner Award and Team Athlete Giving Back Award.
Among the other award winners was Mikaela Shiffrin, David Wise and Jamie Anderson, claiming the Athlete of the Year prizes in the Alpine, freeskiing and snowboarding categories respectively.
At Pyeongchang 2018, Shiffrin won the women’s giant slalom event and finished second in the combined competition, while there successful Olympic title defenses for Wise in the men’s halfpipe and Anderson in the women’s slopestyle.
Anderson also managed big air silver.
Tyler Walker, silver medalist in the men’s slalom and giant slalom sitting events at the Pyeongchang 2018 Paralympics, was given the Adaptive Athlete of the Year award.
The ceremony also saw Jaelin Kauf win the Freestyle Athlete of the Year accolade, Ben Loomis secure the Nordic Combined Athlete of the Year prize and Kevin Bickner take home the Ski Jumping Athlete of the Year gong.
The five-day Congress featured meetings of the various sport committees and sub-committees, as well as the Board of Directors.
USS chief executive Tiger Shaw delivered the opening address.
Participants looked back on what was considered a highly successful season and dealt with topics including athlete safety and transparency.
In all, the USSA recognized more than 50 athletes, coaches, clubs and leaders who have supported skiing and snowboarding at the annual chairman’s awards dinner.
Republished with permission from insidethegames.biz.